Our Story

Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI) was founded in 2003 in response to the crisis faced by children in countries like BangladeshIndia, Nicaragua and many others. Over the years we have consistently expanded the scope of our programs as well as our impact, and we remain firmly committed to our mission of creating lasting change for children.

Founder’s Story
Dr. Ehsan Hoque was born in Bangladesh and with the support of his family, successfully completed his medical degree in 1987, and founded DCI in 2003. Dr. Hoque’s story is seemingly straightforward. But, Dr. Hoque’s fight for his health began from the moment he was born.

Due to the nutrition deficiency his mother experienced, Dr. Hoque was born nearly blind from congenital cataracts. By the age of five, he had experienced seven eye surgeries. These intensive surgeries were able to restore part of his vision, saving him from complete blindness. This experience gave him deep empathy and understanding of the difficulties that people with disabilities face – especially children. His experience also inspired him to begin his philanthropic and volunteer work to support the communities around him.

As a teenager, Dr. Hoque created his own volunteer group that supported families during harsh weather conditions and during natural disasters. As a young physician, he drew on his volunteer experiences to use his medical skills to improve the quality of life for people living in poverty in remote and rural Bangladesh. One signature program led to the foundation of DCI: He distributed vitamins and vegetables to pregnant people across Bangladesh to prevent neonatal disabilities. Over the next several year, Dr. Hoque also began supporting children who were unable to attend school due to family poverty and who were forced into child labor or early marriage.

He strongly believed that education is the key to stopping the cycle of poverty and realized that his dream of helping these children and families will only come true if it has an organizational structure. In 2003, while working at Yale University, Dr. Hoque established DCI to provide education, healthcare, vision care and skill development opportunities to underprivileged children and families in Bangladesh. In addition to Bangladesh DCI expanded its operation in India, Nepal and Nicaragua. 

Join Us!

DCI believes that real joy comes not from social status or material comfort, but from recognizing our common humanity and helping those in need. Please join us in this monumental undertaking, which we are accomplishing one child at a time with the help of compassionate individuals like you.