Today we visited the NGO (non-government organization) Padakhep to learn more about urban replication of the Grameen Bank program. One of their programs is for the Street Children of Dhaka who are orphaned, lost or even abandoned. This drop-in center has 25 day residents and 40 night residents. The day residents actually have a place to return to at night where they sleep. The drop in center offers non-formal education and some vocational training so that they might learn a trade before they turn 18 and can no longer utilize the center.
We asked a staff member at the center about a memorable success story of a child who had stayed at the drop in center and she told us how one boy learned the tailoring trade. Now he has his own tailor business and many of staff from the drop-in center have their clothes made by him.
It is heartbreaking to see these youngsters, some as young as 8 eight years old, who have nothing. But despite their stark existence, there were still smiles and they enjoyed singing and dancing for us. They also taught us a unique handshake. It always amazes me that those who have so little, give everthing they have without any hesitation or reservations.