Dhaka, Bangladesh, is one of the most populated cities in the world with over 21 million residents. For context, Dhaka is slightly larger than Denver, Colorado, which is home for close to 750,000 people.
Here, extreme poverty and despair are as obvious as the cars, motorcycles, colorful rickshaws, massive trucks, and countless pedestrians that bring traffic to a crawl. A short jaunt beyond city limits takes hours. But Home of Hope — one of our main partners in the country — feels a million miles from Dhaka. Students here have found refuge from brutal family circumstances.
“Kids come here because they’ve been orphaned or they’re at risk of being trafficked,” says Sharon Smith, who co-founded Home of Hope in 1991 with her husband, Larry. “We give them an opportunity to have better lives.”
In the cafeteria, more than 100 students eat nutritious meals provided by Convoy of Hope and the harvests of the Smith’s forward-thinking agriculture program.
“They’ve built sustainable systems with aquaculture, gardens, and the raising of chickens,” says Jason Streubel, Convoy of Hope’s Senior Director of Agriculture and Food Security. “We’ll enhance these projects by increasing their capacity, efficiencies, and sustainability.”
Bangladesh is just one of 18 countries where Convoy of Hope globally serves more than 300,000 children. “We chose these countries because of the extreme poverty and overwhelming need,” says Jen Collier, Convoy of Hope’s Regional Leader for Eurasia. “But there are many other places that need our support.”
In other words, with millions desperate for help, the work is just beginning.