Amcariza Foundation is a not for profit organisation giving a hand up to locals in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It combines the initials and name of two signifcant local indviduals: AMC and Ariza. It carries on the legacy of one man.
The late Al-Haj Abdul Muquith Choudhury (AMC), affectionately called "Makhon Miah" by the locals was born in Ali Nagor/Chondorpur, Sylhet, in a village owned by his landed gentry of ancestors. Yet in 1950 AMC was poor and destitute and so he emigrated to the UK where he become a successful entrepreneur and restaurateur. After decades of assisting the poor, including his ancestral village of Chandorpur, he died on March 23, 2004 as a pedestrian in a road accident. His daughter Yasmin Choudhury (Happy) founded Amcariza.
Ariza was the mother of AMC and his seven brothers and 4 siblings. She fell on hard times after her husband died, leaving her a widow at a young age. The intiial philanthropic work for the village was initiated by AMC's brother Abdul Khalique Choudhury (Shuna Miah) who died in the late 1950s. And then AMC using his profits from his UK curryhouse, began to scale up.
Amcariza is presently run solely by volunteers. Even out of pocket expenses are borne individually.
We do not think money is getting to the locals we work with via NGOs nor is it being used adequately. Our founder Yasmin set Amcariza up to streamline the activities she had been undertaking within AMC's family for many decades as she has yet to be given her full share of her landrights. As left to her by her late father. You can find out more at her website..
We help smash the stigma and improve status of destitute people at direct grass roots level. We do this by speaking to villagers and destitute in their language. Most staff are local and are being led by the founder, Yasmin Choudhury, herself a British citizen yet of Bangladeshi heritage. She has learnt to speak the local dialect fluently and known to the people we work with.
We know the locals. Yasmin is tied to the locals by her heritage and well known amongst the Sylheti community. There is much good will and trust to allow us to get projects up and running quickly so we can effect change. As soon as a beneficiary is up and running we move them away from the foundation to ensure co-dependecy is not formed.
Farming and vegetable planting.
Training and basic literacy.
Basic Medical assistance for elderly.
Support for single mothers, orphans and street kids
Basic shelter via tin roofs.
Distribution of clothing
Zakat - annual Muslim ritual to feed the poor.
We only help those who we have assessed are in dire need. Otherwise we ask locals to donate their time or skills in exchange for training or assistance.
We also provide tutors to any children or locals and in tuen they tend to crops and farming. So we create a positive community spirit.
We never provide cash into hands of locals.
We also log charitable requests and then review and decide on list of beneficiaries after painstakingly enquriing, checking and thoroughly vetting their circumstances.
Late Al-Haj Abdul Muquith Choudhury
School donated by Abdul Khaliique Choudhury