Monday, November 30, 2009

news from Ali, 30th Nov 2009

Dear all

Greetings from Bholas Children Protibondhi School.

The Boat sank down in the river Megna that is not
our Boat which we use to go to Dhaka. News today
it was 74 dead body is recovered and many
hundred is still missing. It was lot of people
fully crowded every where it was full even on
the roof and in down where they keep the goods and
things. People was in down couldn¹t get out
mainly children and woman is killed.

We observed the Eid-ul Azha children get very
good food, went to river Megna had been very
happy full day, at evening seen the TV about
more than half night. Some Children went home
to join with their relatives.

On 3rd December we are going to observe the
International disability day. We will be
together with other School children, we will
have relay for a kilometer, sports, singing,
Dance, prize distribution etc.

If it will be any possibility for you to join
any where with the disabled children do it
please, you can see us there.

Lots of love from your children.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dinah and Anne's trip to Bhola, August 2009

Dinah's report on her and Anne's August 2009 visit to Bhola

Dear all,

Anne and I had a wonderful time. We were incredibly
lucky with the weather: it was never too hot although
Ali says the temperature has shot up since we left.
There was rain most days, often in the early morning –
serious rain, which made the roads int
eresting! It was
lovely sleeping on the third floor of the new building, which
is extremely comfortable and relatively co
ol among the tree tops.

I will, however, try to avoid Ramadan in the future. The
children were up half the night and asleep in the mornings!
What is more, Anne and I were twice foolish enough to eat
rather too much of the delicious 7.30 snacks when we had
guests, forgetting we w
ould be served a large supper
some two hours later.

We now have 7 geese and, I think, 8 ducks in the boundary.
They are loving the puddles, of course, and its great to
see them swimming along behind a boat full of children!
Still two dogs, and the occasional rat but none on the
third floor... The new kitchen has been built and is waiting
for its equipment to be bought and installed.

We spent a lot of time on the new land at Valimia,
which is pretty wet at present but being brilliantly
cultivated. One day we bought and planted over
100 fruit trees, and Ali will soon be sowing the n
crops of vegetables. As you can see from the attached
photograph, Ali has kindly built a nice little bench for
visitors to sit and superv
ise the work!

The children were all in great form and obviously
delighted to see us. There were about eight new
faces, and all the old friends came back to stay while
we were there, apart from poor little Sima with the leg.

Since her mother remarried she lives with her grandfather.
She seldom talks or laughs now, nor has she grown at all.
You who have been with us
from the beginning will
remember Sima’s beaming face, even with her poor leg
in plaster or a metal brace. Ali and I went to see her
and suggested she come to live with us, but this would
mean loss of face f
or grandfather. We can only hope.

Fatima has almost finished her treatment and is
trying to find work as a beautician. She would like
to set up her own business in Bhola Town but is not
yet experienced enough, and there is no local work
for her. She could find a job in Dhaka but has nowhere
to stay…

We will explore the possibility of a new prosthetic
leg for Laily – kind friends have made suggestions
and offered financial help.

Ali arranged for Sima teacher and her cerebral daughter
Sonali to spend two residential weeks doing cp training.
Sima gave us all a brilliant presentation on all aspects of
caring for cerebral palsy children, and she has done
wonders with Sonali who is much stronger. We hope
she will teach Sahadut’s mother to do all
the exercises
so that dear little boy will one day be running around.

All the other children are well and there were no illnesses
or visits to the hospital. We had a moment of panic when
one of our school children, a six y
ear old autistic girl called
Tumpa, walked out of her house early one morning. Ali had
a phone call from Tumpa’s s
tepmother – her father works
abroad and her mother, a slow learner, lives in Barisal.
He shot off to search on his motorcycle, and other staff
read out her description on the loud ha
iler. Fortunately
this led to somebody reporting they had spotted her in
a house after she had crossed saturated fi
elds and
streams, and she can’t swim. We think she was trying
to reach her natural mother, she had taken some clothes
and two pairs of shoes. Ali brought her home and she
has lived with us eve
r since. She is a darling pretty little
girl who speaks to one very earnestly, r
emembers things
one has done or worn, but of course cannot actually
communicate, so we had been very frightened indeed.

