By Maureen and Ron Gardner, child sponsors
After our plans to visit our sponsored child were cancelled twice because of Bangladesh’s instability, we were given the go-ahead for our third visit in February.
After two days spent arriving in Dhaka, meeting with staff and having a security briefing, the next day it began. This was what we had been waiting for. Firstly, we had a briefing about the progress of all the programs they were working on. It was very impressive. We met again with many staff from our previous visits. It was great to see them again, and some new faces. Then all of us proceeded to visit our sponsored children and their lovely family. We have looked forward to this so much.
The whole family were waiting for us, even Rina and her new husband Sohel. We had sponsored Rina for almost seven years, so when she married we organised to sponsor her younger sister Popy, who loved the fact she was now the new sponsored child! We spent a great couple of hours with them and the village children.
Popy’s mum Ratna and her sister made a delicious morning tea for all of us – so generous! We were a very happy group. It was like a party! Then we had a wonderful afternoon attending the Child Forum Cultural Event. The children performed dances and plays with the theme “No marriage before 18”. They also made posters on children’s rights and read poems.
The next day we went to the primary school which Popy had gone to. All the past and present students were waiting. The children put on a cultural program for us. They were very talented. We met all the new littlies. They were so cute! After that we walked to where Popy is now at senior school. As well as a cultural display, the students showed us popular games; for boys the ‘rooster game’ and the girls ‘musical chairs’. We gave a computer and musical instruments to the school which we knew was needed through discussions with the community.