A hub of hope in Dhaka

Bangladesh is among the most populated countries in the world and poverty affects a third of those living in its capital Dhaka.

There is a large population of mothers and children who live or work on the streets of Dhaka, putting them at risk of exploitation and trafficking. 

SIM’s Children’s Uplift Programme (CUP) seeks to protect and bring freedom to these vulnerable women and children by providing basics such as food, medication, education and the good news of the gospel.

CUP also provides training in employable skills on a one-year training programme, where the women learn sewing, jewellery-making and attend literacy and numeracy courses, while their children are looked after.

When Sanu was begging on the streets of Dhaka, she could never have imagined how SIM Bangladesh’s Children’s Uplift Programme (CUP) would transform her life.
While the women are in the training programme, their babies stay at CUP’s day care, where they are fed, educated and enjoy other activities

They can then use these skills to find safe employment once they finish their training. Read the story of one student at CUP whose life has been transformed.

Sanu’s story

Sanu’s* life has not been easy: “Feeding my children and keeping a roof over our heads is my main concern in life.”

The 32-year-old mother-of-three started work when she was sent from her village to Dhaka to be a house helper, aged 10.

Sanu’s mother wanted a better life for her and thought it would be a good opportunity. 

Since then, Sanu has worked many jobs to try and provide for her family as her husband isn’t able to work full-time owing to a chronic illness. She’s been a maid, worked in clothing factories and even loaded bricks for construction.

But after losing one of her jobs, Sanu became desperate and was forced to beg on the street for help as there was no other way to provide for her children. 

It was then Sanu’s life changed after she was introduced to CUP and started attending the training programme.

Her sense of responsibility and love for her children made her thrive and having completed the programme, she’s now in the process of taking a job with one of CUP’s partner businesses.

Sanu says she’s excited to learn even more skills and is determined to keep working hard to achieve her dream of achieving a stable income so that her family are safe and well cared for. 

(Name changed)

  • SIM’s anti-trafficking and exploitation ministry For Freedom  supports ministries like CUP and is focused on the protection of those most at risk.

For Freedom is responsible for coordinating SIM’s global anti-trafficking response, and providing training, support and strategic guidance to SIM workers, local churches and partners in the countries and communities where our mission workers serve.

For Freedom worker Karin says: “These women have a dignity inherent in them because they are created and loved by God. The CUP project does an excellent job of treating each and every woman as special and letting them know that God cares for them.”

To learn more about CUP, visit their website.

Please pray

  • Give thanks that God intervened in Suna’s life when he directed her to CUP.
  • Give thanks for the work of CUP to prevent trafficking and exploitation by empowering these women to break the cycle of poverty and gain skills to secure safe employment.
  • For God to send more workers to serve with CUP.

This was posted on 15 February 2023 in Ministry stories.

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