Running the FFC Dhaka, Bangladesh, home costs about $13,500 Canadian per month. Expenses are for food, rent, salaries & bonuses for local staff, education and medical, and all other related expenses for the 78 children living in the home. We have one large apartment building. This building has many bedrooms for the children and their house mothers, two offices, therapy room, sewing & computer rooms, a library, kitchen and dining area. FFC used to rent 2 large apartment buildings but this became too expensive and now the children like being together in the one building. Opposite is a view of the FFC building. There are NO elevators!


All the children are completely abandoned and have no families. Most were brought in as tiny, high risk babies, and they are mostly girls. All the children attend a government school and 2 students are in university. This is expensive, but necessary. FFC wants the children to learn English and computers, along with academic subjects, so their future will be brighter, and the staff benefit as much as the children. Many staff came to FFC as destitute mothers and had no place to go; most of the rest of the staff are poor or are needy and are supporting large extended families with their FFC wages. All staff are paid a fair local rate for their work. Nine of our older youth are now part of the staff doing a variety of jobs.

dhaka site

We have 46 children with special needs. We have children with all different needs both mental and physical. We provide the children with physiotherapy 2 or 3 times a week to those who require it. We have a therapy room within the home. We have one nurse in the special care floor taking care of their needs as well as the other children. There are very few places in Dhaka that cater for the needs or well being of special care children. We have two teachers specially trained in special needs children who teach the children at the home and 3 more are being trained.

We recently received funding for coaching five of our students attending class 9 at a local coaching center. We have a deaf girl who is studying in the National Deaf Institution, at Bijoynagar, Dhaka. There are two teachers specifically trained in the area of special needs to teach our special care kids, and we have the special care school in the new house.

At left, and below, the art and sign language teacher, Sohel, who comes two days every week for four hours a day. The children love taking part in this class.

The photo at left shows Class 11 students, with Mukta on the left. All classes begin with a morning assembly which includes the national anthem, prayers, and physical exercises for the children. The children travel to the International School several times a month by bus. There is swimming in the pool, outdoor activities, snacks and lunch.


Mredula, seen above, is ten years old, and attends a school for the blind.


Below, Surma is shown watering the rooftop garden, where the children enjoy growing mangoes and guava.

Below, Joshna shows off her drawings. She has been enrolled in an art school, where she will attend classes as part of a four year course.

Lost and Found in Dhaka

Shikha and Shujon have teamed up to send in an amazing story. Shabuj lived in a village with his family, about four hours away from Dhaka. His grandfather took Shabuj to Dhaka to visit an aunt. Shabuj wanted to buy a toy, so his grandfather went into a shop. In some way, Shabuj and his grandfather became separated, and they could not find each other. Shabuj was brought to FFC Dhaka when he was about four years old. He is now twenty and has been studying at university in an honors course. Shabuj had now begun looking for his family, by posting photos and details on Facebook, and getting help from other organizations. In an exciting turn of events, his efforts were rewarded with success. Shabuj got to meet his family, and was almost unable to express his feelings. Relatives and fellow villagers were waiting to meet Shabuj, and most importantly his grandfather, who has suffered feelings of guilt all these years.


Ramadan

Shikha has written to say the Dhaka site has been celebrating Ramadan beginning on the 14th of April. The older children have been fasting from sunrise to sunset. They received donations of food for Ramadan from the Babylon Garment Group and other local donors. Every evening they break their fast and enjoy special meals.

Happy Holidays in Dhaka

The children and Staff at the Families For Children site in Dhaka have sent along their annual Merry Christmas greetings. The children were treated to a special menu, with a special Bengali cake with milk, and then rice with chicken curry for lunch. They played and enjoyed music.

The visitors brought special foods, such as Polowe rice, chicken curry, and eggs for all the staff and children. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed the special visit very much.

Film Stars Visit

Shujon has reported that the Bangladeshi action film actor, Joy Chowdhuri, who stars in seven movies, came to visit the FFC site along with his film heroines, and provided a good lunch and some happy times for the children.