Anne and I lent our iPods to the deaf children and a
remarkable number of them have hearing, at least
in one ear. Anne had a programme of Bengali words
and two children, Rabeya and Earuddin, could repeat
the words after they were spoken
. Ali is going to test
everyone once he gets new batteries for his machine.
Please keep your fingers crossed we can
do something
for these children.

Finally, our Christmas card. I had told the children when
we arrived that there would be a competition for the
best picture which would be our Christmas card this
We had several practice classes, when they improved
dramatically, with or without using stencils. Then on the
final day, to everyone’s amazement, dear Tasnur produced
a really lovely drawing which is attached. Tasnur is very
special for me, since she was the first I met of Ali’s children.
Aged about 12 or 13, she has graduated from classes and
is now training in tailoring, and nobody had any idea she
could draw. We love the image (photo below) which shows our house,
our children, our dog and trees flowers and vegetables,
and with the sun shining on us all. I will be ordering
cards in due course, an
d if anyone is interested in buying
some I would love to hear from you. All proceeds, as usual,
to Bhola’s Children a
nd I promise you they will be cheaper
to mail than last year’s card!

Ali asked me to send you all love and thanks from him

and the children. We all thank you for your support,


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dinah's Report, March 2009

Dear all,

It will not be easy to keep this account short; ­
every one of my twelve days with Ali and the
children was packed with different events and activities.

I hope you enjoyed Birgitta and Christer¹s account
of Ali¹s birthday celebrations. They are members
of the Swedish Support Group for Bhola, without
whose help it would have been difficult to buy
the property two years ago. It was good that
they could see our progress and be present at
the party. Ali¹s birthday was a wonderful
excuse to christen the new building, and
the following day we moved most of the girls
into two rooms on the first floor. Then Asma¹s
tailoring section transferred into a third room.
This became a wonderful oasis of calm and industry,
I often sat with them during the heat of the day
before lunch and never failed to be amazed by the
quality of their work, much of which I have to say
is now in my house ­ the presents at my farewell went
on and on, and I began to wonder whether Bhola
town sold suitcases.

Moving the tailoring section means Ali now has
his own bedroom, next to his office in the old
building, so we hope he now gets uninterrupted nights¹

Everyone apart from Ali and I, although we did
join the first lunch, began taking their meals
in the new building. They sit on the floor and
Monira quickly made three trays on wheels so that
the girls serving could push the huge bowls round
the room.

During one of our rooftop meetings in the evenings,
Ali and I realized that a fire drill was needed now
that the children were living in the new building.
The first floor has access to the next-door roof,
but the second and top floors could be dangerous
with only one staircase. So the fire
brigade came to give us all much needed instruction.
Ali collected the 100 girls from the government
orphanage, along with their director and some
staff, and we had an extremely interesting talk
from six handsome firemen, followed by a very exciting
practical demonstration outside. Anne, we are
invited to the fire station in August!

The boundary is looking lovely, apart from the
building site in front of the construction.
Ali had waited till I arrived to make a decision
on taking down two large palm trees which gave
nothing except shade in the vegetable
garden. They boys and men had them down
before you could say knife and,
amazingly, dropped the huge trees in
such a way that not a single papaya
tree was damaged.

As you can see, the exterior of the
new building is finished and we all
think it looks beautiful. The ground
floor room is being used, although
food has to be carried a long way from
the existing kitchen, it will be a
while before the new kitchen is built.

The girls and Asma's tailoring are
in residence in the undecorated first floor
which only has basic plumbing, and we will almost
certainly leave the boys in their present rooms until
next year, when we have enough money to do the
work on their floor. But everyone is pleased with
the accommodation they have, and I will be more
than happy to sleep on the floor of the wonderful
guest room at treetop level, though I suspect beds
will be taken up for us. The roof terrace is a
joy, especially at sunset, and we had a couple of
roof meetings up there,which the mosquitoes loved
when they found a large area of white flesh.

