Amidst a global humanitarian crisis such as the Covid 19 pandemic, welcome news is brought to our attention in the form of a program running in Bangladesh that allows people from low income or conflict areas access to higher-level education. Bangladesh, the manufacturing centre for garments sold by all kinds of fast fashion empires such as H&M, is notorious for workplaces lacking regulations, abominable health, and safety measures put in place; as is often the case, the hardest hit section of the population in this case are the women, who are oftentimes forced to give up their pursuance of educational qualifications to earn a meagre wage working in a garment factory. The program, Pathway for Promise, works in partnership with the Bangladeshi Asian University for Women to help change that.

The program identifies and educates talented women from underserved communities, enabling them to earn qualifications that may be able to change the course of their life and give wings to their dreams that are otherwise shackled by cultural obligations. To ensure that no one is forced to quit for fundamental reasons, students of the program are provided a monthly stipend to cover living costs. The university places special emphasis on teaching performance arts to these candidates, attributing these courses with increased confidence and self-expression on the part of the students.

It is heartwarming to see that even in dark, disturbing nights, stars continue to twinkle with hope and joy.