• Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:00 pm

Young Star Welfare Association helping distressed Bangladeshi expatriates

  • Published at 10:29 pm July 5th, 2019
Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association-Courtesy
A blood donation drive organized by the Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association at the Bagatelle Mall in Mauritius Courtesy

He has so far helped 1,000 Bangladeshi workers in various countries

A Bangladeshi expatriate from Mauritius with volunteers in 14 countries has been supporting the needy and distressed Bangladeshi expatriates for the last 13 years. 

He has so far helped 1,000 Bangladeshi workers in various countries. His association assists Bangladeshi workers in getting work permits, meeting medical and financial needs and in case of death to bring back bodies to their families.  They have a plan to bring all Bangladeshi expatriates under the umbrella of their association.

Mohammad Hafizur Rahman alias Mohammad Hafiz, an inhabitant of Manikganj district, has emerged as a male version of Florence Nightingale. He has been helping and assisting Bangladeshi expatriates in various ways, according to their needs and requirements for the last 13 years.

Hafiz has been working as chief graphics editor of Le Xournal, a French language newspaper of Mauritius, for 16 years.

To spread word of his charity work and engage Bangladeshi expatriates, Hafiz and two other expatriates from Saudi Arabia formed an online-based association named “Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association” on September 16, 2018.

The Bangladesh Embassy in Mauritius awarded him with an appreciation letter in May this year.

Over 100 expatriates from 14 countries have been serving as volunteers with the organization, to ease problems faced by other expatriates.

Hafizur Rahman was elected as convener while his associate Jahangir Alam, an expatriate of Saudi Arabia, was elected as joint member secretary of the association.

How the association began

Hafizur Rahman went to Mauritius at the age of 18 to change his  fate and that of his family members. During the period, he not only changed the fate of his family members, but extended his helping hand to distressed and needy Bangladeshi expatriates.

He felt that forming an online-based platform of Bangladeshi expatriates would help ensure all kinds of assistance for those who face problems and struggle while working in foreign countries, away from near and dear ones.

Hafiz then contacted Jahangir Alam, Shahin Hasan and other expatriates of Saudi Arabia with his plan, who agreed to go forward with the Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association. With their sincere efforts, they established the association on September 16, 2018.

Hafiz said: “Bangladeshi expatriates suffer from several problems upon reaching foreign countries, as they are not familiar with the culture, language and work patterns there.”

Areas of assistance

“We assist expatriates, who need help to get work permits, medical and financial support,” Hafiz said.

The association also helps families to bring the bodies of deceased family members back home, if any family faces legal or financial crisis.

Jahangir Alam said Bangladeshi expatriates face problems but cannot solve them due to language problems and lack of money.

“We gather information on problems being faced by particular or group of Bangladeshi expatriates and try to help them. Our main aim is to keep Bangladeshi expatriates safe and sound.”

They want to convince Bangladeshi expatriates around the globe and inform them that they are not alone, as Young Star Expatriate Welfare Association is beside them in all odd situations.

To make the association work in a planned and coordinated way, they arrange an online meeting once a week, said Jahangir.

The association is not only helping expatriates, but also poor and destitute people at home. 

Members of the association even spend nights in hospitals with Bangladeshis who need assistance.

During Ramadan, the association members arranged several iftar parties in five districts, and distributed food to the poor on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Hafiz and Jahangir said their efforts are totally humanitarian and they do not do it for recognition.

Future plans

They have plans to bring all Bangladeshi expatriates under their platform, they added.

According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment around 10 million Bangladeshi expatriates are working in 160 countries and most of them are working in the Middle East including an estimated 0.7 million in the UAE, and two million in Malaysia