DCI’s work has three major components:
(1) Child Development Program: DCI has a sponsorship program, which for $10/month aims to keep poor children in school. This Sun-Child Sponsorship (SCS) program helps create friendship and understanding between American and Bangladeshi children. The SCS program which promotes the education and health care of a child in Bangladesh for a contribution from sponsors of only $10 a month. Illiteracy is an overwhelming obstacle to people. We aim to provide an opportunity for young people to find training and jobs, as well as to learn about their civil rights and ways to attain better health, nutrition and security. Thus, we hope to make a long-term investment in the future of Bangladesh. DCI is also working to help orphans, street children, and working children. The DCI orphanage support program helps several orphanages in Bangladesh guarantee, not only lodging and food for children, but also education, medical attention and, most importantly, a home where they can feel loved and protected. DCI works for protecting and promoting the rights of the children who are the poorest and most vulnerable, living and working in the urban sectors of Bangladesh.
(2) HIV/AIDS Prevention Program: This AIDS program provides a comprehensive package of services for both vulnerable and low risk populations in order to prevent and control the spread of STD/AIDS in the community. DCI lends support to orphanages that provide care for children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. In the year 2004, DCI started a Comprehensive AIDS Prevention Program in Bangladesh in joint collaboration with the Yale University AIDS Program (USA) and ASAHI Fund Bangladesh (AFB). It is distressing to learn that 28 million people have already died of AIDS worldwide and another 45 million are living with HIV infection (in 2004). HIV/AIDS has orphaned 15 million children (under the age of 15) worldwide. The tragedy of HIV/AIDS is evident in countries across the world. Being one of the world's most densely populated countries (with over 154 million population in only 55,000 square miles) and with one of the poorest health infrastructures in the world, Bangladesh harbors all the major risk factors associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our mission is to provide HIV/AIDS education, training, research, diagnosis and treatment for people infected with HIV or otherwise affected by HIV/AIDS and also to prevent the incipient HIV/AIDS epidemic in Bangladesh. We have a vision to create an atmosphere that is united in defeating the threat of HIV/AIDS and protect our next generation.
(3) Prevention of Childhood Blindness International Program: DCI has a program for the prevention of childhood blindness. DCI regularly arranges free mobile eye clinics for poor children and provide free diagnosis and treatment. We receive technical support from Yale University Eye Center, US and BMA (Bangladesh Medical Association). One of the most important missions of DCI is carried out by the Prevention of Childhood Blindness International. There are approximately 1.4 million blind people in Bangladesh of which more than half a million are children whose blindness is treatable. DCI Mobile Eye Clinic has developed a system for detecting causes of childhood blindness and provides effective treatment for the same. DCI also supports research in the methods of prevention and treatment of congenital and developmental cataracts including pediatric IOL implant technologies.
In addition, DCI also regularly arranges free cleft lip and palate surgery clinics and acid-burn treatment clinics for poor children. DCI is dedicated to creating a new dawn in Bangladesh. Our goal is to support programs that, not only respond to immediate needs, but also make a long-term difference in people’s lives by helping their families and communities become self-sufficient. DCI knows how to alleviate the suffering for many people, not with handouts, but with bold, innovative programs that respect children and their families. With your support, we can move towards our goal of healthy and educated children in Bangladesh.
We also would like to encourage friendships between US children and the underprivileged children in developing countries. Another of our goals is to educate American children as to how they are so much more fortunate than most children in developing countries. Through our child sponsorship program, American children have the unique opportunity to develop friendships with children from Bangladesh and India and so maybe become motivated to volunteer for humanitarian work now and in the future. Understanding the causes of world hunger and poverty could give direction to their lives and perhaps encourage them when they reach adulthood to become empathetic leaders in this cause.