Bhola’s Children is a UK registered charity (no. 1118345). It was set up in March 2007 to provide a permanent source of funding for a home and school for orphaned and disabled children on the island of Bhola. Bhola means “forgotten place”.
Problems we help solve
Bhola is a very poor island of over 2 million people who have next to nothing in terms of medical facilities and state social care. “Bhola Garden”, the home and school we fund, was founded and originally run by Howlader Ali who had an innovative approach to helping the disproportionate number of orphaned and disabled children on Bhola.
He aimed to equip them to live in the community with dignity by providing:
· Access to medical treatment on the mainland
· Health education for the children and their families
· Teaching those with different disabilities how to help each other
· Basic classroom education to a level where many can transfer to mainstream school
· Training in life/employment skills for example sewing, wood and metalwork, agriculture,
All of this in a loving environment full of fun and laughter.
Ali, well into his sixties, retired in 2015, and is succeeded by a new Director, Zakirul Haque. Zakir, as he is known, was already a great supporter of Bhola’s Children and is experienced in working with disabled people, having worked for the Acid Survivors Foundation, as Head of Planning and Development. He is married with two small daughters. Zakir is supported by an excellent local Committee.
We are a small and personal charity
The trustees and core supporters not only make a financial commitment, they also keep in close touch with the Director and with each other. It is a very personal involvement, like being members of one family. To the staff and children in the “forgotten place” this emotional support from the other side of the world is every bit as important as the financial.
It is hoped this website will foster that feeling of involvement as our range of supporters grows.
The minimal costs of running the charity are met by the trustees. So, after deducting currency conversion and money transmission charges and any regulatory fees, every penny raised plus gift aid plus interest earned is forwarded to Bhola and spent on the children’s welfare.
by Anne Hamilton
A Blonde Bengali Wife is being re-launched as an eBook on 3rd November 2015. This reprint, with a new introduction by Chairman of Trustees, Dinah Wiener, is now available for pre-order from Amazon UK and amazon.com.
Priced at £2.99, ALL proceeds go directly to Bhola’s Children.
Anne is a Trustee of Bhola’s Children and has visited Bangladesh and the project on more than a dozen occasions. The travelogue was first published as a paperback in 2010 and has amassed a number of 5* reviews since that time. This eBook reprint is an attempt to bring the story, and the country of Bangladesh, to as wide an audience as possible.
'A Blonde Bengali Wife':
‘They’ said Bangladesh would be an experience...
For Anne Hamilton, a three month winter programme of travel and ‘cultural exchange’ in a country where the English language, fair hair and a rice allergy are all rare in the extreme was always going to be interesting, challenging and frustrating. What they didn’t tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia.
A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field ‘fit for the national cricket team,’ cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next.
Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door.
During her adventures zipping among the dusty clamour of the capital Dhaka, the longest sea beach in the world at Cox’s Bazaar, verdant Sylhet tea gardens, and the voluntary health projects of distant villages, Anne amasses a lot of friends, stories...and even a husband?
A Blonde Bengali Wife is the ‘unexpected travelogue’ that reads like a comedy of manners to tell the other side of the story of Bangladesh.