Eid Celebrations

Shikha has sent along "Eid Mubarak" wishes from all the children at the FFC Dhaka project. People in Bangladesh are celebrating Eid today after a month of Ramadan. The girls received new dresses and henna. Special meals were served as well, with chicken, eggs and rice dishes for lunch.

The books and games were provided by our generous donors. The children were very happy to receive these gifts.

New Books

Muriel Hemmes visited the Dhaka project, and brought with her two large duffel bags full of books and games.

Rotary Club Visit

The very generous Rotary Club has once again helped out at the Dhaka project.

The Rotary Club put on a program of activities for all the children.

Interns

Shujon has reported that ten internship students from Uttara Town university college social works department have visited the Dhaka project. These ten students will be doing their internship with our special care school kids.

Books For The Library

Muriel Hemmes has written to say that on her most recent visit to the FFC project in Bangladesh, she brought along 100 new books for the library.

Lunch Time

We have twenty students who live with their parents. These children attend the FFC school. A morning snack and lunch are provided for the children.

At left, Rubi and China are shown preparing Chapati for the children.

The students have been making a box to hold kleenex. The training center also helps to find jobs for the students.

Trade School

Seven of the Dhaka children are attending a training center sponsored by the government. They are taking a six month course. There are a total of 27 trades available but all seven of the children chose wood working, and love going.

Some of the former girls also came to spend time with their family, and they also received new shoes and clothes for their children. A donor provided the dresses for the girls and new sports jerseys for the boys.

Religious Festival

Shikha reported that the people of Bangladesh celebrated one fo their biggest religious festivals. The FFC children celebrated the festival as well. The children received new dresses, shoes and a special meal. No school or study on these two days! As well as breakfast and mango for tiffin, a lunch with special fried rice, roast chicken and egg curry was served, courtesy of a kind donor.

Family Found

Narunnahar, now 25, originally came to live at FFc when she was just three months old. She is now working and living at a women's hostel. Through a friend and Facebook, Narunnahar managed to find her family. Narunnahar's family came to FFC to take her home to celebrate the Eid holiday together.


Her family has taken over guardianship of Narunnahar. The photos show Narunnahar with her father, brother, sister and other relatives.

The children were divided into three groups in order to do activities with the volunteer students. One group played cricket, another groups was in the library, and the others children did painting and listened to stories read by the visitors. All the children had a great deal of fun.

Students Visit Dhaka

Shikha has reported that the children enjoyed a visit from a group of young students. The visitors brought games, paintings and story books with them for the children.

With different traditional food and cultural program we celebrate. Kids took part in cultural program and had traditional food. On this occasion the main dish is Hilsha fish which is our national fish.

Bangla New Year

Shikha has reported on the Bangla New Year events. Yesterday we, the Bengali people celebrated the Bangla New Year.

Craft Project Meeting

Shujon, our Dhaka project manager, has reported on a team meeting for those involved in the crafts projects.


Four of the older girls, Sharmin, Lily, Roshni and Ruma discussed working in the crafts activities. Several of the special care children also took part, working on various craft ideas.

Lions Club Visit

Shikha has sent along news and a photo about a visit to Dhaka FFC by the Lions Club. The Lions Club donated new school bags for the children and fabric to make new school uniforms and bedsheets.

After visiting all the floors, the Singapore students took part in drawing activities. They had brought with them paper, colored pencils, erasers and sharpeners for the FFC children to use in their art, as well as cookies and candy. They showed the FFC children how to make paper boats and birds. They then made a presentation using a laptop to show the children something about Singapore. The FFC children in turn showed the visitors some Bengali dances.

Visitors From Singapore

The children at FFC Dhaka were visited by five students from Singapore. The visitors spent a great day with the children. They first had a tour of the FFC building and saw the children taking part in various activities, such as listening to music and dancing.

Eid Holiday

Shujon reports that the FFC children are enjoying a number of activities for the Eid holiday. The Special Care children got together with the school students to take part in singing and dancing.

