Room to Read Bangladesh was officially established in 2008, and program operations launched one year later. Our Literacy Program encourages fluency and informs national curriculum, while our Girls’ Education Program builds upon the development of life skills to help girls graduate and negotiate key decisions.

Barriers to Education in the Face of Rapid Growth

Bangladesh is a rapidly growing and dynamic country. With 161 million residents, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Most of the population lives in a river delta that is susceptible to frequent flooding, pollution and erosion. This creates challenges for maintaining infrastructure, housing and agriculture. 24 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, largely in rural areas where educational access is particularly limited, schools are scarce or difficult to get to and children are expected to work to contribute to the family income.

Additionally, Bangladesh is playing host to some 900,000 Rohingya refugees, more than half of whom are children.

For these Bangladeshi Students, the Library is their Place to Play

“We just want all children to have access to quality education. That's what drives us all the time.”

Rakhi Sarkar Bangladesh Country Director

Our Work in Bangladesh

Room to Read Bangladesh initially focused on rural areas—particularly the sandbar islands of the Sirajganj District, the low-lying terrain of the Brahamanbaria District, and the remote plains of the Natore District. We have made great strides in these districts, and our strong relationships with the local communities have helped us support primary school students and girls battling long-standing cultural barriers.

In 2015, we expanded beyond rural areas and began our Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs within the city of Dhaka. Additionally, with the influx of Rohingya refugees to Cox’s Bazar since 2017, we have adapted technical assistance programs to support the region and its refugee population. 

2019 Bangladesh Annual Report

The Children of Cox's Bazar: Education Inside and Out of the Rohingya Refugee Camp

In 2017, 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar to escape genocide. Since then, one million Rohingya refugees have settled into Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Nearly 500,000 of them are children and they – like all children – deserve access to quality education.

Watch our video to see how Room to Read is partnering with other organizations to bring education to the children of Cox's Bazar.

By the Numbers: Room to Read's Cox's Bazar Project with Rohingya Refugees

With the influx of Rohingya refugees to Cox’s Bazar since 2017, we have adapted technical assistance programs to support the region and its refugee population. We are helping to assess students’ literacy in English and Myanmar and develop teaching and learning materials. We are also focusing on capacity strengthening to improve school enrollment, attendance and literacy. Combined, these projects will reach more than

  • 180,000 children
  • 2,900 teachers
  • 300 learning centers located in the district's refugee camps
  • 20 government officials

Dive into our work with children outside the refugee camps

The Latest from Bangladesh

Bangladesh Community Reading Forums

Room to Read's Community Reading Forums support young readers in Bangladesh

Literacy, Bangladesh

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Room to Read presents She Creates Change

Room to Read presents She Creates Change

Girls' Education, India

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Meet Nishita from Bangladesh

Meet Nishita from Room to Read Bangladesh

Girls' Education, Bangladesh

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Creating a world of lifelong learners: updates from across the globe

Creating a world of lifelong learners: Room to Read updates from across the globe


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2021 Annual Report

Education Equals: Room to Read's 2021 Annual Report

Publication & Reports

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