Friday, July 25, 2008


My week has been from highs to lows – with the lowest point coming with the death of Rabeya (aged 5 – read above) from strange and unfathomable circumstances a week ago. This death occurred whilst I also suffering from one of the worst colds and fevers that I have ever had – a fever that kept me bed ridden for 5 days. Rabeya's death was then followed by the death of one our student's father - the thought of losing a father at the age of 10 makes me wonder why life is so cruel.

My highs included my final week with 2 of my close friends that have been visiting for the last month and a visit from 13 Australian youth leaders who were amazed with the project but they were also able to impart knowledge onto our leadership team.

But I must touch on the sad death of Rabeya – it has been the hardest challenge of my working career, let alone my time here at The Dhaka Project. Knowing a girl has died 7 hours after being in your care makes to start questioning every decision you have made and the decisions that you will make in the future. I feel somewhat haunted that if I had been more proactive as the Project Director things wouldn’t have turned out the way things did – all I can say to Rabeya in heaven is Sorry, I pray that if I was somehow at fault you will forgive me.

Rabeya’s death highlighted the plight that our children’s parents go through in order to ensure the best for their children – her mother, Nazma, worked from 8am to 1130pm to feed and provide shelter to Rabeya and her son Billal.

Having realised the stress that families are now facing due to rising food crisis and general inflation, three weeks ago I initiated an investigation into understanding the pressures that our families face and the initial results have come in and show that it is almost near impossible for these families to provide even the basics for their children. Further updates will come out soon where I have 2 writers drafting newspaper articles about the plight that our families face.

Finally, to finish my update I want to share a little story from Thursday when I was helping one of our journalists/writers interview our cleaner, also called Rabeya. We were asking Rabeya about rising food prices and how it effects her looking after her two boys – Mosharraf and Mobarak. She started with the nervous statement “no one has ever wanted to hear my story – no one cares about my story.” (which was ironic as she had 3 volunteers and 3 TDP staff waiting to here her speak J). We asked Rabeya what she would do if The Dhaka Project didn’t exist to provide for her and she just replied “I just have to work harder and longer to make sure that my boys receive the chances in life that I never received.”

I believe that she is an amazing mother with 2 of the most amazing children – a family that I sponsor through our family sponsorship programme. As the story continued and I was brought to tears – not of sadness, but of pride; about how this lady would do anything to see her two boys become the heroes that they can become! And we here at The Dhaka Project have to continue to do our work to make sure that we can make her dream come true!

I am now on a mission to find someone to tell Rabeya’s story – a story that the world needs to hear, a story that the world needs to care about.

A photo of me and Mobarak - my choddo bhai (little bro)

1 comment:

Pierre said...

If no one else has written it up yet, let me know, I would be honored to tell the story.

Keep that head up brother...