During the 16 Days of Activism, Zonta International, as well as many clubs, focused on ending child marriage. For one club in Dhaka, this focus aligned with a current project from which they have seen success for two local girls.
Through a club-wide service project, members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, District 25, have supported two girls in changing their lives after avoiding the pressures of child marriage.
Mohsina Akhtar and Shoma Islam are two young women from remote villages of Bangladesh and both participate in Shathi Samaj, an education project by the Zonta Club of Dhaka II.
While studying, Mohsina Akhtar was forced to get married and her in-laws did not let her continue with her studies. Mohsina underwent both mental and physical abuse during this time. Mohsina reached out to the Zonta club for counseling and advice. With the support of the club members, she was able to leave her marriage and go back to her studies. She is now a student at the University of Dhaka, studying finance. She hopes to become a chartered accountant.
When she was young, Shoma Islam was under pressure to discontinue her studies to get married. However, with the help of the members of the club, Shoma is now a 4th-year student of home economics at the University of Dhaka and is doing very well. She is also currently working with a renowned NGO in Dhaka and is also continuing her studies in food and nutrition. She has a dream of becoming a nutritionist.
Members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II plan to be by their sides until they fulfill their dreams.