Lelin Ahmed’s Journey from Rayerbazar to Virginia, USA

Lelin Ahmed, a former student of JAAGO Foundation school, is all set to join the Community College Initiative in Virginia, USA at Business Management and Administration, 4 years bachelor’s program which is a Scholarship program fully funded by the United States Congress. Lelin is one of the first 17 students of the school. Having the opportunity to attend school was merely a possibility for Lelin, but today, he is on his journey to achieve all his dreams.

His father, a gardener, would often fall ill, so his brother-in-law was designated as the family head. Young Lelin, when he was a newly admitted student at the JAAGO Foundation School, was asked what he wanted to become as an adult. He said he wanted to earn his living driving a baby taxi. With the power of education, Lelins dreams evolved, encouraging him to dream bigger and bigger. A few years later, he was asked the same question again, but this time, he replied, “I want to become a marine engineer.”

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After completing his education, Lelin plans to return to his country. “My overwhelming sense of thankfulness will always make me want to return to my country, give back tenfold, and help my homeland flourish to even greater heights”, remarked Lelin.

Russel Syed has been Lelin’s sponsor parent for 10 years and has helped him complete his education at the JAAGO Foundation school. Russel expressed how grateful he is to have been able to help a child in his home country even while living in the USA. I am very proud that the child I have supported for so long is getting this incredible opportunity”, shared Russel.

“In JAAGO’s early days, many people questioned what education would achieve for these children. What would we achieve by teaching them English? I might not have been able to give them an answer back then. But today, 15 years later, in 2022, as Lelin leaves for the United States to pursue his higher education, he is our answer.” said Korvi Rakshand, Founder & Executive Director, JAAGO Foundation.

JAAGO has been providing free-of-cost quality education to underprivileged children following the English version of the NCTB curriculum since 2007. Due to the educational quality gap in rural, urban, and hard-to-reach areas, JAAGO came up with the idea of starting online classes in a blended approach with quality teachers based in the capital city Dhaka to provide quality education to these children through the innovative use of ICT.

A rural classroom is connected to a qualified teacher in Dhaka via video conferencing technology. It is about time that Bangladesh adopts this model and elevates the education system in this country. In the face of the pandemic, we have seen how online learning could become a valuable and uninterrupted model for the future for thousands of children without access to quality education and teachers. Today, 4500 students of JAAGO across 11 districts have a better chance at life with the help of quality education. With the help of the ‘Sponsor a Child’ program, JAAGO supports the education and well-being of these students. Today, 1000 children are still unsponsored under JAAGO, waiting on a parent to fulfil their dreams.

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