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Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems

I’ve written previously how and why it took 13 years to accomplish my dream of setting up an orphan sponsorship program. We started with 50 orphans in the displaced population camps, and then expanded to supporting Rohingya orphans in refugee camps who had lost both their parents to the horrors of the Rohingya genocide.

As of last year, we are now supporting 500 orphans through the sponsorship programs – 200 in the displaced population camps and another 300 in the Rohingya refugee camps!

Despite regulatory limitations, our program in the Rohingya refugee camps provides our orphans food security, an opportunity to access a safe space where they can learn basic math and language skills (following the UN curriculum), colour and sing; a welcome escape from the conditions life has forced them in and – perhaps most importantly – a glimmer of hope of a better future.
 
In the Saidpur displaced population camps, our program is all-encompassing, with food security, proper healthcare, quality education and an annual fun activity day, often a field trip to an amusement park with rides, games, and a delicious picnic.
An added element is that the orphan’s guardian(s) also benefit from the support, as we provide food for all of them as well.  And with the orphan being sponsored until they complete their education – either by learning a vocational trade or becoming a working professional – it alleviates significant pressure from their guardian(s). A full ecosystem of care has been built to help these orphans and their caregivers break the cycle of poverty and gain a foothold into opportunities that they are equipped to receive.
Breaking free from this cycle effectively elevates the social status of the orphan within the communities, as they go from being perceived as a burden in poverty-stricken societies to becoming the source of much goodness and benefit for those around them, like little gems.

I never imagined that we would achieve helping this many orphans, but truly it is they who help me. Reading their stories, seeing their pictures and following them through their childhood through calls, and visits has taught me that we are all a product of our circumstances. Some of us are born with all the right boxes ticked, others are not so fortunate; but what sets us apart is what we do with what we have been given. Stories of what some of our orphans have been able to achieve with the relatively little that we provide inspires a deep reflection about how we must continue to wear our humanity on our sleeves, and how much more there is to be done.
 

So please join us in discovering more little gems by supporting orphans; for it’s through elevating their status that we elevate ourselves.

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Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems I’ve written previously how and why it took 13 years to accomplish my dream of setting up an orphan sponsorship program. We started with 50

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