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H.E.L.P. International (the Health, Education, Leadership Program) is a Non Government Organization and a registered charity in Australia which has developed alongside the work of Global Recordings Network Bangladesh (formerly LRI Bangladesh).
David Halder with his wife Namita, was the Director of Language Recordings in Bangladesh from its beginning in 1985. He is a graduate of the Bible College of Victoria. HELP's story began in 1990 when David and Namita took six destitute street kids into their home in Dhaka. They could not have foreseen what God would do with their act of Christian compassion. In the ensuing years the number of underprivileged children in their care grew rapidly to 129, all living in a rented four-roomed house!
God's wonderful provision for the children came in 1994. The work was under the administration of the LRI Bangladesh Board with Mr. Samuel Chowdhury as Chairman. The Chowdhury family donated 2.4 acres of land 30 kilometers from Dhaka and a Christian friend from Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA), donated funds for the building of a home for 200 children.
The Present Ministry
The work continued to grow and diversify. Today the H.E.L.P. campus at Savar, now on 5 acres, contains a school (grades 1-10), the 'Grace Health Centre', a Vocational Training Centre, an Outpatient clinic, and a chapel/auditorium capable of seating 500. The work employs over 50 staff. H.E.L.P. also operates a micro-credit program for local women with 1000 members and the 'Joy' Hostel in Dhaka for young people from the home who are continuing their studies at college or university level. However HELP's core ministry continues to be to house, feed, clothe and provide basic education for underprivileged children from many backgrounds. They are taught the Scriptures and live together in a loving Christian environment. Many of the older children have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
David Halder continues to supervise the H.E.L.P. side of the ministry in Bangladesh, while James Karmakar oversees the GRN work.
Sponsoring a child at HELP/Donations to HELP
The home provides all accommodation, food, clothing, health care and education to the children with a staff of fifty. Children can be sponsored for AUS $40 per month through HELP International. Photographs of each child are available to sponsors. Recently approximately 100 children were without a sponsor. Some of the young adults are undertaking university or other higher education and specific funds can be provided by the sponsor to assist with these courses if they wish.
Independently of child sponsorship, financial donations are also required for many specific building or other projects (e.g. kitchens; library; sports courts; security fencing) or necessary purchases (e.g. computers; medical equipment; bunk beds) or anti-poverty projects (e.g. small loans microcredit program; flood or other disaster relief - in addition to being compassionate in this tough and most population dense country in the world, these activities are effective outreach programs to villages and many thousands of people benefit through these efforts).
Short term mission opportunities
Short term mission visitors for a few weeks or 2-3 months are welcome at HELP from Christian people. These may be to enhance the activities of the children or their education - for example English as a second language courses or friendship visits, music, sports, or cultural programs. Also visits from overseas professionals with skills that can upgrade the campus are encouraged.