Zakia Begum Becomes a DCI Tutor

Zakia with her students

Zakia with her students

“I don’t think about my past anymore. I thank DCI for turning things around. I never thought I could get a chance like this here in this village.”
-Zakia Begum, DCI Tutor

Zakia Begum was born into a farmer family in remote Bangladesh. She is the youngest of three siblings. According to the social standard of villages of Bangladesh, she is dark and is not considered pretty. Her family has little money, so her parents were always worried about her prospects for marriage. For girls in these villages where opportunity is limited, the main achievement is to get married. Zakia, however, was a very good student, and with the limited resources available to her she received her Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th grade). Around that time her parents found a groom for her. She got married and everybody was happy for a short time. But shortly thereafter Zakia’s husband left town and stopped all communication with her. Later they discovered he was already married. Zakia’s life was turned completely upside down: she became an object of gossip, a burden on the family, and she lost all hope. In her own words, “I felt very small. I did not feel like going out of my home. I felt everyone was looking at me in a strange way. I felt like a burden all the time, and did not know what to do.”

Luckily, Zakia’s situation was reversed through the help of DCI. When DCI was looking for educated after-school tutors for its sponsored children, Zakia applied and received a job. She says she doesn’t feel like a burden on her family anymore. While working with children she feels that she can also make something out of her life and is determined to stand on her own feet.