Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely populated countries, with its people crammed into a delta of rivers that empties into the Bay of Bengal.
Poverty is deep and widespread, but Bangladesh has in recent years reduced population growth and improved health and education. Some economists see it as one of the "Next Eleven" tier of developing countries with potential for serious foreign-investment-led growth, the BBC reports.
The major employer is agriculture, but it is unable to meet the demand for jobs. So, many Bangladeshis - in common with citizens from other countries in the region - seek work abroad, sometimes illegally.
Bangladesh has been criticised for its human rights record, with particular concern about assaults on women and allegations that police use torture against those in custody.
The low-lying country is vulnerable to flooding and cyclones and it stands to be badly affected by predicted rises in sea levels.
Few girls in rural Bangladesh complete primary school, and most are unable to find any form of employment. As a result, many girls are forced into situations of trafficking and early marriage.
Strømme Foundation's Shonglap programme is therefore empowering girls to overcome these challenges and take control of their lives. Read more about the programme here.