In late October 2009, TV presenter and celebrity Konnie Huq visited ChildHope's project supporting children in Bangladesh and pledged her support to us and our work tackling poverty and child abuse. During her visit to Bangladesh, Konnie kindly agreed to allow ChildHope to ask her a few questions.
Konnie, what encouraged you to support ChildHope's BBC Lifeline appeal?
My family originally comes from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. So from a young age I was aware how lucky I was to receive a good education in the UK. When a member of staff at ChildHope came and spoke with me about the number of children who are being forced to live and work on the streets of Dhaka and Chittagong, I wanted to support ChildHope's work in some way.
What have you learnt from your visit to Bangladesh?
I've learnt from the project staff that thousands of children, up to 29,000 in fact, are exploited and abused everyday in Bangladesh. The project staff also explained that poverty and family breakdown are forcing girls and boys as young as seven to become street children. The children survive by any means necessary, such as begging and stealing. Very few services are available to the children, and they are marginalised, discriminated, abused and exploited by adults.
What did you find at the children's project centre?
What struck me first and foremost was the number of girls and boys at the project centre run by the local NGO Aparajeyo. The children were receiving access to care and protection as well as shelter, healthcare and education. I was impressed by the scope of the project centre's work and the number of children being supported.
How can other people support these children?
I would like to urge others to find out more about ChildHope's work in Africa, Asia and South America. By making a donation, you can help this amazing charity continue transforming the lives of vulnerable children.