The girl shown at left is Surma, who is new to the FFC project. Surma is deaf and cannot speak, but she can read lips and enjoys dancing.

Anita will now have a chance to do post graduate studies and is very happy to be there. To celebrate, Anita bought candies for all the children at FFC Dhaka and went there to hand them out. Anita thanks everyone at FFC who helped to make this possible.

Anita At University

Anita has written from Dhaka, to report that she has completed an honors course in Economics from IUBAT. She then applied for admission to a post-graduate Masters level course in Economics and was accepted after passing a public university exam at Jahangirnagar University.

New Games

Muriel Hemmes has sent along some photos of the children at the FFC Dhaka project playing with some of the new games given to the children.

New Clothes For Children

Anita has reported on events at the Dhaka site. Anita is working as an executive officer in a university Alumni Office, and is also working towards entering an MBA program. One of her co-workers, Monowara Begum, in charge of the university library, donated a supply of new clothing for the Dhaka children, all of which was badly needed and much appreciated by the children. Anita, on the right in the photo, grew up at FFC, and was delighted to see their smiling faces.

Pizza Treat

Shikha has sent along photos of five boys and five girls who enjoyed a special pizza meal as a reward for the excellent results they achieved in their latest school exams.

Shujon reports that the children participated in the drawing and hand-writing competitions, as shown in the photos.

Bengali New Year

Celebrations were held to mark the occasion of the Bengali New Year. On the first day the Uttara cultural society organized a program in which the children were able to take part.

The children also participated in cultural events, where they sang songs, took part in reciting poems, and Bengali dance.

A three day program was held, and the FFC children took part on the first day in art and handwriting competiton. Four children won prizes for their penmanship. Nila was first in the younger group, followed by Bristy and then Baby who was fourth. In the older group, Raehan placed fourth. At right, some of our students participating in the art contest.

Victory Day

The celebration of Victory Day for Bangladesh took place December 16. The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War was a war of independence, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and established the sovereign nation called Bangladesh.

Hasina and the FFC School

Hasina came to FFC when she was three months old. For the last 2 years she and six other students have been living in a hostel while studying in Grades 11 and 12. All of the girls failed one exam in their 12th year, and because of this, they failed the whole year. Next year, however, they can write the exam again. So, in the meantime, Hasina is working in the FFC school, earning a salary, living in a hostel and, along with the other students, hopefully studying.

Special Meal

Anita has reported that she helped the children celebrate a government holiday by purchasing 25 kg of chicken for a special lunch time meal. She was very happy to make the donation because the children really enjoy a good chicken curry Liton and the ayah's worked very hard to prepare and serve the meal.

Anita, in the blue and white shirt, came to FFC as a baby. She has now graduated from university, has a good job, and lives independently in a hostel with other young women.

New Shoes

The children at the Dhaka project have received a gift from Mr. Sohel, who teaches the children about computers. He raised donations from his friends during the Eid festival, and when Mr. Sohel learned that the students need new shoes for school, he went with Sikha to the Bata store and bought shoes for the children attending outside schools. The price was so good, that it turned out they could buy shoes for the children in the FFC school as well.

A Happy Girl

Lipi is one happy girl as she is reunited with her mom! She came to FFC at the age of 4 just after her father died. Her mom could not take care of her. Things have changed and she will be living with her mom. Lipi is now 19 and has been attending our school for children with special needs.

American International School

FFC Dhaka has always been closely associated with the American International School, and our children are always welcome there. The kids love the large playground, which gives them a chance to run and play sports. Shujon has sent word of some of the activities there, including games with the students from both FFC and the AISD.

Anita The Gymnast

Anita is still performing as a gymnast. Recently, she competed in the National Gymnastics Competition, and finished second on the balance beam. Anita has also graduated from university, and has now been hired to work as a Registry Officer at the university. Anita wrote to say that she is happy that things are going well in her life.

Several volunteers are seen working at the school with a number of different children, sometimes in groups as well as on a one-to-one basis.


Special Care School

Shujon has sent photos from the Special Care school.