Dr. Ehsan Hoque Message

Dear DCI Friends,

Welcome to Distressed Children & Infants International, Inc. (DCI). Thank you very much for your interest in DCI and your support in our activities.

The problem of child labor is a harsh, immediate reality that plagues developing countries; it can neither be wished away nor abolished by force of law. Here, from my vantage in the United States, thousands of miles from the despair of Bangladesh and, in the presence of my daughters – who have all the facilities of modern life – it is hard to grasp the concept of millions of children working with little to no pay. The Asia-Pacific region alone has 27 million working children, with 250 million working children worldwide. Children who work are often subject to physical and sexual abuse from their employers. They often work under conditions that are hazardous and fatal. Every year, 22,000 children die in work-related accidents. It is impossible for distressed children to escape their circumstances because of lack of skill sets, education, and no opportunity to acquire them. An estimated 130 million children in developing countries are not in primary school.Another 150 million children drop out of primary school.

DCI believes increasing access to education is crucial in the fight against poverty and child labor. Thus, we have created the Sun Child Sponsorship (SCS) Program to provide underprivileged children the opportunity to become independent and productive citizens by protecting their rights, reducing school dropout rates and fighting preventable diseases like early childhood blindness. Every child in this world deserves a life of dignity and hope – we are fully committed to helping distressed children and their families. We began our work in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated and poorest countries: its population is 154.7 million, crammed into an area smaller than the state of Iowa. 36% of the total population there lives below the poverty line with earnings less than $1 a day. The child dropout rate from primary school is 35%: most of these children will eventually be forced into the working world.

I’m thrilled by the support we’ve received for the Sun Child sponsorship program. We have successfully established a transparent and stable system to run SCS Program. DCI is making a difference, one child at a time. However, there remains much more to be done and many obstacles to be overcome.

Millions of children dwell in desperate poverty with empty stomachs, no medical care, no education, no shelter, no decent clothing, and no hope for a better life. Millions of children begin work almost as soon as they can walk. These concepts are completely alien to prosperous societies – one of the goals of DCI is to help American children realize how fortunate they are. Understanding the causes and extent of world hunger and poverty will help American children become empathetic leaders and protect them from negative effects of carelessness brought about by affluence.

As the Executive Director of DCI, I would like to thank all DCI sponsors, donors, volunteers and workers for their continued effort and support. The goals of our organization are challenging, but not impossible. To everyone, I ask: please open your heart to a child whose future depends on your generosity. You can make a world of difference in a child’s life. Tell your friends about DCI. Our organization needs resources of all types: time, skills, money, or simple ideas and support. Reach out in any way you can. Together we can make a significant contribution in fulfilling United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal of “Halving world poverty by 2015″.

I dream of a world where all children have equal access to education, healthcare and basic human necessities. I dream of a world free from poverty and child labor. Please share my vision. Love life and live it to its fullest and provide the same opportunity for a child in need. Thank you again for your interest, help, and support for distressed children around the world.

With warmest regards,

Ehsan Hoque, MBBS, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)