Islamic Relief is helping children work towards achieving their dreams. Like most children, Shiria Khatun used to think about what she might do as an adult. But unlike many children in the world, her options were limited. Shiria, 17, was just a baby when her father was struck my lightning and died. He was the main earner in the family and Shiria, her mother, and her three older sisters struggled to find the money to eat. Shiria’s mother made contact with Islamic Relief when Shiria was nine, and she was signed up to the One-to-One Orphan Sponsorship Programme for children who have lost one or both parents. As part of this scheme, Shiria was supported through school, where she blossomed. She was also able to join the Scouts and have extra IT lessons. A moment to remember Now, 11 years later, Shiria has just received results for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) from her college in Rajbari, in central Bangladesh. She was awarded a Grade Point Average of 5, which is the highest mark possible. She said: “This is one of the best moments of my life. This sort of happiness and good news comes very rarely in our life. It happened only because of the support of Islamic Relief and its donors.” Shiria is now hoping to go to university and study to be an accountant. Her mother Aysha Begum said: “This is a memorable day for my family. Now I would likeShiria to complete her higher education and thrive.” Shiria was one of 32 students sponsored by Islamic Relief in Bangladesh who attained their HSC this year. She was one of three to gain the top grade of 5. There are around 153 million orphans in the world today. Many are orphaned by war, natural disaster, and illness, and without one or both parents, are more vulnerable to a childhood of hunger, poverty and insecurity. Islamic Relief sponsors around 43,500 orphans across the world. This scheme means they have a roof over their heads and food on their plates. They go to school with books and stationery, and when they get unwell, they are provided with healthcare, vaccinations and medicine.

They receive Eid presents and attend summer camps, sports classes and fun day trips. A social worker visits their home regularly to make sure they are safe and happy.