We have knocked a hole in the wall leading to
the land behind the boundary, and will be completing
earth filling of the ponds quite soon. When I left,
digging of the septic tank had begun and when I spoke
to Ali yesterday, he reported it was almost finished.

The other good news was that the existing well
has sufficient pressure to get water up to the
top floor of the new building, which will save us a lot
of money. We were so happy when we tested it and it worked!

The new land at Valimia is wonderful. There is a
mass of vegetables, pumpkins, bananas. We went
over several times to work and to harvest, and
had our picnic there. Ali had finally managed
to persuade a family living in our house there to
move out, so the boys had a great fun knocking down
the shack and partly rebuilding a new, stronger one.
The girls did their usual vegetable-picking, looking
beautiful and asking for their photographs.
The large island in the far field, in which we have
planted 500 pumpkins, was only accessible by a

wobbly branch, which I spurned, so that afternoon
the boys built a wonderfully solid mud bridge and
we can now easily get to the pumpkin field. This
is where our group photographs were taken.
Picnics are great fun, I was having such a good
time I went over in the
first busload and came back in the second.
Muntu, who counted heads for me, said we got
30 into the microbus. And the generator!

I felt that classes were better run than in
November. We have a lovely new teacher, Masuma,
a 17 year old orphan who teaches well and has the
added advantage of being very musical so we are
not totally dependent on Rina for accompaniment.
The deaf children had their daily classes with Sima,
and everyone seemed to be working well although we
still need tuition for the blind. I met a nice young
man who will come every Friday afternoon to teach
art. I showed him the stencils I took with me, which
were a great success: small themed books with 6
stencils in each, the more able children soon
learned how to make a composition on one piece of
paper, and I am hoping to get our 2009 Christmas
card picture when I go back in August. I also bought
large simple Early Learning stencils which were great
for the less able and especially for the blind ­ Mamun
caught on very quickly and by the last
lesson, was drawing the outlines and filling them
in perfectly. My photograph is of his first attempt.

We have a lovely Hindu singing teacher who comes
two afternoons a week. I always sat in on these
classes and am endeavouring to learn the words
of a splendid song which I believe is about boats
and fishing. The teacher very sweetly wrote the
words down for me ­ in Bangla script! I will master it
next time, it certainly makes a change from
We Shall Overcome.

One lovely surprise, which Ali gave me when I
arrived, was that Sharmin and Shamoli were
coming back to Bhola with their 6-month old
son Shemanto. They arrived the same day as
us and it was great to see them again. Sharmin is
such a good worker, and Shamoli a wonderful
mother ­ Surma could learn from her! Little
Shemanto is adorable and of course enjoying
suddenly having 30 brothers and sisters.

One sadness, for me and for all of us who
visit regularly, is that little Sonia has gone home.
She has been there for nearly 3 years and her father
has returned from Dhaka. I don¹t think Bruna,
Jose or I will ever forget the stern, fully covered
mother who come to collect Sonia on our first open
day. After being dragged off kicking and screaming,
Sonia moved in with us the following day. She is
such a character and we will all miss her.
Happily our other baby, Haftsa, is still with us
although her father is also planning to come back.
We made a wonderful trip to Haftsa¹s house and met
her family, and on the same trip we visited
Fatima¹s brother¹s family.
Fatima has become one of my greatest friends
at Bhola, she is such a lovely girl and so incredibly
beautiful with a natural grace, it is heartbreaking
to think her body might remain so scarred.
She is going monthly to Dhaka for treatment
but Ali says the extent of her burns mean
plastic surgery is impossible. I have a
sub-group of Fatima supporters who have sent
photographs of her injuries to burn specialists
in Dhaka and India, if it is possible I think
they will finance skin grafts.

Money continues to be a problem. The cost
of living has rocketed once again, Ali
and I retreated most mornings to the top
floor and did our number-crunching, but in
the end the draft budget we sent back to the
trustees made grim reading. If anyone knows
of any company or charitable
trust which might be interested, please do
let us know. One of our donors has kindly
recommended Bhola¹s Children to the person
in his company responsible for charitable giving,
and I have a meeting with her soon. Any
other such recommendations would be so very welcome,
since we private individuals are all feeling
the pinch.

