Scroll back far enough and you'll find that this blog was originally set up when I was launching my travel memoir, A Blonde Bengali Wife, way back in 2010. Several years before, my now-retired literary agent, Dinah Weiner, read the MS, went to Bangladesh herself and (very long story very short) by 2007 we'd set up the charity Bhola's Children. It's too long since I did an update, so, direct from Zakir, 'our man in Bhola', here it is:
I know it’s been a while that I have sent big updates from here, partly because we were missing many of our children who we had to send back home due to covid situation. Looks like things are brightening up here slowly. We called in children back into the boundary and the boundary is happy again.
Though we were closed for everyone, we have not been lazy. Four of our children were sent to CRP for training and they are waiting interview 22nd September 2021. We help them to get settled in their first month, because they have never lived outside Bhola and to start living in the capital suddenly is a very big deal. In the picture below are Giasuddin, Earul, Hasan and Ahsanullah (from left to right). All 4 boys now have secured jobs in Dhaka.
Another one of our physically challenged older boys has also got a job in Bhola as a Cellphone repair technician. He has received training from Social Welfare, CRP and On the Job training at Bhola, of course we supported and organized his trainings. I am glad to tell you that he is already becoming popular in his first month. I have to share a funny experience. As you know, I bought a new motorbike and I bought some safety equipments for myself. On the other hand we have been thinking about finding a solution for him to go to work without hurting his knee (he uses his knee to walk, his workplace has stairs). Suddenly it hit me and we tried my elbow guard on his knee and it is a exact match. He is comfortably using that to walk up those stairs.
I am also happy to tell you that the school has reopened and our children have started to go to school after one and a half years. They are happy and excited and we are careful in the process.
Finally a small and insignificant photo of a surprise birthday (12th August) celebration by my boys. The bakery boys prepared cakes and etc. The love that I get from these children make everything worthwhile.
Mohammad Zakirul Haque, Director, Bhola’s Children Special School Bangladesh