Slavery
December 6th, 2012
09:36 PM ET

Operation Hope: How you can help

We have had huge interest in the incredible story of Okkhoy, the seven-year-old boy from Bangladesh who was mutilated by a gang of men because he refused to beg for them - and his subsequent surgery and recovery in the U.S.

Many among our audience asked what they could do to help.

There is no formal helpline set up to assist the family. But Aram Kovach, the businessman who helped bring Okkhoy to the U.S., has launched a fundraising site called Donate and Help to finance trips for other children who need life-changing medical treatment.

The wider issue behind Okkhoy's story is how to eradicate the practice of forced begging. Among the organizations involved in this work in Bangladesh and elsewhere are Save the Children and UNICEF.

You can also donate to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where Okkhoy had his surgery.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and interest in Okkhoy.

Topics: How to Help

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soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Jcc

    Why not setup a formal helpline to help the family? They are going to need a lot more when they return home.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
    • CBald

      I agree. I wish there was a way to deposit money into a trust for Okhoy. Something that will help him in the future, not just now. Im so glad though that some good has come from the situation. His story makes me so sad. There is so much evil around us. We need a safer world to live in and to keep our children safe.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  2. Rosie

    This whole family should get asylum in the United States. I have been to Bangladesh and they will not be safe there. Revenge will take the lives of this boy and/or his family. If anybody should have asylum, it is certainly this family. This is a horrible, horrible story–probably repeated far too often. I have seen some of the maimed beggar children and my heart goes out to them. But that was 15 years ago, and now with the global economy making Bangladesh even poorer, it is heart-breaking! Yes, this family must have asylum in the USA!

    December 7, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
    • MR RICH QUEST: PANATAG

      IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

      BRGY. SAN JUAN
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      BALAGTAS BULACAN

      UNDERGROUND RIVER
      PUERTO PRINCESA PALAWAN
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      +VIOS*

      December 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  3. John Wocher

    I think what can motivate us is knowing that our donation will go from A to B, directly, no handling charges, no overhead, no middlemen, no administrative costs. If this can be guaranteed, many more folks will donate to good individual causes. But without it, we really have no idea how our money is used. We don't trust collective/group/organizational donations because we lose sight of our objective. Until we can reach out and directly touch these lives, donations to these heart-wrenching cases will not proliferate. There must be a transparent, clear route. If you know the starfish story, you know what I mean.
    Thanks!
    John

    December 7, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
  4. Chris

    He still could be in danger. Please provide asylum to him & his family.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:39 am | Reply
    • Sathi

      Please provide a sanctuary for this family here .. they will be in danger if they go back .. do not want see this boy's life jeopardized again.. please set up a formal helpline

      December 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  5. Misty

    Dediacated volunteer from here and Bangladesh probably could make a difference. At some point I would like to go there and do something for them. However, support will be needed from government agencies and from local people, as you will be fighting against this big mafia. I have been to Bangladesh so many times and these street chlidren always touched my heart.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:13 am | Reply
  6. Misty

    we don't want any child to suffer like this. May of us could prevent this just by supporting this types of vulnerable familes. Kovach is a real inspiration. It would be more helpful if we could get in touch with real victims and find out surrpundings problems. We all need to try to reduce these types of horrific incidents and accept our social responsibilites.

    December 7, 2012 at 7:12 am | Reply
  7. Amir Ali

    Sir urdu 1 tv turkish dramas n mu anty w/ sister in law they auto language using w/ presentation of pak navy its true the girl SONU was on my front..

    December 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  8. Amir Ali

    Sir indian network is giving me when i am watching urdu 1 is flu means they attach w/ abhishek bachans is turkey invlvd in much enough drugs..

    December 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  9. Amir Ali

    Sir indian network is giving me when i am watching urdu 1 is flu means they attach w/ abhishek bachans,Is turkey invlvd in much enough drugs traffickg..

    December 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  10. Bek

    To the ones who harm peeps,just for fun,or bully them on purpose.God saids,"fear not man,But Fear God."For the is comeing,when we all will pay for our own sins.No matter who you ARE.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  11. Jane Papa

    Is there any way I can donate specifically to this family? Who would we contact to try to get this family to the U.S., established and set up a college fund for this child? Does anyone know?

    December 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  12. Kathleen

    I'm very surprised there is no formal helpline set up for this family. This is very tragic and my heart cries out for this child. I understand the need not to release the names for their protection. Can't the general public send help thru the activist who helped them?

