This Universal Children’s day, Nighar from Bangladesh describes how Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship programme allowed her to gain an education and supported her through a very difficult period of time after her father passed away.

When I was a child my father was a vegetable seller. He didn’t earn very much, but we would get by and my sister and I had the basics we needed to survive. Then, when I was just 4-years-old, he died in a tragic road accident. Our lives were at once shattered, and the future seemed very bleak.

As my father was the sole bread winner, overnight we simply had no income. My mother tried to get work, but only found temporary jobs. She would occasionally work as a cleaner or was given the odd sewing job, but we had no reliable source of income.

If we were lucky, we would have one meal. But there were many days which passed without having anything to eat. We wore old, torn clothes and relied on the help of others. Life was very difficult.

Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship programme

Then, staff from Islamic Relief visited our home and told us about their orphan sponsorship programme. After learning of our situation and following the required procedure, I was selected to be part of the programme. This meant that Islamic Relief provided me with regular financial support, which was desperately needed.

They also helped my mother to join a self-help group, another initiative of Islamic Relief. She was given training on different ways to earn money, such as on sewing, running a small business and gardening.

This support was extremely valuable to her, and meant that she was able to run her own grocery store.

Nighar’s mother receiving sewing training

Support through education

Islamic Relief’s kind support and my mother’s effort meant that I was able to enrol in the village primary school, where I was very attentive to my studies. After doing well at primary school, I gained a place at a very good high school.

Islamic Relief also provided me with many extra-curricular activities, which I would not have been able to participate in otherwise, such as Scouts and computer training. These activities really helped me to develop my skills and confidence and I excelled at school, passing my Secondary School Certificate examination with a GPA of 4.19 out of 5.

I then joined collage and after four years of hard work, I completed my Diploma in Textile Engineering.

My dream was to become a fashion designer, and I was very fortunate to gain a place at Northern University, Dhaka, where I’m on the Bsc Textile Engineering course and have now completed seven semesters out of ten.

I wish to thank Islamic Relief for my success

Despite living through severe poverty and hardship as a child, my family and I are now living a much better life.

My mother got a job in a college and earns a good income, and her grocery store is also doing well. Our financial condition has greatly improved. We are blessed with being able to afford to eat three meals a day and we even have our own home.

In this eventful journey of my life, I am profoundly grateful to Islamic Relief. Without their support, it would not have been possible for me to stand here defeating the hurdles of my life. Islamic Relief extended their supporting hands to us when we were struggling to survive.

After I complete my bachelor’s degree, I wish to set up my own boutique so that I can create employment opportunities for poor and underprivileged people.

My story shows that with the right support, any child can attain success.

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