Bitan’s story: From street to school
Bitan*, a 10-year-old boy in Bangladesh, dreamed of being a police officer when he grew up. That dream seemed impossible due to his family’s poverty, but Bitan has new hope for his future thanks to Nazarene children around the world who gave to the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries’ Kids Reaching Kids Mission Offering Project.
When his parents were unable to enroll him in school, Bitan ran away from home. He slept under a bridge and spent several days without anything to eat. Hunger finally drove him back home, where he began supplementing his family’s income by sorting trash on the streets.
Bitan and 29 other children caught the attention of staff from Dhaka Child Protection and Learning Center (CPLC) as they visited two poverty-stricken neighborhoods near the center to identify children with the highest degree of risk and vulnerability. The children, aged 6 to 12, were able to enroll in the center and receive a primary education, including moral values and child rights.
The students are also taught basic health and hygiene, social life skills, and Christian education in addition to playing games, singing songs, and memorizing poems.
“Bitan says that he enjoys a lot being at the CPLC,” said a staff member. “He also likes the meals that Child Protection and Learning Centre provides. He plays with other children there and takes health treatment when he becomes sick. He gets education materials like pens, pencils, exercise books from the center.
“He is now preparing himself to get admission to the formal school [and] hopes to be enrolled by next year.”
Established in April by Bangladesh Nazarene Mission (BNM), the CPLC received funds from SDMI's Kids Reaching Kids Offering, which is collected each year as children attend Nazarene Vacation Bible School.
“It is possible for a child to give a small offering at their VBS and think, ‘This is such a small amount. What good will it do?’" said Scott Rainey, global director of Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries. "God is able to take a few fish and few loaves of bread and feed a multitude! How encouraging to see these offerings used to change lives and share the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world! Thank you to every child, every parent, and every children’s leader who help SDMI share such blessings with the world through the Kids Reaching Kids offerings!”
*Name changed for security reasons.