A Family Tragedy in Bangladesh

A Family Tragedy in One of the Poorest Countries in the World

Shamboughanj is a small remote village in the mountains of Bangladesh. Besides being the most densely populated country in the world, it is also one of the poorest. 

One of the programs implemented by Richard Sarker, Conscience International’s Southeast Asia Program Director, provides goats to widows so they can support their families. Among the widows was Shantona, wife of Sailen and mother of two children, a nine year old daughter, Sreamoni, and a seven year old son, Wilson.

Three tragedies have happened to her family in recent weeks. First, her husband, the children’s father Sailen, was killed in a bus accident while looking for work in another city. Then Sailen’s brother, Bulu Sen, the children’s Uncle, was crippled in a construction accident, falling from the third floor and crushing his ankles.

Shantona, in back, with her children and goats before the tragedy. Richard Sarker, at right, is a native of Bangladesh and returns often to that country where he is “giving back” to help lift so many out of poverty-- thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Then one day, during a lightning storm, Shantona, the children’s mother, went out to herd her goats since goats are often killed by lightning. But on this day the lightning struck Shantona and she was killed. Now Sreamoni and Wilson are orphans, totally dependent on charity.  We are raising funds to support them. Conscience International has worked in Bangladesh since 2010, where our relief team, led by Richard Sarker, has built a school and fed hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled bloody ethnic cleansing during 2016 in neighboring Myanmar (Burma).  Our work continues there.