Behind the Mask
A New Sight — Arizona
COVID-19 took the whole world by surprise. No country was prepared to handle the struggles that it brought, especially my home country, Bangladesh. As the eighth most dense country in the world, the virus spread quickly. The country was already facing issues of unemployment and poverty. To make matters worse, the lockdown caused by the pandemic exacerbated this situation and worsened the livelihood of many families in Bangladesh. My compassionate parents were saddened by the effects of this virus on their native village, Kanaibari. They told me stories about the families that were struggling to maintain their way of life. I was moved by these tragic stories.
While the situation did not directly affect me, I was pulled by my love for my country and my passion to help people; I wanted to do something to help improve this situation for the better. I was inspired to create a small non profit organization, Bangladesh Hunger Front, to help these impoverished families. First, I gathered passionate individuals to fight for the cause. For my first initiative, I organized a food drive to Palsahar, a rural village in Bangladesh. By now, I have set up a website, social media pages, and fundraising pages. With the help of my team, I also successfully implemented two projects and helped a total of 115 people. Although COVID-19 created many obstacles for our organization, we have learned to adapt to the situation. For example, I could not organize any in-person fundraising events. However, I learned to use social media sites to advertise my cause and raise the funds to help families in need. With the extremely difficult struggles of a pandemic, this past year was a learning experience. Personally, this year’s hardships taught me various skills that I can carry throughout my life. Leading an organization is a whole new world for me, but the hope of helping people keeps me moving forward. I want to keep raising awareness about this issue surrounding my native country and continue to work towards reducing hunger. I hope my organization can make a better world for the underprivileged. Ultimately, this nightmare of a year brought out a new opportunity for me to aid those in need, especially in my home country.
— Nishat Ahmed, 16