Jo, Darach & Friends

had an in-home wine and cheese night and funded self defence classes for 180 Bangladeshi women

THEY raised $1,553!

This paid for:

180 Bangladeshi women living in dangerous urban slums to receive six weeks training in self defence


We have a bunch of awesome and socially minded friends and wanted to challenge ourselves to run an event that would be heaps of fun for all of us while also making a tangible difference in the lives of people living in poverty.

We recruited our amazingly talented pal to sing tunes for the evening, sold tickets to our friends, sourced some delicious wines and cheeses and hustled all our favourite businesses for raffle prizes. We chose three of our favourite Just Peoples micro-projects and held a vote to determine the one we would fund on the night. 

Thank you so much to everyone who attended, helped us organise, donated, or sponsored raffle prizes, food or drink - we were blown away by all the generosity in the room and are super pumped with the impact we have made together with you. We can't wait to hear how Jarin and these awesome Bangladeshi women get on with their courses!

Feedback from the micro-project

Jo, Darach and their friends will receive feedback from the micro-project once the funds have reached Bangladesh and the micro-project has been implemented.



The United Nations has recognised a pandemic of violence against women and girls in Bangladesh, including high rates of forced child marriage and more than 40% of girls being raped for the first time between ages 10-14. Conditions are more severe for girls living in Dhaka’s slum communities. Jarin, from the Shattola slum community in Dhaka, is committed to changing these statistics.

Jarin used to suffer from extreme social anxiety and was often made fun of for not being able to speak up. But when she was 15 years old she heard of a self defence training course for girls run by Female Empowerment Movement (FEM). She decided to attend without letting her mum know, as she wasn’t sure that she would allow her to or whether her community would accept it. 

She took a big risk, but it paid off in more ways than she could’ve hoped.

The course ran for 6 weeks and taught vulnerable girls from Dhaka slums how to defend themselves by training them in karate. The black belt trainers worked with the families of the girls first, to counsel them on the importance of self defence so they could back their daughters up. Throughout the course the girls gained increased self-confidence through learning behavioural and physical skills, and were mobilised to stand up to aggressive men and refuse abuse.

In the beginning Jarin usually covered up and did not speak much, but as the course went on, she began to speak more loudly and clearly. She realised that she did not cover herself up for religious reasons but rather in fear of men in her community. Her mother finally accepted her participation after seeing the positive impacts the course was having on Jarin.

At the time of training, Jarin was being bothered by a stalker who used to follow her around asking her to marry him. No matter how many times she refused he would keep pestering her. Jarin's confidence grew enormously over the course of the self-defence program and by the end she was finally able to stand up to her stalker and he has never bothered her since. She was even confident enough to refuse early marriage, insisting that she wanted to work.

Jarin was so blown away by the transformational effect that the classes had on her and her classmates that she was determined use her new skills to provide this opportunity to other young girls.

Jarin has already secured space to run 4 more courses in 4 locations in Dhaka slums. Now that she has the funding she is able to run this game-changing self-defence and empowerment course, along with the support of the black belt karate expert, to train up 180 more girls.