It was a wonderful trip and two weeks are
certainly far better than one for me, giving
us all time to do everything we needed to do
and have time to just be together.
I think the high point each day for most
of us was teaching Mammi sign language and Bangla.
We had huge fun and I even managed to make a few
jokes. The low for me was the constant power cuts,
which meant no fans in the heat of the evening.
and the Islamic festival in the village, blaring
out heaven knows what over loudspeakers for three
evenings until late into the night. Otherwise, it
was pure joy and I miss them all.

Thank you for your continued support and interest,

Very best wishes,

Ali's Birthday Celebrations & Christening the new building, 2nd March 2009

Message from Birgitta & Christer Wallhagen and Lena & Lennart Backman, March 09

Our experience of meeting with Bhola Children

To have the opportunity to visit Bhola Children
has made our lives richer. Getting together in
an atmosphere of love, where religion, disability or
other status is not important but the love of God

The joy to live in their own paradise on earth
without fear of not being good enough to be removed
or supported by the Community. Unfortunately it is
these people's experiences in these previous life.
They have been removed fromthe selected context.
It can not leave anyone indifferent. It's really the
way we all would face each other to see the possibilities
in every human being in spite of our limitations.
Remember when our newly won friends sang
together, "We shall overcome one day and we
are not afraid", it was impossible to hold
back the tears.

It is precisely this type of community that
we all need. Where our hearts meet in love and
grateful public intersection. This produces grace.

The day after we arrived, we got to attend the
inauguration of the new house children are now moving
into. Then it was more than a party. It was incredibly
gratifying to see how well the children have received it.
This was also Ali's birthday and the first time he had
celebrated it in 56 year, so knew joy no bounds.
We took part of the dancing and were allowed to see
how the deaf girls danced with a great sense of rhythm
in their bodies.

What a privilege to be involved in the children's
joy who have experienced that their disability
has made them outcasts from the family and society
have brought them to a heaven on earth. Where
everyone felt love for its own sake.

It is clear that we sent many grateful thoughts
to all people who have given of their abundance
to these children. Hope that the joy from the
children and young people is spreading to the people
who have opened their wallets and given to those
in need.

Birgitta and Christer Wallhagen
Lena and Lennart Bäckman

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bruna's Report, January 2009

Dear Friends,
It’s nice to come back to you again with the latest news of our last trip to Bhola. This time we decided to go earlier, therefore, the Three Musketeers - Eleonora, Jose’ and Bruna - and twelve pieces of luggage (!) flew to Dhaka on the 2nd of January.

Because we thought it was better to travel ‘light’, Eleonora and Bruna already in November last year sent by ship to Ali and the children 14 big boxes with medical equipment, tools and machines for the workshop, ítems for the kitchen and the new building, stationery, different games (always educational of course!), all sorts of sewing ítems, including a new sewing machine for our fantastic Asma, arts and craft material and a football table and hockey table! We Italian girls still cannot grasp the ‘wisdom’ of cricket!.

This time we had organized to fly to Bhola chartering the amphibious plane of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). Unfortunately although we were only four people flying, the luggage was still too much and too heavy, therefore we Three Musketeers went ahead with some pieces while Ali and two pieces of luggage went by overnight ferry.

The trip to Bhola took only 35 minutes and we arrived in bright sunshine It was still very emotional to see so many people at the side of the river looking at our ‘mechanical’ bird landing softly on the water, recognizing immediately the familiar faces of Mantu and Mosharef, the always very excited and smiling Saladin that sat at the back of the Toyota van on top of the luggage!!.

In the boundary the children welcomed us with three beautiful bouquets of flowers, hugs, kisses, cries of ‘Mummy…..mummy, auntie….auntie…uncle…‘ all eager to help to carry the heavy suitcases. Obviously we couldn’t miss noticing the new big building, nearly finished, a little overwhelming even if we had already seen many photos of it. We could also see many men working and some of our very proud boys helping.

