Rani’s home is her strength

 

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Imagine a day without basic amenities in life. A day without food, shelter, clothes, medical treatment or education. Imagine how challenging it is to struggle for a handful of rice every day. Imagine, you are sleeping in a sack that can fall down on you.

Rani Begum, a 33-year-old young lady lost her husband from blood cancer around 6 years back. She and her two sons live in the village Fuldi, under Gazipur district. Life revealed its harsh reality to Rani Begum and her kids after the departure of her husband who was the only earning member of the family. They used to live in an old shaded hut and could hardly afford food, clothes and other basic needs.  Rani’s mother in law was the only person to offer the least support for food and shelter during the tough time. Due to poverty, her elder son had to leave school and start working as an office support boy to generate some income for survival. Their inadequate house made them vulnerable to rain, storms, robberies and other natural disasters. The kids could not concentrate on their studies because of the congested and unhealthy environment. Moreover, being a young widow, Rani had to experience various socio-cultural threats as well. “I become helpless with my two kids when my husband died from blood cancer about six years ago. I could not provide food, shelter and other basic needs to my kids and I spent sleepless nights from that anguish. I have faced the cruelty of life as a young widow with two growing kids” Rani Begum recalls.

Work opportunities are very limited in the village of Fuldi, more challenging for women. Nevertheless, Rani managed to work as a housemaid for some families and hardly lived from hand to mouth.

DSC 2219Rani Begum heard about Habitat Bangladesh from her neighbors and applied for a home.  After the survey, Habitat Bangladesh built a new house for her under the KOICA funded project.  In August 2017, Rani Begum moved to her new house with her kids. “I can’t express my joy and happiness to have a brand new home for my family. This wonderful home has provided me the blessings to be safe and secured at any situation. My social status has been improved and my kids live in a comfortable and healthy environment. I am really thankful to Habitat Bangladesh and KOICA for transforming our lives” Rani said with a glow of happiness on her face.

This new home brought new hopes and aspirations in their lives which were something impossible and imaginary in the past. Her elder son has started school again beside his work. Her younger son is 13 years old and a student of grade 6, he dreams to become a cricketer in future. The new home offered them the opportunity to save some money as they don’t have to repair the house. Rani grows vegetables in front of her home which ensures some food security. The new home has brought stability in the family and has opened the doors to explore the life of Rani and her sons. 

 

A dream builds homes and hope

AKF2It takes a lot of effort to fulfill one's dreams, but it takes an even greater deal to help make someone else’s dreams a reality. Through assistance from various partners and donors, Habitat Bangladesh has been empowering people through shelter since 1999. On Friday, 17 November 2017 over a hundred volunteers gathered with representatives of Abinta Kabir Foundation, to help Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh to build 8 new houses for some of the poorest families in Brahmongaon Village in Kaliganj, Gazipur. With a donation from the Abinta Kabir Foundation, Habitat Bangladesh has set out to build 12 houses, complete with a latrine and tube-well.

A home is an essential part of living a dignified life. Habitat for Humanity understands that everyone should have access to a safe and stable shelter. Habitat Bangladesh has seen many such stories unfold. Stories of young widows with no proper roof over their heads, stories of families struggling to make ends meet, families that need to make a trade-off between choosing to fix a leaky roof and sending their children to school, stories of aged mothers with no one to look after them. While all the stories may be different, Habitat for Humanity works endlessly to ensure stable and sustainable shelter for such individuals, making sure they no longer have to worry about the roof over their heads rather they focus their incomes and their efforts on building a better future for themselves and their families. Habitat for Humanity does not simply build homes but brings with it the hope of a better tomorrow.

AKF10Habitat Bangladesh has been partnering with many national and international organizations in its efforts to fulfill its vision of creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat Bangladesh for the first time partnered with the Abinta Kabir Foundation, who have generously donated for 12 habitat homes in the Brahmongaon Village. The Abinta Kabir Foundation, keeping with Abinta’s zeal for volunteerism and her willingness to help the needy, donated for this project with Habitat Bangladesh. With this funding, Habitat Bangladesh organized a large build event on Friday, November 17, 2017. The event took place on the grounds of the local primary school, where the volunteers gathered for a short inauguration ceremony. John Armstrong, country director of Habitat Bangladesh, and Ms. Ruba Ahmed, founder of the Abinta Kabir Foundation and mother of Abinta, expressed their gratitude for having the volunteers come and work alongside the organizations in helping build the homes. Ms. Ruba in an emotional speech, remembered her daughter and her exceptional character. John Armstrong, National Director of Habitat for Humanity in Bangladesh urged the youth to use their time and effort to contribute in building a better society. Ms. Marcia Bernicat, the honorable US ambassador to Bangladesh, was among the volunteers working enthusiastically with her group and filling the floor with cement. The ambassador said that she believed our Creator has given us everything we need to make our world a heaven, but we need to work together to ensure that we can make that happen.

AKF23The volunteers showed great enthusiasm and motivation in their efforts, working tirelessly to complete the work before they could call it a day. Abinta herself had been a part of multiple volunteer build events with Habitat Bangladesh, while a student at the American International School Dhaka. Keeping with her zeal for volunteerism and her love for helping others, the foundation chose to donate money that would help realize the dreams of 12 families in dire need. The volunteers spent time working on the eight sites and getting to know the families personally. They worked alongside the home-owners, showing solidarity and making them feel loved and cared for. The home-partners were overwhelmed to see the volunteers put in such hard work into building their dream houses. The youth volunteers brought great energy and enthusiasm into the event. Their participation allowed the work to be completed beautifully while allowing the beneficiaries to feel a sense of camaraderie. The volunteers’ combined efforts, beginning with their assistance in organizing to finally building and handing over the houses, built hope for the families and for the community. 

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh

  Level 3, House # 12, Road # 16/A, Gulshan- 1, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
 Phone:  + 88 02 8832945
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