Message from Salma Siddique, DCI Youth Volunteer

DCI Youth Volunteer Salma Siddique with Children in BangladeshDistressed Children and Infants International (DCI) is a phenomenal organization that benefits not only children, but their families, and the communities in which they live in. As a pediatrician in New York, we see a huge spectrum of illness and disease, as well as social issues that impact children as they grow and develop. In the United States, we have systems in place to aid families and give children the care and help that they need, but places that are less developed or developing, like Bangladesh, need some extra help to construct and maintain systems of care and sustainable sources of aid for children and their families. DCI successfully attempts to tackle not only medical costs of care for children, but tries to address the variety of social obstacles that may stand in the way for a brighter future. Through their various public works projects and community building projects, families have more incentive to allow their children to stay in school for longer periods of time, giving them opportunities they would not have if it were not for organizations like DCI.

What truly separates DCI from other organizations is the idea and driving force behind the organization – Dr. Ehsan Hoque. His vision is truly extraordinary, stemming from humble desires to offer better medical care and eye care, and now spanning multiple areas of aid, now sustained by loyal and generous sponsors from the United States and abroad. Another aspect of DCI that I love, is the opportunity the organization gives to its sponsors to visit Bangladesh and meet their sponsored children and see first hand the different types of projects DCI is working on. This truly allows sponsors to feel that they are connected to the work they are helping to fund and creates relationships that may not have began otherwise. I was able to experience this connection when I visited the DCI office in Mohammadpur in 2010. I met the girl I had sponsored for years before, and it was so nice to be able to put a face behind the letters and drawings I would receive in the mail updating me about how she was doing. The DCI team was so hospitable and welcoming and through them, I was able to volunteer some time in the health clinic in Mohammadpur, which was a great opportunity for me as a medical student at the time. I saw pathology I would probably never see in the United States and I was able to experience firsthand the differences and similarities between global medicine and what we see on a daily basis in the US.

My personal experience with DCI has spanned almost 10 years now, and I can truly say that it is an honor to be able to be a part of this organization, in any small way. DCI has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and I only hope that it continues to grow and prosper – with all of our help and support. I wish nothing but the best for its future, and hope to be a lifelong supporter.

Salma Siddique, MD
Brooklyn, NY
Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York