Because of a disability, Rustam (pictured) was ignored and overlooked by his schoolteachers. Once given the chance to attend a Bridge of Hope center, Rustam received all he needed to thrive.

February 2020 • Vol. 17, No. 2

Unlocking the Potential Within

“My son was neglected by his own schoolteachers,” says Adenah. “Nobody took initiative or paid attention to him.”

People didn’t see hope for Rustam—until he joined Bridge of Hope.

A Neglected Boy

Rustam has special needs, and since early childhood he’s suffered from epilepsy. Medication did nothing, and no doctor Rustam saw could offer any cure to his epilepsy. Advanced treatments were also too expensive for Rustam’s family to afford. In addition, Rustam’s father suffered from paralysis, which left him bedridden and unable to work. Adenah was forced to work as the sole breadwinner.

Working as a domestic brought Adenah very little money—just enough to send Rustam to school. Yet in school, Rustam found himself struggling to understand and master the lessons.

His teachers didn’t help because all they saw was Rustam’s disability. Rustam’s education suffered so much that he could not even write his own name in his own language.

Help and Encouragement

One day, staff members from the local GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center met Rustam and his family. Upon seeing the family’s need, the staff asked Adenah if she would like to enroll Rustam into the center. Hearing that Rustam could get the tutoring, encouragement and nutrition he needed, Adenah gladly enrolled him.

The Bridge of Hope staff poured their hearts into Rustam, giving him the time and attention he needed to thrive. Rustam finally learned to read and write. Every day, a warm meal and helping hand awaited him. Equipped by his new education, Rustam was able to help his mother manage a tea stall when he wasn’t at school, which helped bring in income for the family.

“I was unable to provide for his basic needs and give him a good education,” Adenah says. “Now, my son is able to read and write well by the help of the Bridge of Hope staff. The Bridge of Hope project center is an open door of blessings into my family and our place.”