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Newsletter November 29th 2021

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Dear Friends,

We bring you greetings and gratitude from the people of Bangladesh!

We are excited to announce that in person learning at the Light Schools have resumed. After being closed for almost 19 months, both students, teachers and parents are delighted that children are back in the classroom. In addition, our adult students were keen to get back into the class room as well. Teachers from the different Light Schools came together to plan out the rest of the year to ensure that the time left is used effectively. Teachers have started working with students to prepare for the final exam starting in the last week in November.

Covid protocols have been put in place have to ensure that everyone is safe. Students are thought the importance of washing their hands before class. Teachers have also met with parents to explain the protocols and answer any questions and concerns. We have distributed soaps to students to encourage good hygiene at home in addition to school.

In Kornopara, the village has provided two class rooms free of charge as a show of appreciation for the impact the schools are making on the community. Unfortunately, the rooms are in bad condition. Bangladesh is very wet during the monsoon season, which coupled with poor construction, results in the damage you see in the picture. Thanks to some of our patrons, we have received the funds to get this repaired. We are hoping that next year we can do more repairs to make the school rooms and grounds safe. We are hoping to take a team over to next year to help with this project.

Some highlights from our schools

We would like to share the profile of one of our students and thank you for the impact you are making to change precious lives. Neel Kormokar is 12 years old. He has two brothers. Both of his parents work but they don’t earn enough to support the family. During the lockdown, he went hungry for many days. Thanks to the food distribution provided by Banglahelp, his family received the much needed food packages. He has started making dolls from mud and paints them so he can sell them to help support his family. He is happy that school has started and is grateful for the chance to be educated so he can have better future.

Next year we anticipate having close to 1,000 children and 85 adult students. Included in the expansion we are opening the 8th grade. This is the minimum level that is needed for students to get an education that will help them make an adequate living. We have rented additional school rooms and have hired more teachers. This has stretched our finances to its limit. We have reduced the budget by closing the office used by the principal, cut the Christmas gifts for teachers and students in addition to various other cuts. We need your help to still meet of budget of $15000 dollars a month which equates to $15.00 per student. Please join us in helping provide these precious young lives the education they need so they may have a future that will take them out of this cycle of poverty.

Daulatdia Projects: Reaching the outcasts

In June 2021, we met with sex workers (or victims of the sex industry, as we prefer to call them, in Daulatdia, where the biggest brothel in the world resides. We learned from them about their pains and their needs. One of them said, “people come here to take pictures and make documentaries, then they forget about us.” We decided we would not repeat that mistake. Thus, in cooperation with Adventist World Radio and our donors we provided for their needs during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Kolpona, one of the ladies at the brothel, informed us that they were hungry due to lack of clients. We provided 2-weeks food supplies three times first for 60 women of the brothel, then for 200 people (100 women in the brothel and 100 villagers in the surrounding areas), and finally to another 100 women in the brothel.

Since then, their trust towards us has greatly increased. Our field person, Luther, has visited them several times; we continue to communicate with Kolpona and others via WhatsApp.

There are many more stories and project opportunities we would like to share with you. Thus, we invite you to join us in a ZOOM MEETING ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10TH, AT 6:00PM PST (Meeting ID 849 6552 2940 Passcode 505021)We would love to share more information with you and have the possibility to listen to your suggestions and answer to your questions.

The Banglahelp’s Board, our students, and their families are VERY GRATEFUL for your continual support.

May God continue to bless and protect your families during these uncertain times. May all of you and your families have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed Year in 2022.

With much gratitude,

Gerardo Toledo


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