| July 31st, 2016

Mount Pleasant Middle School Walk-a-Thon

The following article was published at Mount Pleasant Middle School Newspaper, July 2016, written By Sid S. Yousuf, Grade 6 student

Hi, My name is Sid S Yousuf, and I am the founder of a project called Team Adhunika Jr, which currently supports street children to get a better education in Bangladesh. Currently, we are focusing on 23 different children who live on the streets, and we are attempting to provide support so they can continue their education for this year. According to Project Amrao Manush (We are human too)  it takes only $200 dollars annually for a homeless child to continue their studies in school. The money goes to cover snacks, writing materials, books, school uniforms, school bag, safe water, counseling and a shelter.

I have been a volunteer of Adhunika Foundation, a non profit organization in NYC since I was born. In 2015 after 13th annual fundraising event of Adhunika  in NYC I was telling my mother (the founder of Adhunika Foundation) that I wanted to have a project to help homeless children in Dhaka as we always go there each summer to spend time with Adhunika Women’s Centre. After much discussion with my mother I convinced her that with help of my friends we can form a team called Team Adhunika Jr. and we will be able to raise funds to support a center which helps street children in Bangladesh. I formed a team of 11 members and discussed how we can work together to raise funds to make a difference in the lives of homeless children.

During the 2015 summer vacation, when I went to Bangladesh, I was visiting Adhunika Women’s Centre in Dhaka and my mother gave me an article to read about a project called Amrao Manush, I was interested to learn about the project as it helps street children. Few days later I presented my ideas to raise funds in front of the Executive Director of Sajida Foundation (SF) and a few program Directors of SF and Directors of Adhunika Foundation explaining our Team Adhunika Jr’s idea on raising funds to support the children of Amrao Manush Project. After the presentation I was given an opportunity to visit a shelter of Amrao Manush in Kawran Bazar, in Dhaka.

When I visited the homeless children of Amrao Manush with my mother, I saw the way these children live and heard their stories. During my visit I met Nasim a 10 years old boy who was born on the street under the open sky when his parents moved  to Dhaka from the village when they lost everything from river erosion. His father is a rickshaw puller and his mother works as a maid He lived on the street all his life, currently Project Amrao Manush is helping Nasim to remain in school, he goes to a Government School and has two siblings. He likes to paint and wants to be a doctor when he grows up, Nasim vows he will never let people like him live on the streets again. When I learned about Nasim I thought if we supported the Amrao Manush program it would help more homeless children like Nasim to stay in school and make a difference in his life.

When I return from Bangladesh I talked to my team Adhunika Jr. and decided we will help 23 school going children from Amrao Manush Project.  As I mentioned earlier, according to Project Amrao Manush it takes $200 dollars annually for a homeless child to stay in school.

Our opportunity to hold our first fundraising event was in August 2015, Adhunika Foundation supported us to secure a venue at a Chatpati mela, The team Adhunika Jr. and the parents got together – we sold home baked brownies, cookies, lemonade, bangles, t-shirts and my photos which I have been taking for past two years.

In November 2015: A friend of my parents, Shimul Mou provided another opportunity for me to go in Washington DC and talk about our project and talk about my photos, my team couldn’t go, but I felt very grateful that the students and parents at BCCI Bangla School in Washington DC listened about the project and bought my photos to support our project.

In December 2015 – I presented about Team Adhunika Jr. and showcased my photos at the year end of event for Adhunika Foundation, many friends of Adhunika came forward and bought the photographs to support our project.

By end of December 2015 – friends (of who came to know about our project) started buying my photographs, and also sent donation to support our project. Before Adhunika Foundation’s annual event one of my uncle Jewel Samad helped me select photographs which was going to be showcased at the By April 2016 – we were $1000 short to reach our target $4600 to support 23 school going street children, and on April 2, 2016 when I hold my first solo exhibition at the Adhunika’s 14th Annual Fundraising event – – we were able to raise more than our target. Right now we have raised close to $5700 with the support from our family and friends of Adhunika.

I am really glad we are now able to support the 23 children for next year, and I hope that we can continue help more children like them.


About this blog

Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



Recent Posts