Edited by Leanna Cappiello
I am Anamul. I live in a small village named Salchura. I have one sister. We both live with [our] parents. My father is a laborer and my mother is a house wife. My parents don’t know much about child rights or child education. I struggled with my parents to get to go to school.
In 2003 I became a sponsored child through World Vision Bangladesh. Whenever I participated in any program, I wondered how the guys could speak so well. I was shy to speak publicly even when someone asked me something. I didn’t answer properly because I was shy. I wanted to work for children, but because of shyness, I couldn’t. It felt awful to leave my calling unfulfilled because of my confidence. I was trying my best to be a public speaker but was not getting any chances to do it. My heart was broken thinking maybe I could never be like that. At home, I was told to stay silent or I’d get punished. I never dared to say no to my parents.
But my parents came to know about child rights and the importance of education when they participated in a Parents’ Gathering. As a result, they allowed me to participate in various child development activities like meetings, seminars, workshops, gatherings, sports and cultural events.
In 2010, when I was in Grade Seven, I was involved in the Child Forum. After being a member of the forum, I attended every meeting and every activity. In 2012, I was elected president of the Child Forum. I was president for four years. As the president, I had to deliver a speech in different meetings and gatherings. Now, I can speak on child rights and early marriage. I spread awareness on child rights and early marriage for two years through my youth club. The experience of participating in the meetings and activities has made me a leader today. I now lead a youth club called Salchura Sporting Club.
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In the beginning, I couldn’t speak well in public; my leadership skills hadn’t grown well. Things changed after I got involved in the Child Forum. Now I get invited to deliver speeches at different events. The community tells me I am an inspiration, and many children say they wish to be like me one day. I think it’s a great achievement for World Vision to build up child leadership and have us raise our voices. Without the support of World Vision, it would not have been possible for me to be a child leader. World Vision created the opportunity for vulnerable children like me to grow as a leader.