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Support Freedom Story—Light of Hope—Bangladesh

A Light of Hope

WorldCrafts and Light of Hope Provide Education and Opportunity in Bangladesh

A thin, dirty girl sits dejectedly on the curb as pedestrians filter past her. Young Farjana is tired and does not feel well, but she knows she must earn more money before she can go home for the day. “When I was very young, my father died,” Farjana says. “My mom was unable to manage our family by providing food and other needs for us. The last six years I have been going to a major intersection to beg and earn money for my family. We did not have food at our house. Some days I was starving due to having no food. My life was painful.”

Farjana does not go to school and cannot read or write. She is just one of Bangladesh’s estimated 700,000 beggars. Girls from low-income families like Farjana face obstacles and dangers in their life—including the potential for sexual trafficking and exploitation. Beggars are seen as nobodies and only good for cleaning, cooking, sex, and child-bearing. They are often beaten and verbally abused. They are seen as objects instead of real people.

In this darkness, a bright light shines through. The Light of Hope Learning Center is a women’s shelter that provides education, teaches life skills, gives health care and encouragement. Women spend their days learning and growing in all areas—intellectually, morally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially—instead of spending their nights and days in dangerous and vulnerable situations.

Rehka started going to the Light of Hope Learning Center when she was eleven years old after her father separated from her family. After her father left, he stopped providing for his wife and his children, leaving the entire family vulnerable and destitute. “When I started going to school every date at the center, I could see that my life was going to be different,” Rehka says. “I realized that I got a new life. It made me truly happy.”

Girls at the center are able to enjoy luxuries they normally don’t have—taking a shower; brushing their teeth; putting on a clean school uniform; and receiving two hot, nutritious meals each day. The girls acquire important job skills by learning to sew and embroider handicrafts. The income from this work allows them freedom, independence, and hope for a better life and future.

Support the women of Light of Hope by purchasing their hand-sewn products.