They all have a first name. Some of them even know their last name. Some are orphans and others have parents. Others yet don’t know their parents.
What happens to a child that is left to defend for themselves amongst millions of people in a cosmopolitan city like Dhaka before they are even ten years old? How does a young child manage to survive who loses their parents, their brothers and sisters, or gets separated from them? What happens if they have an accident and becomes disabled?
What happens to a child that is sold as a household slave to people they don’t know. Or even worse: What happens when they get addicted to drugs at the age of seven or ends up in prostitution?
In Dhaka, as in many such large cities of the world, there are thousands of children like these. Our work is to connect our creative western talents to the talents of the streetchildren which is growing every year. We introduced ourselves in their world and have the privilege to be let into their lives.
We have discovered how talented these childrens are which gave us a reason to visit them twice every year to work with them to have them off the street for a while and work on their future.
The Padakhep Foundation
On a visit to Dhaka in February 2004 Marjan van Lier got to know the Padakhep foundation. They offer day-care and shelter to the children who are orphans or become so from broken families and live on the street. In day-care the children get some basic education and one meal per day.
In addition, there is a doctor available and a counsellor to support the children who are traumatized by sexual abuse.
In the summer of 2005 the Padakhep foundation approached Marjan van Lier to support and sponsor the children financially so they could attend school and therefore could give a better destination to their own future.
Since Holland and Bangladesh are so far apart and giving money is so easy, she decided to plan a trip to connect the talents of the children and to teach them that there is a world in which chances and possibilities are also available for them.