Our Visit to Bangladesh
We recently spent many days in Bangladesh visiting some of the projects HCI has implemented on the grounds pertaining to education, healthcare, and access to clean water. It has been an eye-opening experience, one which has humbled us and made us proud to represent such a reputable organization who has done and continues to do so much for those in need.
We visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox Bazaar where we delivered mother-and-child care packages to families and heard stories first-hand about atrocities committed against some of the women. In understanding the horrific circumstances from which many women and their children escaped from, HCI has committed to setting up a care center that can offer health and counseling services to women in these camps, providing the tools they need to begin the recovery process.
Interacting with the children at the TLC’s (Temporary Learning Centers) was another memorable time during our deployment. Hearing the hopes and dreams of these children who have lost everything, including their parents in most situations, made us more aware of how crucial our work is. Our Child Sponsorship Program is such an important avenue and way to provide crucial care for children who don’t have parents or guardians to care for them; as a sponsor, YOU automatically presume the role of parent. Through the Child Sponsorship Program, we provide children with nutrition and food security, school enrollment and supplies, as well as medical and health care.
We also visited the TLC’s built by HCI which serves as a safe space for children to receive schooling via various forms of technology. They’ve been a great success and students who attend the center are keen to learn. There are currently 5 TLC’s running, and with a growing waiting list, we aim to build 50 more. We’ve acquired the land and construction is planned to begin shortly. Each center costs around $3,500 and we are seeking sponsors who are interested in contributing to the future education of these children.
When it comes to healthcare, we in the West are blessed. We couldn’t help but think how easy it is to go to the doctor or a walk-in-clinic back in Toronto or any other city in Canada, for a minor cough or cold. Health clinics and medical facilities are scarce in the camps and – this may be hard to read as it was tough for us to stomach – one of the clinics had actually been padlocked shut due to a lack of funding! Money should never determine someone’s access to adequate healthcare and be the difference between life or death. HCI had previously discussed opening a health center in the camps and seeing the desperate need of patients combined with the locked clinic has furthered this priority on our agenda.
As we make our way back to Canada, witnessing the work on the grounds firsthand has inspired us to fight harder to do what we can – with your help – to provide access to even more resources, healthcare facilities, and education for the future of these refugees. Turning a blind eye and simply refusing to acknowledge that it is our responsibility as Muslims, as citizens of this world, to provide assistance and relief in whatever capacity is unacceptable and unfair.
Let’s make a difference together.
Donate now to the Rohingya Emergency Crisis.
Author: Mahmuda Khan, Executive Director
November 20, 2019