A family drama

Children sponsorship from a different point of view

Two young girls, sisters Rajina (15) and Sreety Murmu (12) are students of the eighth and sixth grades of the SAMS boarding school. They like studying; the school helps them to develop their skills, teachers support them and they have found new friends there. The girls also live there, get three warm meals every day and everything they need to be able to live on the grounds of one of the most beautiful and best equipped schools of the BanglaKids Program. One could say their needs are fulfilled; unfortunately, before they came to this school, a sad family story has begun. This story is not so unusual for poor Bangladeshi families whose children are supported by our donors. 

Rajina and Sreety come from six children. They were born in Rameshopur, a beautiful village surrounded by rice fields in the western part of Bangladesh, in the Dinajpur District. They have two older brothers and two older sisters; all of them have their own families now. One brother and one sister live with their partners in India, the other sister lives far away in Bangladesh. Only one brother, the oldest one, lives near his father and mother. Their parents are illiterate and have no land; all their life, they worked as wage workers and had an unsteady income. 

Village school
Rajina and Sreety’s parents knew their children must have an education. Although uneducated, they inspired their children to study. Rajina and Sreety attended a village school in Rameshopur, but the situation in the family with six children was not easy at all. Especially when it was out-of-season and the parents could not find a job as wage workers, the family was in crisis – they had no money even for food for their children. Often, children had to go to school hungry, without breakfast – something we probably cannot imagine in Central Europe.

The village school in Rameshopur saved both the girls and their family. Thanks to the sponsorship of Czech donors, the girls could not only study there, but also got their lunch at noon. This helped not only the sisters, but the whole family, as parents did not have to worry about food for the girls. For some Bangladeshi children, school is not only a source of knowledge, but also a chance they will get something to eat. 

Father’s illness 
About three years ago, when Rajina started studying at the SAMS boarding school, the situation of her family got even worse. Her father, Mr Jetha Murmu, became seriously ill. Since then, he has been confined to bed. Mrs Moni Murmu, his wife and mother of all his children, takes care of him, feeds him and washes him. She has no money to buy him pills and tries to get food wherever and whenever there is a possibility. Thanks to the local community and a teacher from the village school, the parents get a little food every morning and evening. 

Siblings’ attitude
In Bangladesh, adult children usually look after their parents and younger siblings. Unfortunately, this is not the case of the family of Mr and Mrs Murmu. Their adult children do not take care of their parents and two younger sisters. They live far away and are not in touch with their family.

The oldest son, the only adult child living not so far away, refuses to give his parents food or to support his sisters, unless he gets a piece of land for which his father has no right and which has been occupied by his father’s brothers. He defends himself with the following arguments: “I will not give a penny to my sisters. I have got two children of my own... Why have you got so many children?”... He is supported by his a little bit greedy wife in this attitude. It is a sad story – both the parents and the sisters have been left without any support from their immediate family. 

Parents’ situation
Mother wishes her two youngest daughters were at home, but it is not possible. She would not be able to secure them financially; she has to take care about her husband and irregularly earns some money, which is exhausting for her. She even had to ask the management of the SAMS boarding school not to send her daughters home for holidays, but to file them as “orphans”. For some time, she had to abandon them for their own good because it is impossible for her to ensure for them everything they need.

When our coordinator Mrinal Khakha visited the family and the ill father confined to bed, the father cried and immediately asked him: “How are my children? How are my children?”... Mrinal told him: “Your children are alright.”... and the father calmed down.

He pins his hopes on Rajina and Sreety. If they are educated, they will have a chance to get a better paid job and take care of their parents. 

More information about program Support BanglaKids

BanglaKids is a development program of ADRA Czech Republic.
Since 1999 we have provided education to 6,500 children in Bangladesh.
Together, we’re giving them an opportunity for a better future.

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