Updated: Dec 8, 2019
One of the greatest joys of traveling back to Bangladesh is connecting with the kids from the orphanage and hearing about their lives now. Robiul recent caught our attention when he applied to Dhaka University, one the oldest and most prestigious universities in Bangladesh, and ranked 86th of 43,000 applicants!
This week I've had the chance to talk with him every day. The first thing that impressed me was that our first conversation was at least 30 minutes long without a translator, and he was able to express deep reflections.
His background is one of extreme poverty. He explained to me that his father cannot work and therefore, his brother is the sole income earner for the large family. I'm not sure what happened to his father, but it's clear that it's a big hardship for the family. At 12 years old, he came to live at the Ibrahimpur Orphanage. He expressed how incredible it was to have his basic needs provided to him for FREE. In fact, he kept repeating that, like it was new and exciting, even though he was there for 6 years. He certainly didn't feel entitled to it. My favorite expression was that he felt as "free as a bird" at Ibrahimpur.
Now he's finishing up his first semester of college. When asked if it's difficult, he replied, "no, it's easy." That's proof that our school at Ibrahimpur does an excellent job of preparing our kids for higher education.
Robiul still doesn't have much. He's working for Dayemi Foundation (that's the name of the NGO in Bangladesh that For Kids' Sake supports) while he attends University. We're continuing to support him through this transition. He's been so inspired by the help he received that one of his dreams is to help the kids who were just like him. He told me it's important for him to stay a simple person so that he doesn't lose touch with the simple people that he wants to help. What a gem.
The amazing, heart-wrenching thing is that we were able to completely turn his life around with a mere $600/year, and for six years, that's only $3,600.