We saw new faces among the children and the staff; we recognized from the photos Fatima, the young woman that had terrible burns mainly on her chest and arms, with the most beautiful face intact; we finally met Ronazid, Ali’s main help and substitute that joined us two months ago. It was an immediate good, positive feeling. He is a very gentle, polite but not shy man; communicative and attentive. We saw him many times later interacting in a very natural, warm way with the children. He shared with us an immediate understanding of many situations, some problems and possible future resolutions and a willingness to be really part of Bhola's Children Family.

I must admit that this time our stay was much more challenging because of the effects of the still on-going works of the new building. Although we three had the same rooms like last year, the girls had to sleep on the floor in the next door classroom making the life of always sensitive Jose’ very difficult! Eleonora and I used ear plugs , therefore we could not hear so much of the girls chatting, baby crying, 5 am clattering of the Hindu kitchen …. the usual life of a home full of girls!.

Talking to Ali and observing the children, we realised that after a successful successful beginning there is now the need to involve better more qualified teachers, introduce a new bigger and more specific curriculum and above all a teacher and material specialized in blind students. It is always good and inspiring to see children with different disabilities to study, work, live together and help each other, but there is also now a need to give at times more specific guidances and learning techniques according to the different disabilities. Obviously it is a passing phase, but it was good to be able to analyse with Ali the present new and unusual situation, already introducing positive and effective remedies, planning future ones, learning and understanding the evolution of this fantastic unique project.

We organized a beautiful, exciting celebration of the Epiphany on the 6th of January when in Italy is tradition to give presents to the children. As usual Jose’ made the most beautiful drawing on the board of the Three Wise Men; we prepared then all different colourful bags full of personal presents for boy/girl, man/woman, including very colourful wooly scarves (it is actually quite cold in January), deodorants, perfumes, shower gels, shampoos, beads kits, car models, etc….. I told the story of the Italian tradition symbolizing the Three Kings coming from three different countries to bring presents to Jesús, and how we three, coming from three European countries liked to give all of them our presents on this special day. It was a very happy, funny, cheerful and exciting time. Everybody was so thrilled with all the goodies and surprises found in the bags. Needless to say, nearly everybody has been wearing the wooly scarves since!.

Although we didn’t manage to go for a picnic, we went to see the new land that is really big and very nice. We talked of the different ways to use it and above all of the immediate works needed, but wisely Ali agreed that we should wait until the new building is finished.

It wasn’t only a time for distributing gifts. We talked a lot of the future of Bhola's Children considering how much has already grown and once the new building will be finished how it will change even more. There is always the issue of Ali being in charge of everything, being very tired and thin. The need of finding more people like Ronazid that can take some responsabilities away from Ali. Creating a team where also others can take decisions within an area where they should be responsable. It is difficult for Ali to trust others, but we discussed a lot about the problem reaching the conclusion that Ali and all of us need to take some courage and even risk to put different people in charge, even to make mistakes, but it is the only way to train future teachers, helpers and carers.

It was a short but very intense visit, somehow more demanding that the last one, more challenging and in a way more serious. Going away was as usual painful with lots of tears and cries “ …mummy go… auntie… go”; at the same time it was less dramatic, there was some serenity and understanding of our future coming back, some awareness of continuity, I really felt a proud mother …. our children are growing up!

Bruna (little heart)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Faruk and Shippu, January 2009

Children gardening on the new land, January 2009

The New Building, January 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anne's report on her Christmas visit to Bhola, December 2008

The Journey
It was a joy to spend Christmas week at Bhola.
The warmth of the welcome was even greater than the
warmth of the sun ­ it was like going from a world of
black and white to one of vivid colour! It was a
long journey to get there; the fog that had grounded (
or diverted) all flights after mine, hit Dhaka
in the early hours of the next morning
(at least it wasn¹t a cyclone this time) and
Ali and I finally arrived off the launch at 2pm,
rather than before breakfast as
all the children had expected.
There were lots of phone
calls saying: "dadu where ARE you and sister?"

