A stunning photo series reveals the faces of street children in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a lush South Asian country nestled between India and Myanmar.

It's known for its rivers, its hot, humid summers, and the immensely crowded capital city of Dhaka.


All images provided by Save the Children/Story Central.

It's also known for its widespread and rampant poverty.

In 2010, 47 million people there were living below the (U.S. defined) poverty line. There are many reasons for all the poverty, including the population size and a volatile political climate, but one fact remains the most unsettling:

Of the millions of people living in poverty in Bangladesh, over half of them are children who face a uniquely difficult form of it.

Not only do they struggle to meet their basic needs, they do so while being harshly discriminated against and treated as a nuisance.

"They are the forgotten children of Bangladesh," a representative from Save the Children told Upworthy. "[They are] often ostracized by the community and excluded from life-saving services. Many face a lifetime of discrimination, unable to attend school, find a safe place to sleep or enough food to eat."


In fact, these children are 2.5 times more likely than other children to be rejected from schools because of discrimination, which traps them in a vicious cycle of poverty.

They sleep wherever they can, mostly on the streets or in abandoned buildings. Some do odd jobs to earn pennies a day, and all of them have little hope of ever building a better future.

Cast out by society and forgotten, the world doesn't often see their faces.

Which is why Save the Children commissioned a powerful photo series about them, to bring their stories to light.

The photos are illuminating and stunning and show in detail what it's like for children to live in the harshest poverty with little chance of escape.

Children like Emon, age 10.

Emon left his home after being beaten by several of his family members. He's been on the streets ever since. To make money, he carries bags for people in the train station and works as a porter. He has no possessions and says he is often hungry.

And Ramjan, age 11.

Ramjan has been sleeping on the streets since his parents left four years ago. He sleeps in a train station where he says he gets beaten and taunted, often going to sleep hungry and afraid.

There's also Shohag, age 12.

Shohag has lived on the street for between three and four years. Most of the time he sleeps in and around Kamalapur railway station. During the day, he hangs around the station trying to pick up work as a porter, through which he might earn, at best, 100 BDT, which is a little over $1, a day.

And Hasan, who sleeps at Save the Children's own shelter.

Hasan left home two years ago after arguing with his parents. While sleeping in a train station, he was beaten during the night and also saw traffickers approaching children.

“When I grow up, I dream of having a job in the guards or the police,” he told Save the Children. “But for that I need to study. I will have some power — then I won’t get beaten.”

Selim, age 12, says that his main fear is attacks from the police.

"When they come, they blow the whistle [to get us to disperse]," he told Save the Children. "If that doesn’t work, they beat us lightly with their sticks. If we don’t move, they beat us hard. It feels bad when they wake me up in the middle of sleeping. And sometimes I curse them in my mind."

Tuhin has only been on the streets for six months.

He collects bottles for money and doesn't know how to read or write. "I can count a little," he says. "But I don’t understand money.”

While the situation for these kids is dire, Save the Children recently partnered with a local Bangladeshi shelter to provide a sliver of hope.

The shelter, run by INCIDEN Bangledesh provides a safe place to sleep for children aged 9-14 as well as food and outreach to give the kids a basic education.

It may be small in the grand scheme of things, but the shelter is one of the only bastions of safety and comfort these kids have.

No child should have to look at a safe place to sleep like a luxury, but millions do every single day. While there are efforts to improve their quality of life and provide safety, it's a brutal uphill battle that won't end any time soon.

As for the greater economic needs of the country, Bangladesh is crawling its way up and has managed to reduce the number of people living in poverty by 16 million in 10 years.

"Street children should not be forgotten and excluded from society," says Save the Children. "Their rights should not be ignored and more should be done to help them access mainstream society."

What's amazing about children, though, is that you can take away their homes, their sense of safety, and even their food, but when you show them a little bit of kindness and opportunity, they can still smile this big. They still have hope.

Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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