A young heart with hope
Mohammed Selim Miah is a strong, tall and enthusiastic boy of sixteen. Known as Selim, he has a glow of youthfulness in his face. However, he hides a difficult past. He has endured hardship, loss of a parent, and poverty
Selim’s father died young from an unknown illness twelve years ago. Since that time, his mother and younger brother Mohammed Barek have been living at his grandfather’s house in a distant village called Maguntinagar. There his mother works as a day laborer.
Away from his mother, Selim has been living on his father’s land in the village of Raniyat with his grandmother Mossammed Hawshi Begum for the past nine years. He has grown up here, and he studied at the local school. His mother’s work paid for his tuition fees. When he was not in school, Selim worked as a household servant to help support his family.
The simple shack where Selim grew up in Raniyat provided little shelter from the harsh weather. Year after year the shack deteriorated, leaving their home vulnerable to the cold of winter, and to the rains of the monsoon season. Inside their floor was often wet, clothing would not dry, and the damp environment left them vulnerable to disease.
The desperate living conditions of Selim and his grandmother did not escape the eyes of their neighbors in the village neighbors. The kind neighbors brought up the family’s needs to a local community based organization, called Raniyat Bohumukhi Shomobay Shomity. Fortunately, this organization is a partner of Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh. Together, they were working to provide homes to people in need, to bring about change and hope. As the land belongs to his family, Selim’s name was added to the list for family selection. His family was approved, and in 2014 Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh built a house for Selim and his grandmother on the site.
“I feel safe, secure and loved,” said Selim, after living for two years in his new house. “I am proud that I have a beautiful home where I can invite my friends, and concentrate on my studies. I sleep well, and I feel healthy. This home is an abundant blessing in my life.”
Selim passed his school’s final exam with good results in 2015, and he is now in his first year of study at the Modhupur Degree College. He also works as a shop keeper to continue supporting his family.
Selim says that his life has been lifted, and this has given him hope and trust in humanity. His young heart has been filled with joy and happiness. He smiles when he tells people about the ‘miracle’ of getting a new house.