The Abedin family has 7 members. Their father Joynal Abedin is about 70 years old and unable to work due to illness. The main breadwinner in the family is the mother Shanta, who is about 45 years old and works as a maid.
Amena Khatun is the eldest daughter of the family. She 13 and studying in 4th grade. Amena wants to become a teacher and enjoys teaching English to her younger sisters Joynab and Jolekha.
Amena also has two older brothers – Ariful (16) and Saiful (18). Ariful used to go to school, but he quit. He now has a very fascinating job: he takes care of people’s pigeons. Bangladeshis like to keep pigeons as pets, so he goes to their homes and looks after the pigeons. He has a few pigeons himself. The eldest brother works as a driver.
The pigeon business is not the most lucrative, neither is being a maid or a driver. The family of 7 can just pay their rent, which is $30 and afford some basic food. Her parents were forced to take Amena out of school in March 2016, because they could not afford to pay for her school transport. Amena went to work as a maid and ended up burning her hand.
Luckily we quickly found out about her situation and found her a sponsor to pay for the school fees, but she still needs help with transport cost. Amena is now going to school regularly again, but there is a constant risk that she will stop going, because the family can’t afford the $0.80 a day transport. Amena herself feels a huge responsibility to help her family. When they don’t have enough to eat, it is difficult to think about the importance of education and graduation in 8 years.
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