A ray of hope for vulnerable children | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 05, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:29 AM, February 05, 2021

A ray of hope for vulnerable children

APON Foundation, a government approved charitable organisation, was formed in 2006, with the aim of facilitating education for underprivileged children. Since their inception, the organisation expanded their reach by providing necessary winter gear to those in need, and also organising flood relief programmes. They also house homeless children in their Thikana Shelter.

Teaching volunteers for APON Foundation used to teach at Rabindra Sarobar, among other places. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been keeping in touch with the students by sending essential books for them to study from home. The volunteers also communicate with the students digitally.

Around the Rayer Bazar slum area, APON Foundation had established APON Girls Club to educate young girls about necessary rights so that they are able identify discrimination against women in their communities. It is a necessary tactic by APON Foundation to empower women of the upcoming generation. In the slum area, they also have an established computer training programme for the vulnerable youth.

The training programme is for youths who want to learn fundamental computing skills to find jobs.

Throughout 2020 and especially during the pandemic, APON Foundation not only focused on providing education to deprived children, but also distributed food packages to around 1,000 people. Members of the foundation distributed masks to around 300 families alongside raising awareness about the dangers of the virus. They also provided monetary assistance to around 50 struggling families.

Every year during Eid-ul-Azha, APON Foundation aims to provide meat to those in need. Members of the foundation distributed meat to around 200 families in 2020. They had also participated in helping the Rohingya camp refugees and organising disaster relief programmes last year.

"We hope to reopen our learning centres this year, and organise events that will stimulate the economic development in our community," said Mohammad Aftabuzzaman, Executive Director, APON Foundation. "We already have several regular donors but more corporate houses and financially solvent donors are welcome to contribute to our cause. We dream of motivating vulnerable youths and families to become independent in their own way."

Members of the police force get in touch with APON Foundation's Thikana Shelter, if they find a missing child in need of care and protection. During the pandemic, the shelter adhered to strict hygienic protocols before introducing any newly found missing children to the shelter. So far, they have reunited around 400 children with their families and rescued around 1,000 children from unpleasant and uncertain circumstances.

 

The author is a freelancer. Write to her at nawarzareen@gmail.com.

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