Nupur Akter is a student of Class 3 in Abinta Kabir Foundation School. She has been a student in this school since January 2018. Nupur lives in Sayeed Nagar, Dhaka with her family of 5 members. Her mother is a garment worker and her father is a rickshaw puller. Unfortunately, her parents live in the village, while Nupur lives in the city. Her parents can’t bear the expenses of Nupur, and so she lives with her aunt and her grandmother. Her aunt was doing a job but, due to the pandemic, her work has stopped. She hopes that she will be able to join after this pandemic. To spend her day, Nupur studies and sometimes watches television. Other than that, she has nothing to do. Nupur and her family are barely managing 3 meals a day, but with limited ingredients. They rely a lot on the food packages from the school. They are trying to maintain social distancing in their community, which is tough because of so many people sharing a small community. Nupur feels bad because she is missing her teachers. She is doing the homework packs by herself. She is very afraid of the virus, and she feels helpless thinking that what if school never opens again. Nupur’s family is worried about the future. Her elderly grandmother is going through a lot of anxiety. Her school not opening anytime soon and the thought of a bleak future are giving them stress. Their biggest fear at this moment is this virus and how to survive through this. Nupur, who is usually very lively and portrays great leadership traits, is slowly losing her charms. She needs aid for their family to overcome the pandemic.
Habib Nuri has been a student of Class-4 in Abinta Kabir Foundation School since January 2018. She lives in Sayeednagar with her family of 4 members. Her mother is a shopkeeper and her father passed away many years back. Her mother, who arranged the small shop to sell tea and snacks, took the seed money partially as a loan from the school. Due to the pandemic, her shop had to stop selling. Right now, she has no source of income and the family has to rely on some past savings. To spend her day, Nuri studies, watches television, and helps with the household chores. Other than that, there isn’t much to do for her and her brothers. They are trying to maximize the use of the hygiene products that they received as donation from well-wishers of the school. For Nuri and her family, managing 3 meals a day for the 4 members is becoming increasingly difficult to arrange. They rely on food packages from the school, but that is also running out. Social distancing is difficult to do in their community where there are so many people squeezed into a small cluster of space. Nuri tries to avoid neighbors but it is inevitable that they cross paths. Nuri misses her school, teachers and peers very much. The biggest concern for her and her family is how to survive through this pandemic.
This is Rehnuma Rahin. I am 17 years old. I live in Bashundhara Residential Area, Dhaka. Currently, I am taking the IB Diploma at AISD, and while I am somewhat undecided about what exactly I will be studying in college, I am hoping to pursue to a major in either Economics or English Literature, though I am quite certain my choices for a major may change slightly as I approach my graduation, given I will be able to ponder over this a little longer and come up with a concrete plan for college.
My father and I had simultaneously stumbled across the announcement for this scholarship on the Daily Star, around the end of December 2018.
To say the scholarship has helped me receive an education much, much diverse than I had dreamt of, would be an understatement. It is because the scholarship has not only allowed me to learn in an environment I had only ever imagined, it has also presented me with opportunities that I had not ever been exposed to. My learning is no longer bound within four walls and just improving my grades, it is also about learning and thinking outside of the box, learning to gain knowledge and being able to apply the knowledge outside of the four walls of the classroom. The scholarship paved me a way to explore my interest in Model United Nations (MUN) and public speaking and improve upon my leadership skills through service-learning. Had I not been granted this scholar- ship to AISD, I would have probably never participated in MUN, or improve upon my public speaking skills given the previous curriculum I was in had not encouraged much of extracurricular activities. Additionally, studying in a community as diverse as AISD has opened up more perspectives for me to understand, respect and work with, given we all come from different nationalities and backgrounds. The IB Diploma programme is quite demanding and stressful; however, the learning environment makes all the difference as I am encour- aged to take risks and be an active learner rather than a passive one, and thus making the workload of the diploma manageable. Coming from a curriculum that mostly encouraged memorization, it took me a few months to get used to studying at AISD, because properly understanding the topic was more important than simply regurgitating facts on a sheet of paper. However, the way of learning at AISD, I believe, has suited me better because there is not just one singular structure to learn in. I can demonstrate my learning in various forms and learn in different ways so that my knowledge can benefit me to its best ability.
