World Concern

World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.
Sep 19, 2013

The lasting impact of being able to communicate

Building friendships for the first time.
Building friendships for the first time.

I just returned from a visit to World Concern's Hear School in Bangladesh and wanted to share some photos with you. I hope they make you smile, and encourage you that your gift is making a lasting difference in the lives of hearing impaired children.

Let me say first of all that Bangladesh is a difficult place to be. My heart ached as I walked through crowded, filthy slums holding hands with barefoot children who have never been to school.

But I felt such a sence of hope and joy when I visited the Hear School and saw children who would otherwise spend their lives unable to communicate, now learning to speak, listen, and build relationships. Thank you for being a part of this amazing project!

This young teacher was once a Hear School student.
This young teacher was once a Hear School student.
A beautiful young girl learning to speak and hear.
A beautiful young girl learning to speak and hear.
Students busy learning in the classroom.
Students busy learning in the classroom.
Jul 23, 2013

How you're helping Mary feed her family year round

Mary, with her youngest of 8 children.
Mary, with her youngest of 8 children.

Amid the chaos of the war, the Sudanese ability to successfully farm year round was tragically lost.

Hiding in the bush, fleeing outside of the country, and living in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps, the war left the people of South Sudan no opportunity to practice long-term cultivation. Rather than relying on natural self-sufficiency, most were forced into a life of dependency.

One of the most important ways you’re helping transform lives in the village of Lietnhom is through training, equipping, and empowering families for dry season farming. This practice ensures hungry families have enough food during the dry season to survive. The training is initially done in groups on a shared plot of land. Apart from these organized groups, very few South Sudanese practice dry season farming.

I met Mary on a Tuesday at noon – the hottest time of day in South Sudan. Towering over my tiny frame, the 6-foot tall woman gracefully sauntered over to shake my hand, barely a bead of sweat to be found on her beautiful and intricately scarred face. Smiling all the while, Mary, a mother of eight, told me about her life as a farmer in Lietnhom.

In any South Sudanese household, farming is a shared role. Yet, many would argue that women do the large majority of the work (possibly even all of it). Given their busy daily schedule (including random visits from friends/relatives, breastfeeding/caring for an infant, religious activities, etc.), women work to complete household chores and farming as efficiently as possible.

This is especially true during the season of cultivation. Once the first few consistent rains have watered the dehydrated land, it is time to cultivate and plant every seed available (some may have been eaten in place of food during the hunger season – a last resort when all other resources have been depleted).

Despite being a fairly experienced farmer herself, she has often been unable to harvest enough crops to feed all eight of her children. As soon as Mary heard about the opportunity to learn how to farm during the dry season, she couldn’t imagine passing up the opportunity. She was one of the first to commit to joining the World Concern gardening group in Lietnhom, and is now one of the group leaders.

Mary works with other local farmers to make sure that the shared garden is watered twice a day and the crops are properly cared for. From what she has learned from World Concern, Mary now teaches those in her community about cleaning crops and making healthy manure.

The Lietnhom garden is one of the only successful dry season gardens in the surrounding area. The farmers involved have even harvested enough crops to take some home and sell those that remain in the local market. That’s sustainable transformation!

Still smiling, Mary told me, “I have learned many things from World Concern. I am very happy with you. I think my children will be very well now that I work here.”  

Thank you for being a part of this life-changing work!

Mary shows the fruit of her labor - vegetables!
Mary shows the fruit of her labor - vegetables!
Jun 20, 2013

Imran can communicate with the world now

Imran works in a local tailor shop.
Imran works in a local tailor shop.

When Imran was just 9 months old, he developed a fever, and eventually pneumonia. He recovered, but his parents, Maleka and Shirajul, discovered that their son could no longer hear.

In Bangladesh, a disability like deafness means a child will likely never be able to communicate with his family or community. With no social support, few schools for hearing impaired children, and poor parents, Imran was doomed to a life of dependence.

Maleka mourned the fact she would never be able to communicate with her son. She worried constantly about his future, knowing he would never be able to work or support himself.

As a young child, Imran’s deafness was confirmed by audiologists who recommended hearing aids and special schooling, but his parents could not afford any of this. Imran made only unintelligible sounds and could not understand sign language.

Finally, when Imran was 9 years old, his parents heard about World Concern’s HEAR School, and they went to visit. Maleka was overjoyed when she saw teachers using special techniques and equipment to teach students to speak, read lips, and use a hearing aid. She saw children like Imran who were speaking and communicating freely with others … and for the first time, she had hope for her son.

Imran was enrolled in the HEAR School, where he received loving attention and education. Imran began to learn to speak and understand others. Maleka was delighted to see the engaging techniques his teachers used. She and Shirajul attended parent classes to learn how to help Imran continue learning at home.

Now 13, with the help of World Concern donors like you, Imran is helping support his family.

This became even more critical when his father was tragically injured in a bus accident recently.  Imran was able to communicate well enough with others to negotiate the sale of a small piece of land his family owned to pay for his father’s medical expenses. He’s also learned tailoring, and works at a local shop, earning enough to help his parents and siblings.

Imran loves to fish, climb trees, and has a hobby of repairing mobile phones. His dreams for the future include owning his own shop someday, and teaching disabled children so they can stand on their own.

Your gift is opening up a world of hearing and opportunity for a child like Imran.

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