Kazi Nasira Begum is an animator, or trained volunteer, in Noagaon village, in Habiganj district in northeastern Bangladesh. Since childhood, Kazi has always wanted to help alleviate poverty in her village and dedicate her life to helping others.
In 2014, Kazi heard from a Union Parishad member that The Hunger Project-Bangladesh was arranging an animator training nearby. She submitted her application and was elated to be accepted. She completed her four-day training course and, on the last day of training, participated in a planning session for her future work.
When she returned home, Kazi immediately began following the plans drafted during training. She met with other community members and with them formed a platform to better the village. They organized meetings and events in local courtyards to campaign against child marriage and raise awareness of better nutrition and the benefits of vaccinations. So far, Kazi and her partners have arranged over 50 courtyard meetings and spoken with almost 1,000 people.
Kazi was even able to stop two child marriages from happening. They were of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl, both of whom were arranged to marry an older man. Both girls are thriving. The 12-year-old, in particular, is enjoying her adolescence and looking forward to a full life of her own.
Besides campaigning to end child marriage, Kazi has also completed 150 birth registrations, tracked and ensured early childhood nutrition measures and vaccinations for 80 children, and assisted 50 mothers in obtaining prenatal treatment from community clinics and government hospitals.
More than anything, Kazi loves volunteering and activism. Her husband, two sons and other families in her community inspire her daily to continue doing her work. Other community members have started to see how Kazi’s work is helping their village develop, and they are now supporting her as well. Eventually, Kazi hopes to see a poverty-free and happy Bangladesh.