Timeline – HELP Bangladesh and IPF
H.E.L.P. Bangladesh, a group of Christian leaders, pastors, businessmen and missionaries, was created by David Halder and his wife Namita. The goal of H.E.L.P. Bangladesh is to assist children through healthcare, education and leadership programs in the hopes they may contribute leadership to their own communities when they grow up.
David and Namita began taking in children to their own home. The number of children increased to 25 within two months and it was expensive to rent a larger apartment in the city. This led the H.E.L.P. committee to move from Dhaka to Savar, a city 30 kilometers northwest in the country side.
A rented 4-bedroom house in Savar quickly became too small as 159 children were calling it home. Mrs. Anita Chowdhury, a generous Christian lady from Bangladesh donated 2.4 acres of land and friends from the USA provided funds to build a dormitory building for 200 children. Thus, began our campus today, and the Samaritan Children’s Home was established.
A rented 4-bedroom house in Savar quickly become too small was 159 children were calling it home. Mrs. Anita Chowdhury, a generous Christian lady from Bangladesh donated 2.4 acers of land and friends from the USA provided funds to build a dormitory building for 200 children. Thus, began our campus today, the Samaritan Children’s Home was established.
Fred and Julie Spica were introduced to David Halder and took their first trip to visit Samaritan Children’s Home.
1997 – 2012
The Spica family made over 30 trips to visit the Children’s Home during these years bringing supplies for the children’s schooling, medical facility, general well-being, and of course, recreation. The campus quickly grew from 2.5 to 7 acres containing a school (grades 1-10), the Grace Health Centre, a Vocational Training Centre, outpatient clinic, a chapel/auditorium capable of seating 500, and two dormitories housing 430 children.
International Promise Foundation (IPF) was formed by the Spica family in an effort to send more financial aid to the children who reside in the home. IPF was created to help eliminate administration fees from the child sponsorships. This means literally every penny of each dollar donated through IPF goes directly to the children of the Samaritan Children’s Home.
The Joy Hostel campus was constructed providing our young-adults a place to call home while continuing their education. This 7-story building, located roughly 3 miles from the Children’s Home, houses our college students on the first 2 floors, while offering rental space and income on the upper floors. Students can continue in this program for 2-3 years after completing Grade 10.
The first building fully funded by IPF Donors was constructed on the Home grounds. The science project completed a two-story building containing 8 classrooms, a principal’s office and staff lounge was built adjacent to the school house. The addition of this program allows our students a greater opportunity to access science curriculums and improves their opportunities in further education outside the Home.
In September of 2018 we launched the idea for our Chicken Project; a sustainability program that would provide a food source as well as potential income in an effort to offset rising food costs. In July of 2019 construction on the chicken farm was completed!
In partnership with HELP Bangladesh, IPF created the “Love thy Neighbor Food Relief” program in response to COVID19 and the global pandemic. This program supplies 1000 families with a food sack containing enough supplies to last two weeks. In addition to this, all 80 staff members were given a monetary gift to help support their families with increased food costs due to COVID and Cyclone Amphan. Families of the children in our care were also given food rations and financial assistance, if needed, to help them during this difficult time.
The medical department is composed of a doctor, senior nurse, other nurses, pathology technicians and a pharmacist. The department has an emergency unit to deliver health care services to outpatients coming from nearby villages. The nurses also focus on health and hygiene education by teaching classes to the children separated by age and gender.
In an effort to educate children so they may become contributing members of society, three different vocation training programs are offered; Mec-Tech mechanical training, computer service to advance knowledge in computers and administrative duties, and the sewing project where girls learn the art and occupation of sewing.
Micro Credit Program
This project plays a key role in empowering women by giving them small loans to create income-generating business and teaching them wise money management. Women within this program receive loans from the project and involve themselves in many trades such as poultry farms, vegetable growing, fruit plants and land sharecropping at their homesteads.
Students who pass their Grade 10 public exams are eligible to move to the Joy Hostel for higher education. This complex is approximately 3 miles from the Samaritan Children’s Home and also contains a beautiful court yard and sports courts. Young adults in this program are attending local colleges, universities, and nursing schools. Most students are studying here for 2-3 years.