Samia and Lamia are two orphan girls who were living in a remote village called Chormuguria, in the district of Madaripur. They have lost their parents at a very early age, and their family into bottomless poverty. They came to Dhaka seeking for a better life and started to living in a slum at Ershad Nagar in Tongi.
Samia suffered a lot and it was unbearable for a 10-year-old heart. A few years ago, life was not the same as it is now for Samia. Everything was going well. Samia's father Dulal Foraji was a factory worker and mother Khairir was a housewife. Her father’s earning was not much but good enough to lead a decent life of a family comprised of four members. They had their own land and a house where they used to live a happy life. “I was born in 2009. Both my father and mother were very happy to have their second daughter. As far as I can remember my parents had used to love me a lot”, said Samia spontaneously.
Their happiness didn’t last long. Her father’s factory was closed due to an unknown reason. Afterward, he got some money from his factory. Using that money, he bought an auto rickshaw and rented it to one of his friends for Tk. 50 per day. But unfortunately, in 2014, her father had died due to a brain stroke. At that time, she was only five years old. By taking advantage of her father’s absence that rickshaw puller had run away stealing the rickshaw. They tried to find him but failed. Samia's family fell into the sea of sadness. They suffered a lot both financially and mentally. She had gone to her maternal parents, with her mother and elder sister and they started to live with their old grandmother and uncle. Financial pressures impulse their once-contented mother into despair. Samia's mother took a desperate decision despite being an “Asthma” patient, she started working hard for her two daughters.
Samia’s mother came to know about the Tongi Children Education Program (TCEP) of ADRA Bangladesh. In the year of 2018, she admitted her two daughters in TCEP school. Samia got admitted into a pre-primary grade (Playgroup) though she was 9 years old, she hadn’t gone through any schooling system and her elder sister got admitted into grade five. They were trying to stay happy again but happiness didn’t last. Their mother suddenly became sick and she died in December 2018. Sadness came to their life again like an uninvited guest.
Samia’s uncle is a car driver who takes the responsibility of his two nieces. He is trying to fulfill their basic needs. Despite being an old woman, their grandmother is still taking care of them.
Lamia is getting stipends from an NGO to continue her studies while Samia is studying completely free in TCEP school. Both the sisters are doing very good in their respective school. They are getting all their educational materials from their school, such as books, pencil, pen, notebooks, and they also get nutritious meals once a week from their school.
“My mother taught me as a child that schooling is vital to success in life. Now, I’m trying to do good at my class, in TCEP school. I want to complete my graduation from university, then I want to join in a school as a teacher. I want to teach others about the importance of education so they too can prosper. I would love to take teaching as a profession. I think I can help underprivileged students by this profession,” Samia said confidently about her life goal.