The valuable opportunity of attending SAISA Art meets, partaking in Discovery trips and MUN conferences through AISD has helped me shape a better understanding of the world and the role I play in it, thus prepar- ing me for the “grown-up” world equipped with real-life lessons.
Have I ever known her personally? No, that I have not had the fortune to. However, Abinta is someone I truly wish I had had the chance to meet in real life because that would have been an honour. The dreams she had for the underprivileged and financially suppressed had resonated with me on a personal level, and I am sure it had done so with many others of our generation because we too have glimpsed into the harsh fate those in poverty faced through our car windows as we sped past them, and hoped we could somehow do something to change that. While most of us, in our teen years, dream of getting out of the country and possibly building a career abroad to be able to support our family in future, the fact that Abinta’s dream was to contribute to improving the lives of the underprivileged here in Bangladesh awes me. I am inspired in the way her selfless- ness and kindness had bled into her everyday life and how passionately she had wanted to do something to improve the lives of the deprived because, from her vantage point, they too deserve all the opportunities many of the privileged enjoyed, or had no regards for. When the news of the Abinta Kabir Foundation had been broadcast on the television, I remember thinking that Abinta, because she had touched people’s lives in such a profound manner, can now live on to be the aspirations of so many more, and can rest in peace know- ing so many others are determined to help power her dreams forward to make sure her hopes for an NGO for the underprivileged are no longer a blueprint in her journals. She, I believe, is the perfect embodiment of what optimism, kindness and passion look like when merged and I am truly grateful of having had the opportunity to have been able to glimpse into her life through the Foundation.
I am truly grateful of having been given the chance to work with the Abinta Kabir Foundation and for provid- ing me with a platform to volunteer at and be a part of the team that works to keep Abinta’s dreams alight. Working with the girls at the Foundation’s school has deepened my understanding of the struggles they face in their daily lives and how much of my life I take for granted. The Foundation has helped me grow upon my desire to help those who are less fortunate than I am, and for allowing me to do so by working beside them. I hope that I can keep volunteering at this place in the future, regardless of where I am in life because the opportunity to volunteer at this place has changed my outlook in life, and made me aware of the hardships and struggles innumerable others face in their lives. While leading our school’s service learning for the AKF School, I had had the fortune of bonding with the schoolgirls, and I am thankful for that opportunity. The girls, with their hopes and dreams for their future, motivate me to work harder for them and myself so I can, with others who dream the same dream, create a future where the underprivileged are no longer suppressed and we all can play a part in maintaining a sustainable and just world. I hope that by volunteering here I can aid in pushing the movement forward and including many more in Abinta’s dream, so her dreams can take flight to help provide education and improve lives of the financially challenged girls in Bangladesh.
Planning for the future scares me, but I suppose we all must have at least a skeleton of a plan to evaluate our goals for our future. Regarding college, currently, my plans are directed towards applying to a liberal arts college in the United States. However, regarding what I want to major in, I am still undecided between either Economics or any major closely related to English Literature. Who knows, if I can, I may even do a double major! And career-wise, I hope to be able to work in a platform as influential and powerful as perhaps the United Nations, because it works towards a just and sustainable world, and I hope to be a part of the change that makes the world a better. And personally, I hope that if I get the opportunity to work on a platform like that, I can bring the experience back in Bangladesh where I would be able to put that experience to work and help change make changes in the society so it can become a safe place for the women, the children, the LGBT community and the underprivileged.
