Dian, founder of GiveLight Foundation, traveled to the region in 2008 and her visit reinforced the great need there. We started by helping a struggling orphanage for 300 boys, run by a trusted and well known family in Dhaka.
The second stage of our efforts involved the completion of a home for girls, through a partnership with the Bay Area Bangladeshi community. GiveLight Foundation has built ten new bathrooms for an orphanage near Dhaka that houses 300 kids.
We are able to sponsor a dinner meal for the children at the orphanage every day. We completed a beautiful home in Savar in 2014 for fifty girls. Our founder Dian went to visit in Ramadan 2016. Here is her beautiful account.
Dian visited Bangladesh in April 2008. In her words, “I had never seen more poverty in my life than what I saw in Bangladesh. I went to visit a slum where I came close and personal to the sufferings of the poorest. I was introduced to a local family whose father founded an orphanage in 1965 for 600 boys. But since the father passed away, the orphanage deteriorated and it can only now support 300 boys. During my visit to the orphanage, I learned two hard and cold realities:
Dian returned back to US with clear immediate goals for GiveLight’s role in Bangladesh. You can read more about her visit here .
We opened our home in Bangladesh in December 2014. We have 40 orphaned girls who come from the poorest of the poor. Their family background and lack of proper education at tender age leave them at a very low standard. These girls had to be taught to sit on tables and eat, show table manners while eating, be civil and polite with people. They are going through training of use of toilet, manners of showering, clothing etc. By the continuous supervision and teaching of the staff at Shefa, these kids are becoming more attentive, focused, sincere and obedient. They feel a part of this institution now and love it as their home.
There is a separate school building. All the students get up early for dawn prayer. Then the girls get ready for school from 7:30am and ends at 1:00pm. There is one short break during the school hours. The school is an elementary school now with grades from play group to 4th grade Next year the school will introduce 5th grade. The school is open for all in the surrounding area and students come from nearby villages.
During the afternoon, the girls play sports like, badminton, cricket, skipping etc. Like all children in other homes, these girls are immensely grateful to our generous supporters who have given them a life that is full of hope, light and achievable dreams.
When I went to visit GiveLight home in Bangladesh, I noticed how bright the smiles on the faces of the children and how playful and energetic they were. They dragged me into a game of chasing and soon enough I was running barefoot with them through the field. We ate candy and oranges together, and when I left they held me and asked me to visit again.
We are planning to add a few more classrooms to our school. The cost is estimated at $20,000 and you may contribute any amount. The operational cost of running the home is about $40K. We also sponsor meals and clothing for children in Dar-Us-Sunnah Orphanage where there are 300+ boys.