Seven year-old *Ross looks like any other healthy, happy boy. But only a year ago he was weak, and sick, and getting weaker.
Ross is the oldest son of *Chithra, who was a child bride, as is the custom in much of rural Bangladesh. Her husband, *Vanu, was also underage.
The pair were married despite the fact that neither of them had any means of livelihood, so finances were always tight. Soon Chithra became pregnant and within a year of Ross’ birth she fell pregnant again.
The prospect of another mouth to feed was too much for Vanu, and one day he simply disappeared. Chithra was unable to trace him. Frightened and alone, she gave birth to another son, but was unable to feed either herself or her children. Forced to leave the area, she returned to her parents, finding casual work in a neighbour’s house in the village.
Sadly, she was too sick and weak after giving birth to two children at a young age, to thrive, or to help her children thrive. She was paid in kind, two meals a day, each sufficient for one person. She shared all the food with her boys but it wasn’t enough for any of them. When Ross fell ill, he weakened day by day.
Finally, someone in the village told the desperate young mum about the Home of Love, a residential shelter run by Love Your Neighbour, Global Care’s partners in Bangladesh, in rural Horintana.
Chithra brought Ross to the home and asked for him to be fostered there. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors of the children at the home, all the boys at the Home of Love have access to health care, welfare support and healthy food, and are all enrolled in local schools. It was more than Chithra had ever dreamed of for her son.
Our partners say: “Every time his mother comes to see him she feels relief to see his smiling face. After coming here Ross’s life became changed. He is getting enough food everyday here and he has so many friends. Proper food, regular health check-up, friendly environment, opportunity of study, everything is keeping him happy and healthy.”
Ross is still only seven years old. His story is only just starting. Yet without the help of sponsors and partners for the Home of Love, his story could have ended already. Please help change the story for more children like Ross.
*Names changed to protect child’s identity