The Children
The children all appeared in great form, looking well
and happy,and enjoying my efforts at Bangla and
at signing. It was great to meet the old friends
and make some new ones, joining in the
classroom and all the games.

Fatima¹s burns are healing slowly but nicely.
She will almost certainly need skin grafts but
she is looking after herself well and getting
Lailey, whose cooking remains a high point
(³Lailey¹s London soup²)
is much more comfortable with a new prosthetic limb ­
the sores are gone and she has little pain. Shurma
is having some problems with her artificial eye
but this is under medical control.

Little Sonia and Hafsa are the best of friends,
when they¹re not fighting madly. Hafsa is a
child always busy: she had decided
to embroider a complicated design as a
gift for me and spent the week bent over her
stitching, even as she walked around
the boundary or watched TV.

A number of the children living at home came
back to visit: Dilruba, Khaleda, Maksud and
Putul all arrived. Along with Farouk, and Saladin,
who is a tremendous worker and whom Ali
is paying a small salary, Maksud was helping
with the building work and seemed much happier
that the poor little thing that
Dinah described in November. He¹s still very
skinny, but hisfather who did come in to speak to
Ali, argued that the whole family is small and
skinny ­ and this is true!

As many of us as could fit in the minibus (lots!)
went out to the new land which is looking beautiful
and ­ like the boundary garden ­ full of organic fruit
and vegetables growing at a great rate.

The Building
The new building is a triumph, both in the design
(all thanks to Ali) and the speed at which it has ­ safely ­
gone up; and all with bamboo scaffolding and labourers
carrying bricks on their heads (something that all the boys
delighted in showing me their proficiency). The third
floor was finished before my arrival and the ground floor
and all the bathrooms were being painted and tiled.
It will make such a difference for everyone to have a proper
building to sleep in, the girls sleep uncomplainingly on the
floor of the classroom but it can¹t be comfortable week after
week. For visitors, the odd quiet moment on the top verandah
with the view as the sun sets will be an added bonus.
The ground floor room will be a great multi-purpose
space and might even bring in some extra income.
It would be perfect to rent out
for meetings and events, Ali says its by far the best
space on Bhola and is fully self-contained.

Now that the worst of the building is over, games have
resumed in the entrance to the boundary and there
is fierce competition over the nightly badminton games!
(of course it still vies with the lure of the television).
There is also great enjoyment in the rowing boat, which
all the children who can swim, are allowed to take out ­
wonderful way to spend an hour watching the fish jump.

It was a pleasure to meet Ronazid. Now three months
into his position as Ali¹s second in command, it is
as if he has always been part of the family.
The children respond well to him and he clearly
enjoys spending time with them, and he seems to
balance this well with all the administrative work.
Like everyone else in the boundary, he was always busy
with something. He took charge of the Friday evening
meeting (Ali was an onlooker) and handled it fairly
and well ­ even with limited Bangla it was easy to
see that. Of course,Ali still does far too much,
but having Ronazid is a great start.

Farewell to Ruhul Amin
The week was very overshadowed by the final illness
and death of Ruhul Amin, an orphan who had been with
Ali for forty years. As we all know, Ruhul Amin
had been sick for a long time and this time, as we
took him to the hospital in the microbus, heaven sent.
Prior to this he would have had to go by public bus
or on the back of a rickshaw van (a pallet on wheels
pulled by a rickshaw). He was admitted with
advanced kidney failure,and he died that evening.
My constant memory of Ruhul Amin
will be of a simple and gentle man who was
always so delighted to join in and get his share
of sweets and treats. And a special mention to
Taznour and Agamoni who looked after him
so well on that last trip to hospital; 13 year
old girls with the compassion and capability of
people much older.

The grimness of the government hospital and the lack of
state care was a sad but timely reminder of the harsh
realities of life in Bangladesh, something from
which we are very insulated as visitors in the boundary.
This also came home to me when I met the superintendent
of the government orphanage for girls, which just up
the road. When I went with Rina and Massima for a visit,
the 100 girls were well fed, dressed, and seemed happy
but their accommodation and the environment around
them was basic to say the least ­
and of no comparison to our Boundary.