    December 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  13. misty

    I think the idea of setting up a formal helpline will be useful. As we can directly contact the family or the victim through a reliable source. Thank you very much to CNN for bringing this topic and I would like to know more about other victims, so that we all can try to reduce their pain and make their life better. Cruelty to children is unacceptable and unforgivable.

    December 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  14. Mb

    Please set up a fund dedicated to helping this boy. I want to donate money to him.
    Thank you.

    December 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  15. Lwhite

    For those asking how they can help Aram Kovach set up a website http://www.donateandhelp where you can donate to help this boy and family.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  16. marco

    actually, the only way out of these extremely horrible things on this planet is via: http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    December 8, 2012 at 4:48 am | Reply
  17. jessica

    If this boy and his family wish it, I hope they get asylum in the US. If anyone deserves a safe life, it is them and at least here they would have a chance. We are so blessed in this country it makes me ashamed to ever complain about anything ever again.

    December 8, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  18. JAMES A. JACKSON

    I'm watching this report now from Cairo. I have never been so moved to see you do a story of this nature, and I'm glad you were there. M y heart left my body, to find this brave young man, and his family. I would love to send a package from which they will all be able to use, and something special for little man, as I call him. It was an act that should have never been commited against any person, let only a child of God. If possible, let me have some data on what We as people can do. You do well, and help me to be a better person. Bless you.

    December 9, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
    • Soulchild

      Man. I'm only 13. I haven't gotten all the facts of life down yet. But if you really want to help, you should contact CNN student news and start something like a support group to help him out.(except don't start a support group because I'm already doing that and I love being an entrepreneur. Don't mess with me) And bless you too.

      December 10, 2012 at 6:11 am | Reply
  19. Rakib

    CNN should keep working on this because there are many more childrens like okkhoy who are being abused.As a Bangladeshi,i wanna thank you for being with us.

    December 9, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • Soulchild

      You should start an organization of your own to help prevent this from happening. Honestly, I'm 13 and starting my own organization to help uneducated and underprivileged kids in the Philippines( that's just for now. I want it to become a world-wide organization someday.) Don't be afraid to fail. Or you will become afraid of succeeding.

      December 11, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  20. refinneJ

    This family has been through so much and so many people have reached out to help them. This has renewed hope in their family and given them a new chance at a happy and successful life for the family. To make them return to Bangladesh would be a step backwards. Allow them to stay and start over with a fresh look on humanity in a new place with greater hopes for all. They are a symbol in both Bangladesh and the United States that miracles happen and it's possible to turn tragedy into victory when enough people come together to make it happen.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Soulchild

      Well, instead of just talking about other people making a change, make one yourself. If others see you working toward the betterment of humanity, then they might be inspired to work as well. Start a support group. Raise money for Okkhoy. Help out. Don't just sit there and say that we should be doing this and that when you could actually be doing it.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
  21. Robert Davis

    My experience with helping a family, who claimed they were very poor, turned into a never ending, almost weekly
    family crisis, focussed on me sending them money, to solve. When I didn't send more money, they tried to create a
    blackmail scheme. So be careful. 'Surgery offers so little' was the words from a top Mayo Clinic professional, some
    years ago. Every time one has surgery, one's body gets damaged. Only in the womb, can a real male penis be created.
    Another factor: With time, cosmetic, other surgical correctives, begin to break down, come undone. Don't chance it.

    December 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • Soulchild

      Yes. But think how much this surgery can help Okkhoy heal mentally. As said in the article, "Mental healing can only come after the physical healing."

      December 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
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  23. sam kohen

    I see nothing wrong with slavery.In fact Ithink President Lincoln was wrong and slavery should be legalized. Even the Holy Bible condones it.So whats the problem?

    December 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  24. Jayashankerayaniyat

    Dear Samkohen
    Wecant bechickened by slavery can u take the slave or the christ in the holy bible
    On desiding uponothers

    December 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Soulchild

      What is wrong with you? Slavery is wrong. We aren't chicken, we're reasonable. Put yourself in a slave's position, then say that it's alright. You are a sick, sick person. Think about what would happen to you if you were a slave. Wouldn't you want slavery to end? 'Nothings wrong with slavery', hah! Everything is wrong with slavery. Get your facts straight.

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