Starting With The Least | Jack and Dalia Sikder...
We first met Jack and Dalia during the Celebrating Children Workshop (CCW) we ran in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They work with families that lived on a large garbage dump, where they see children picking garbage alongside their parents instead of going to school. Understanding that these children were stuck in a legacy of poverty, Jack and Dalia committed their lives to changing their futures.
So, what did they do? They started a school for them, right there in their community. A one-room building with 20+ children crammed together on the floor, doing something they’d never probably dreamed possible—learning to read and write.
We were so inspired by this couple and the stories they shared of transformation in the lives of the children and we continue to celebrate with them the change they are witnessing in their community. Last fall, Jack shared with us:
“Our school is going well, we have now 23 students, all of them are coming to school regularly. . .When we started the school in January, the play group students could not read or write and now all of them can! Also, the nursery students are telling rhymes, learning new words, making sentences and counting numbers. Class one to class four are learning Bengali, English, Math, Science and Social Science, we are so glad to see the growth of our students. But not only on the education side — they also have learned hygienic things like washing hands before eating, cutting nails and hair regularly, taking baths and brushing teeth every day, keeping their clothes clean. It was not easy to teach children from the slums all these hygienic things and make a new habit.”
“Our children’s club is going well. About 40 to 45 children come every Thursday afternoon for two hours. They sing, act, play skits and games, draw and hear Bible stories. They are also learning to pray for sick people and it is exciting to see how they are growing in the knowledge of God.”
Jack and Dalia are truly giants in the faith. They have brought hope to this community and a future that is no longer rooted in the remains of a garbage dump. We are honored to know them and we stand with these Local Experts as they work daily, giving their lives to the vulnerable and bringing long-lasting change and hope.