Being in Bhola really was the perfect way to spend
Christmas: understated, non-commercial, lots of
fun and with people you love. We had coloured
fairy lights, a Christmas tree, the Christmas story
and gifts for everyone. There was an interesting
moment when I asked Ali if we could buy a small gift
for the children and he thought I said goat,
and he was planning how we would kill it together
instead it was tiny bouncing balls for the boys
(a real hit) and bracelets for the girls (always a winner)
as well as some clothe or lengths of material for
each of them. Ali made some sweets ­
he could have a second career here ­ with coconut,
milk, nuts and spices. Absolutely delicious!

I spent a lot of time in the classroom with the children,
learning alongside them as they prepared for the end of
year exams. Shati, Rabeya and Earudin in particular, got
their books out daily and ensured I did the homework with
them. I got the honorary position of colouring and
drawing teacher for the week, and naturally we had
the loudest oftraditional singing and dancing sessions.

Working with Ali, I started taking some biographies of
the children for the website and "sponsor a child" scheme
(which will also be good to have as an archive of
the charity).
This was slow work as there was always something
else to do, and often there is so little information,
but it has begun.


As always it was a pleasure and a privilege to spend
time with Bhola¹s Children. It really is a second home
and, as Dinah will agree, it gets harder and harder to
leave each time. It¹s a place with lots of laughter
and some tears ­ just one big loving family with all
the good things and the challenges that brings.
The achievements since last year, especially in
terms of the new accommodation, have been amazing.
So, many, many thanks to Ali and all of the children
for letting me be a part of it all. I¹ve come
home inspired to spread the word further about
Bhola¹s Children, not to mention working out when
and how the next trip will come about!

Anne Hamilton,
January 2009

news from Ali, 10th January 2009

Dear all

We had a very busy time with the Bruna, Jose,
and Elonora they have bought so many things for
the children they send 14 boxes by ship and
bring 12 boxes with them it was so much things
we had been given to the children. Lots of stuff
for he new building and for the kitchen. We
don’t get any time to go for picnic. Children are
very happy to get so many games and the things,
total it will be some tons, to day we are
flying back to Dhaka, and hope to see you soon.

Lots of love from your children.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Dear all,

Well, 2008 has seen a lot of change at Bhola Garden. New building....there's certainly a feeling of great progress as we move into 2009.

In recent news......Dinah went over to Bhola in November, and was delighted by the new building, which has developed so much in such a short time. It looks fantastic, and will make a huge difference to life at Bhola Garden.

At the beginning of December, Ali was very involved in the organization of International Disability Day. Children from Bhola Garden won 9 prizes on the day, for competitions for the blind, Deaf, and for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Anne also recently visited the Island, and Dinah is due to return for another visit in February. With so much going on at Bhola Garden, and so much progress to see, it is clearly difficult to stay away!

As we move into 2009, there is much to look forward to; the completion of the new building, the cultivation of new land.....we still have a long way to go. But, encouraged by the great strides taken in 2008 it is with optimism and excitement that we move forward into a new year at Bhola Garden.

Many thanks to our friends and supporters and best wishes to you all for a wonderful 2009.

from Ali, 2nd January 2009

Dear all

For your kind information, I am going
to Dhaka this evening and will come back
4th January about 12 pm By seaplane,
Bruna, Elonora, Jose will flow me

Hope to see you soon.

Lots of love from your children.

from Ali, 29th December 2008

Dear all
Many of our disable persons are going
to cast their vote to day and this
is first time their casting their vote.

Lots of love from your children

news from Ali, 24th December 2008

Dear all
Mr. Ruhul amin (143) was an orphan boy (U E C H),
I am looking after him from 1970, he is very sick
both kidney is out of order. We had taken him in Bhola
hospital this morning, Doctor says that there
are just one hospital in Dhaka, you should take
him there we can’t do anything so we will take him to
Dhaka for last treatment but hope is very little.
Hopefully we will say him goodbye. Swedish friend please
send the news to all other friends who work for
Uncle Erik`s Children Help and the others for pray for him.

Lots of love from your children