Henbury is giving back to the country where many of its garments are manufactured by supporting schools in Bangladesh.

For more than 10 years, the wholesaler has been steadily increasing sponsorship of an education programme in the Gulshan area of Dhaka which was set up to help children from underprivileged backgrounds.

With two schools in Dhaka, the Gulshan Literacy Programme (GLP) Foundation has now educated over 450 children, of which more than 50 have gone onto college and university education.

Henbury, based in Livingston in Scotland and supplier of Henbury Brands, hopes that others in the industry will support GLP’s project.

Henbury managing director Katie Stewart said: “We started sponsoring children through the education programme and have increased the number we sponsor every year. The cost is so little compared to what can be achieved and the difference it makes to these children and their future opportunities.

“The cost to sponsor a child is only $250 [£201] per year and the children receive daily classes in reading, writing and maths in both the local Bangla language as well as English.

“They are given nutritional snacks such as peanuts and bananas as in many cases food can be at short supply in their household. All of the children also receive a uniform to wear to school which they all wear with great pride.

“The parents also pay towards their education. However, they are only asked for a contribution of $1 [81p] per month and in some cases the parents cannot afford even this so there are also a number of free places given.

“The school is always oversubscribed as you can imagine and with only 30 starting places every year, they often have over 70 applicants.”

Many of the children go on to do their secondary certificate and about 40% go on to do their High Certificate – equivalent to A Levels. However, this costs around $12 (£9.69) per month, which many parents cannot afford, so the foundation is working to be able to sponsor more children through its higher education programme.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a child or children through the GLF Foundation should contact glpfoundation@gmail.com.

The team at Henbury have visited the school when travelling to Bangladesh, including a visit earlier this year by Katie and garment technologist Craig Anderson. They spent time talking to all of the classes and helping to serve out their mid-morning snack – plus some chocolate.

www.glpfoundation.org
www.henburybrands.com