It might sound as a fairy tale to some, but a young boy born in a slum at Rayerbazar is all set to join one of the most renowned colleges in the world. Meet Siam Hussain Shimul, a student of JAAGO Foundation school who obtained a fully funded scholarship under the ‘Dare to Dream’ programme of United World College in USA.
At the age of six, Siam was admitted to the JAAGO foundation’s Rayerbazar School in 2007. After 12 years he is going to pursue higher education at the UWC campus in Montezuma, New Mexico.
“I couldn’t be the person I’m today without JAAGO’s love and care,” said Siam.
Korvi Rakshand founded JAAGO in 2007 to provide quality education for free to the underprivileged children in a small classroom with only 17 students; Siam being one of them.
“Learning and gaining knowledge through fun is the key to our success,” Siam added.
He also expressed his gratitude to his ‘sponsor parents’ who backed his educational expenses since his enrollment in JAAGO School back in 2007.
Through the JAAGO Foundation, an American couple Ishraq Shabib and Sharif Suraiya sponsored Siam for 10 years and later Dr Farhana Rashid Shumi started to sponsor him.
Siam’s father Md Billal Hussain, who works as a caretaker, was in tears at the ceremony arranged by JAAGO foundation celebrating Siam’s success. “JAAGO Foundation has been working tirelessly to fulfill our dreams and of our children for the past 12 years,” he said.
When asked about his achievement, Siam said, "I have been selected based on my good academic results and Co-curricular activities because both are equally important for being selected in a good educational institution.”
Siam aims to be a doctor in future although he has passion for the communication sector as well. He attained GPA 5 in both his JSC and SSC examination.
Based on the needs of JAAGO students UWC National Committee in Bangladesh assessed four of them and finally selected Siam for the fully funded scholarship.
Secretary General of UWC National Committee Bangladesh Ayesha Dada underscored the significance of ‘Dare to Dream’ scholarship program saying, “Normally students from privileged family only gain admission in UWC but through this scholarship a new window has opened for Siam which will groom Siam for his higher studies and inspire more children.”
Hearing about the journey of Siam, Qatar Airways provided him with free plane ticket to reach USA.
JAAGO Founder Korvi Rakshand said, “We target quality education for the underprivileged students of the country.”
He also mentioned that not only JAAGO seek to introduce the children with the power of education but provide them with the best opportunity to build a better future.
UWC represents a group of 17 international schools and colleges, around 155 national committees and a series of short educational programs.
Students from various countries, race, background, ethnicity and cultural dynamics coming together to one place to partake in a variety of academic, educational and extracurricular activities.
JAAGO Foundation and UWC hope that, through the UWC's "Dare to Dream" Education Scholarship Program, the financially disadvantaged children will fulfill their dreams of higher education and later will support the lower socio-economic background people of their community.
JAAGO Foundation supports 3,500 students across Bangladesh with the help of various sponsors who have taken responsibility of each child’s education by supporting them with Tk 2000 monthly.
However, currently 500 underprivileged students under their education program are still in want of sponsors who can guarantee the fulfillment of their educational journey by providing that seemingly insignificant amount.