Extended nest, laughter of children

On Jan. 3, 2017, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck the state of Tripura located on the border of Bangladesh in north-eastern India. The earthquake affected even Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, and shook buildings, and residents evacuated.

In this earthquake, Mirpur Public Orphanage, which is located in Dhaka, suffered severe cracks in their lodging, the biggest building among their four buildings. As the city banned the usage of the lodging due to the cracks, about 100 children of the orphanage had no place to go. Due to the tight budget, the orphanage started using the director’s personal house as the orphanage office, and remodeled the office as a temporary lodging, but it was still not enough space for everyone. As the office got moved, the orphanage employees experienced inconveniences for their work, and the children lived in inconvenience in the lodging that was way too small for them all.

Exterior of the dormitory of Public Mirpur Orphanage before extending and repairing it. The earthquake caused serious cracks, and the building was inspected to be not usable.

The WeLoveU learned about this situation and decided to help improve the living environment of the orphanage. It made a plan to extend the facility and repair the existing restrooms.

They extended space by building two rooms on the rooftop of the director’s house. The interior was painted, and a bathroom was built for each room. New doors were installed in four restrooms in the existing lodging because they weren’t able to use them as the doors were detached in the earthquake. The floor was also repaired by adding new tiles.

The construction started on Oct. 5, and ended on Nov. 20, a little more than a month after it started. On Nov. 24, a building completion ceremony was held at Mirpur Orphanage for the extension and repair of the facility. About 70 people including Namina Akdar, the director of Mirpur Orphanage, staff members, WeLoveU members, and students participated in the ceremony. They gathered in the weekend morning for the completion ceremony, and they all rejoiced with big smiles on their faces.

Director Akdar expressed gratitude to the WeLoveU members who helped with the extension of the facility, and to Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah, and promised to work together with the WeLoveU for its future volunteer services, saying, “Bangladesh definitely needs an organization like WeLoveU.” The children all exclaimed, shouting, “We Love You,” while taking a picture.

As the existing facilities were repaired, and the office and the director’s house were moved to the new facility, the children of Mirpur Orphanage are now able to live in a bigger and more pleasant space. This is why the children’s faces are full of laughter. Hoping that the children will smile even more brightly in the extended nest, the WeLoveU is planning to continue to carry out voluntary service and give help to unprivileged neighbors.