Sponsored Kids in Bangladesh Share Their Recipes

By Arun Sarker, Bangladesh Ashirbad Assistant Director, and Babylene Bocayes, Philippines Field Communications Specialist   |  Photos by Hope Center staff and families

With encouragement from Child Champions, children learn to thrive in hard places by being helpful in their homes. Here are some stories of sponsored children sharing recipes of their typical meals.

Pavaki (pseudonym, second from right) is a sponsored child in Bangladesh. Despite living in poverty, their family eats at least one nutritious meal a day.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the economic problems that come with it like rising unemployment rates and closed businesses, food supplies can be affected. With OneChild’s partnership with Ashirbad, a child-care and social development organization in Bangladesh, Child Champions were able to distribute food relief to help families in poverty during this time. Thanks also to families who ensure that their children continue to eat healthful food.

Here’s how sponsored children help their families prepare healthful and yummy meals in their homes.

Chicken Curry by Pavaki*

Hello. I am Pavaki. I am 12 years old. I am from Ghoragacha Hope Center. It is in the west region of Bangladesh.

Pavaki’s Chicken Curry.

We are five members in our family. My dad is a mason by profession and mom is a housewife. I have twin brothers named Ayon and Nayon. My father is the only earning member of the family.

I am blessed to get a sponsor who is helping me in my studies. Without my sponsor, it would be really hard for me to continue my schooling. I am grateful to my sponsors. The provisions and hygiene materials were helpful during this COVID-19, as my father has no work now.

Rice is our staple food. We usually eat vegetables, spinach, fish, egg, lentils, and meat with rice. I love to eat chicken curry. I am sharing how to cook chicken curry. We call the chicken we use for cooking deshi murgi, which means “chicken from our own” because we grow them in our back yard.

Chicken Curry

Ingredients: Chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, clove, cardamom, oil, and salt.

Process: First, cut the meat into pieces and clean them well. Mix all the spices and meat and marinate them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat the pan and oil on medium high. Sauté onions in oil a bit. Then, add the marinated chicken and cook for 15 minutes. After that, add water and cook again for 20 minutes.

Vegetables With Lentils by Sarika*

I am Sarika from Shanohar Hope Center. It is in the south of Bangladesh.

Sarika (pseudonym) lives in a community where growing vegetables and food crops is the main livelihood of the people who live there.

Our village is surrounded by trees and fields. Farmers mostly grow rice, jute, and lentils.  But during monsoon, rivers and ponds overflow. My father is a farmer on someone else’s farm. He grows betel leaves.

We are five in the family, and it is hard for my father to feed us all. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes, we eat one meal a day. I am thankful for the food assistance we receive from the Hope Center.

I am sharing this vegetable dish that is easy to cook. It is a delicious and nutritious food!

Vegetables With Lentils

Ingredients: Pumpkin, spinach, lentils, onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, and chili

Process: First, wash and cut the pumpkin and spinach into smaller pieces. Heat a frying pan and oil and sauté onions. When onions turn brown, add all the other spices. After 5 minutes, add the pumpkin, spinach, and lentils. Cook for 20 minutes.

Sarika’s Vegetables With Lentils.

*Names changed to protect children’s privacy.

Poverty in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the most populated countries in the world with an estimated 160 million people. There is a high level of poverty; 40 million are considered impoverished.

With the partnership of Ashirbad and OneChild, 1,880 children from impoverished communities are being provided by nurturing Child Champions with lessons about God’s love, enjoyable activities like sports, educational classes like computer training, and nutritious food. All of this is possible because of the support they receive from their sponsors.

Child Champion and Ashirbad Assistant Director Arun Sarker says, “We really appreciate all our sponsors for their generous heart for the children of Bangladesh. Their continuous prayer and support are creating a huge impact in such a hard place in a different part of the world from them.”

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