Dear Ms. Ruba Ahmed,
Thank you so much for the Abinta Kabir Scholarship. This scholarship has made me choose Oxford as it made Emory affordable for my family. Oxford’s learning environment is something that really made me to come here and it was this scholarship that really made this come true.
I am a freshman and currently majoring in psychology along with completing pre-med requirements. I hope to become a psychiatrist in the future and through this scholarship am able to get the education I need through Oxford College of Emory University. The basis of the scholarship really inspired me and made me think of me how I can make an impact on my community. The education that I am getting at Oxford will help me to make that impact.
Once again, thank you so much for the scholarship.
Sincerely, Disha Srivastava
Abinta Kabir Endowed Fellowships supports students at Oxford College with preference to students who are residents of South Asia or have a demonstrated knowledge of Bangladesh history and culture. The scholarship was established in memory of Abinta. Abinta was an Oxford sophomore – an outstanding student, a humanitarian and a leader. Abinta exemplified the true meaning of kindness and unity and served as a role model to aspiring leaders and scholars, dedicating countless hours to the Student Activities Committee, leading and serving the Oxford community (Emory official website). The Abinta Kabir Foundation set up the scholarship for students from Bangladesh and neighbouring south Asian countries to attend Oxford College.
The Abinta Kabir scholarship was awarded to Mohammed Hussein Syed, a 20-year old student from Hyderabad, India. He went to Druid Hills High School (right next to Emory College in Decatur) before enrolling in the bachelor’s degree programme in chemistry at the Oxford College. He lives in close vicinity of the Oxford College and being so close to home provides him with a sense of comfort which in turn, lets him concentrate in trying to be as brilliant as Abinta has been. He came to live in America – Atlanta to be precise, when he was 4 years old.
He is an enthusiastic learner and has cultivated a true love of learning. He feels right at home in Oxford campus – a tight-knit community. He also surmised that small class-room size helped him to connect with his professors and peers. While he is comfortable seeking help from his professors, he also enjoys the process of applying critical thinking to solve his own questions. One of his favourite classes is organic chemistry. He wishes to train as a Doctor after he finishes his bachelor degree.
As a first recipient of the scholarship, Mohammed appreciates the opportunities the scholarship has entailed him. Through his dedication to his studies, his involvement in campus life, and his enthusiasm for connecting with others, Mohammed is honouring Abinta and leading by example for other students. He says: “Receiving the Abinta Kabir Endowed Scholarship and attending Oxford has taught me that if you work hard, you can achieve whatever it is you desire
Abinta Kabir Foundation” a name of greater optimism in darkness. At first I want to express my gratefulness to AKF.Like the heaven soul ofAbinta Kabir this foundation is also carringv on its activities to fullfil its heaven aims.As far as I think I could realize its contribution to me.Now I am a student of LL.B.2nd year of the Dhaka University.I have obtained a scholership from this foundation in my first year.Actually this is a great help for me in my helpless period which contributes can hardly be described.Being a student of Law it is impossible to me to do any job even tution besides my study to support myself.In such a miserable period AKF stands by me and makes easy to carry on my study. l always pray to the almighty to keep her soul rest in peace and to give such a strength so that we can realize all the hopes and dreams of Abinta Kabir.I am also optimist that this foundation will broads its activities over the country to cover more previliged students to fulfill the dreams of heaven soul of Abinta Kabir. Thankful to Abita Kabir Foundation and all the members concerned it
I am Sanjida Akter. I am a student of department of law at university of Dhaka. I have come from an impoverished family. My father is the one and inly earning member of my family. Exept me I have one brother and on sister who are also studying. So it was very difficult for my father to carry the expenditure of my study. At that momrnt “Abinta Kabir Foundation” gave me the scholarship. Actually by giving this scholarship “Abinta Kabir Foundation ” has done many more help for my study. So I am very grateful to “AKF”. I pray for Abinta that Allah might keep her soul in peace. I also pray for Abinta,s family. I hope that in future “AKF” will continue it,s giving setvice to the unprivileged students