A Changed Life

A Changed Life

By: Kevin Stout, Bangladesh Country Director   |   Posted: May 16, 2006

Rajib with his mother.

Rajib is a sponsored child who attends the Azampur Child Sponsorship Program (BD-102) in the overcrowded city of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Read below how attending this project has changed his life.

A Day in My Life

"I get up at 6:00 in the morning, but my mother has already left for work at 5:00," says Rajib, whose mother, Nadhira, works as a cook for a rich Bengali family. "I wash my face, brush my teeth, and get dressed." 

"We have no electricity, so no refrigerator, (so) I have rice kept in water from the night before for breakfast with a hot chili pepper," Rajib says. Like most homes in the city slums of Dhaka, Rajib lives in a one-room split bamboo hut with mud floors and a tin roof. Rajib and his mother share a 10x10-foot room with two other adult women. They also share a common kitchen (just a mud stove built into the ground) and a toilet with eight other families.

"I don't like being alone in the morning, but once I get to the project with my friends and teachers, I'm very happy." 

Walking to Paradise

"At 7:30 I walk to the project by myself; it takes around 25 minutes," Rajib says. He has to traverse roads that are four feet wide bounded by an open sewer of mud. "From 8:00 to 11:00 I go to school at the project. I'm in second grade. I learn many things at school - Bengali, arithmetic, English, drawing, religion and general science. My teacher's name is Maria Madame. She is very nice - she does not hit me as at the government school - my teacher loves me. In fact, I think everybody loves me at the project."

"The food is great at the project," Rajib says. "We eat at noon." The little boy then recites the project menu by heart - chicken, rice, dhal, vegetables, egg curry and fish.

A Changed Life

Nadhira says the project has changed her son's life. "Before the project opened, my son went to a poor school where they hit him for making mistakes. Now at the project his whole appearance has changed - he is doing so well with his classes, learning many things, and eating healthy. I'm so happy for him. The project has changed his life."

"At 5:00 I walk home and do work around our home," Rajib continues. "I carry water from the . well to our room for washing, drinking and cleaning the dishes. I wash my clothes and clean any dirty dishes. My mom comes home at 6:00 p.m. She brings a little food home from her work for me to eat."

"My mom and I go to bed around 9:00 after I have finished studying the lessons we received at the project. We sleep in the same small bed (twin) with a mosquito net over us." 

What did you like about this story?