Millions of children in Bangladesh end up living on the streets or in city slums. ECHO strives to give some of these children a place to feel safe and call home. In 2012, ECHO, in partnership with Givelight, decided to build a home and a school for orphans in Bangladesh. By the mercy of Allah and donations for generous donors, we built a home in Ashulia, which opened its doors to 50 girls in January of 2014. The orphanage is now home to 60 orphaned girls.
The orphanage and adjacent school are called the Shefa Institute and not only helps its residents but also helps local children in need of formal education. The school has a total enrollment of 120 children including the girls from the orphanage and kids from the neighborhood. In this area of Bangladesh, the majority of the inhabitants are struggling to make ends meet and this school provides quality education for less than 20 Taka (less than 25 cents) so that these children can pursue their dreams and make an honest living. The girls living at the orphanage have complete, free access to all the school’s services. Shefa Institute has qualified teachers for all standard subjects in addition to sports, Quran, and Sunnah.
The girls living in the orphanage range from 6 to 16 years old. A typical day starts with Fajr prayers, breakfast, school, fitness, Zuhr, lunch, relax, study, playtime, Maghreb, study, dinner, Isha, sleep and well repeat. All the older girls take active part in cleaning of the house, meal serving and setup and washing dishes. All girls are given lessons in Quran and many of them excel in memorization and often bring top-notch positions in Quran competitions. Everyone is given opportunities to develop their own niche and excel in it, be it sports, cooking, sewing, singing or studies. All the girls love to play sports and are good at badminton, sprint, bicycling, and soccer.
Our girls have not only excelled in education but have picked up awards in sports, Quran competitions, Arts and Singing competitions. Our goal is to bring up these orphaned girls, with respect and dignity and give them the right education, so they can fulfill their dreams. Every girl living at Shefa will have the opportunity to give back to Shefa and continue the culture of giving.
We welcome you to visit us at Ashulia, Bangladesh and become a part of our Shefa Team. You can help us by directly donating to Shefa or by sponsoring one of our girls. We hope to hear from you.
9 years (2014-2023)
Our goal is to bring up these orphaned girls with respect and dignity and to give them the best possible education and oppurtunities.
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the GiveLight Foundation, provided through their generous help and support.