Celebrating Five Years of Thrive

Celebrating Five Years of Thrive

In late 2012, three women promised to bring 250 children a banana during their school day. Five years later, Thrive has much to celebrate and many to thank.

This March, Board Member, Amna Rahman, opened her Dhaka home to celebrate Five Years of Thrive. Over 125 people were in attendance, including donors, partners, and volunteers, as well as teachers and students from schools that Thrive serves. We were even lucky enough to have honored guests, US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ambassador Bernicat, and  Founder of Jaago Schools, Korvi Rakshand Dhurbo join us.  Both gave excellent speaches on the power within all of us to invest in the children who will one day make up the future of Bangladesh. 

[metaslider id=”2195″]During the celebration, Thrive bestowed over forty awards for corporate and individual donors and partners. A gallery of artwork by students from Thrive-supported schools was on display. 

The event was hosted by Thrive’s core Bangladesh leadership: Amna Rahman, Sadia Moyeen, Sarah Karim, Kanwal Bhagat, and Samreen Moyeen. Event donors include  Karim of Direct Fresh and Gourmet Food Company, Board Member, Ali Arsalan of Holey Bakery, Kazi & Kazi Tea, Partex, Palmal Group, Enchanted, and dear friends Susan Moyeen, and Minat Khan. 

Field Notes – Thrive: Manila

Field Notes – Thrive: Manila

Smiles on, soap in hand, waiting for water.

This post is a written reflection by Ashley Spurlock, Manila, Philippines. 

This is Thrive:  This morning, two friends and I went to an area of Manila called Smokey Mountain. I’ve visited Smokey Mountain before, and each time I go it opens my heart a little more.

Apple? Check. Peanuts? Check.

Today I gave a little boy a bath while his aunt bathed his brother. These boys wear no clothes, they are covered in dirt from head to toe. They have no one to call “mama” and it breaks my heart. What can I do to help these babies?

Splashing around with chicks.

It can be overwhelming because the need is so great. However, sometimes it’s the simple things that can mean so much; an apple, a handful of peanuts, washing little hands with soap and water. They smile, they play, they laugh with their friends. For today, that’s enough. Thankful for this experience.

Thrive will be visiting Smokey Mountain on a weekly basis. If you would like to join us on a delivery, let us know! We’d love to have you!
A Rae of Hope for Thrive:Manila

A Rae of Hope for Thrive:Manila

Rae Siller may be just 10 years old, but she’s already making a huge impact on the world and on Thrive — her BE THE ONE community service organization recently collected and donated 300 bars of soap to help kids in need!

Thrive volunteers bring tubs of soapy water to each Thrive delivery on Smokey Mountain, a landfill consisting of two million tons of waste but, also, a home to the many children we serve.

“I started BE THE ONE with my mom without even realizing it,” said Rae. “Growing up, my mom always instilled in me the value of gratitude and service — that I should not always think about what I can do for myself, but ask myself what I can do for others. She always told me that I can BE THE ONE who can make a difference in one person’s life…or in many lives.” Rae and her mom practice random acts of kindness often, and she loves helping others and making people smile. So she decided to take it a step further and create a group that helps other kids her age to do the same. “I want to inspire my peers just like my mom inspires me. Little things can make a huge impact — I can BE THE ONE and so can you!”

“First, we started washing hands, but quickly realized that since soap was such a luxury here, kids were using it to wash all the way up their arms and more,” says, Marylu Fryberger, Thrive Manila

Rae’s mom showed her photos of kids living on Smokey Mountain who were being helped by Thrive, and she had an idea. “My mom explained to me that they live on a landfill. My heart got a little heavy and it saddened me, thinking about them living in and around trash and all of the germs and sickness that is associated with it…and I had an idea. Soap! They need soap! Then the brainstorming began!”

With some assistance from her dad, Rae contacted the United States Embassy to see if they could help. The United States Embassy Club (USEC) posted flyers for the soap drive, and people started donating soap they collected during hotel stays. “I never imagined we could collect this many bar soaps but I am so happy we did! And now we have 300 bar soaps for Thrive!”

You can find out more about Rae and BE THE ONE on her Facebook page.


A Meaningful Gift

A Meaningful Gift

In memory of her Uncle Tarik (left), Mira Haurani, donated her birthday to Thrive and raised $845 from her friends and family.

Throughout the year, the work of Thrive inspires people around the globe to donate their birthday to the children we serve.  This past week, Mira Haurani (newly ten), of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, did just that and raised over $800.  That’s over 1600 meals.

In lieu of birthday gifts, Mira asked her friends to donate to Thrive in memory of her late uncle, Tarik Ibrahim, MS MD, an accomplished neurosurgeon.  Tarik was humbly known as “Dr. Love” for his love and compassion of his patients and colleagues, alike.  His warm smile, caring heart, and affectionate demeanor were felt by everyone who met him. A testament to his character, Tarik’s true passion was helping those less fortunate as well as mankind, in general. His zeal for life and his love for humankind was above all else exemplified in his love for his nieces, Mira, Eva, and Amalie and nephews Nadeem and Malek.

When we asked Mira how she felt about the amount of money she raised, she replied, “Taco (Tarik’s nickname given to him by Mira) would be so happy that my friends and I raised money to feed hungry children. I am so proud of my friends.”

If you, too, would like to donate your birthday to us, send your friends and family to our page and have them leave us a message in the donation process. We will alert you of all donations made in your name so you can keep track of the difference you are making in the lives of the many children who rely on Thrive for nutrition every day.

Notes From the Field: Smokey Mountain, Manila

Notes From the Field: Smokey Mountain, Manila


The families on Smokey Mountain have no running water, so when Thrive brings clean water for drinking and washing up, moms take full advantage of the opportunity.

Today, as Marylu and I climbed Smokey Mountain, we were met with billows of smoke from the charcoal making and waving hands from the neighborhood children eager to help us carry the water and baskets of fruit to the community center. Once at the top, we worried we wouldn’t have enough food when we saw that the line snaked around the corner. It seems each time there are more people to serve. We estimate well over 190 children this week. Fortunately, we used our mother-honed skills and strategically sliced the oranges to ensure everyone got their fair share.

   Before the food distribution, Marylu lead the mother and children in handwashing, which for many kids ends up being a full-on body soak in an effort to rinse away the ash from the charcoal-filled air. It is touching to see a rough-and-tumble, 10-year-old boy reluctant to dip his muddy foot in the water, but within just a few minutes, he’s jumped in — the simple joy of rinsing off in clean water.
   Afterward, we chatted with Chin, an ever-present community member, who helps us hand out the food, to hear about his new work opportunities and what Thrive means to him and the community. See raw footage of Chin’s interview HERE.