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A new week of gratitude- Young women like Shabera are an inspiration.

November 12, 2012

Shabera, with her parents.

Twenty year old Shabera lives in Geneva camp in Dhaka with her parents and two brothers. Her father drives a rickshaw for a living while her mother is a home-maker. Shabera’s older brother is a drug addict and only adds to the family’s mounting financial problems. The younger brother could only study up to grade four as the family could not afford to send him to school. Shabera tried to seek help from AWARD, a social welfare organization, to enable her to take her high school exams but was refused. The family dredged up some money which enabled her to sit for the exam. AWARD helped Shabera gain admission into college once the organization saw her great high school grades. Once her initial two years in college were over, Shabera wanted to pursue her education toward a professional degree.  Common to the cultural of a poor, conservative family set up in that part of the world, her family did not want her to continue studying; they could not afford to educate her further, in any case.  OBAT decided to support her education and she is now enrolled in the BBA program (Bachelors in Business Administration) at the University of Bangladesh. In her own words, “I didn’t ever think that I could be a student in a university. It is because of OBAT Helpers that I was able to continue my education. If they had not helped me, I could not have worked towards a graduate degree. It is because of Mr. Murtaza (Murtaza is the Finance Director at OBAT’s office in Bangladesh) that I found out about OBAT. He came to my house one day and told us about the organization. He made my family understand the importance of education and gave us hope. Really, all the staff of OBAT has helped me, for which I will always be grateful to them.”

As is the case in all families, there are a lot of ebbs and flows in Shabera’s household as well. Shabera handles them with aplomb and by working harder than before. She contributes to her father’s income by tutoring children. She also volunteers for OBAT and teaches Math at OBAT’s tutoring center. Shabera is very proud to be a part of OBAT and her family is really happy about the support they are receiving.  According to her mother, “We are really grateful to OBAT Helpers. Without their help, my daughter could not have studied further. I hope that the organization is able to help other children who want to study, just the way they helped Shabera.”

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