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Ayesha Ahsan (Papeya)

I am Ayesha Ahsan (Papeya), born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and moved to USA at the age of 11. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holding a senior position for the United States Department of Labor.
I had quiet the journey in my life. I got married at the age of 16, just a sophomore in high school who knew nothing about marriage and got pregnant with my son during 1st year of college. Years of trying to break away from an unhappy marriage, I finally decided to become a single mom at the age of 26. Afterwards, I struggled my way to finish my B.A. in Accounting, MBA, and CPA. I learned to live above the scrutiny of the Bangladeshi society who never fails to blame the woman for failure of marriage. My son has been my biggest strength so I kept pushing, moving, and refuse to give up.
I always wanted to do something for those in need. Focusing on my birthplace, Bangladesh, I learned that it is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and is the size of Illinois but home of 161 million people. In Bangladesh, 43% of the people live below poverty line. Searching for my purpose in life, I was inspired to end hunger. I co-founded a non-profit organization in Bangladesh called BhaatBank, where anyone in need can come and collect a free meal. BhaatBank works to help end hunger starting one neighborhood at a time. The organization received recognition from Daily Star on November of 2017 and Dhaka Tribune on September of 2017. BhaatBank is currently serving 400 meals every week from two locations in Mohammadpur, Dhaka along with various situational and holiday based activities where additional food and clothing’s are distributed. Due to personal reason, I resigned from operation in 2018.
In an effort to give back to this world, even in smaller scale, I am involved in various small charity works that involve providing food, clothing, building water wells, etc. I also take part as an invitational guest for my friend’s US based nonprofit organization for refugees “Education for Everyone.” Currently, I am focusing on new beginnings, my family, and my son as my dream of helping those in need on a larger scale lives on. I hope along the way I can hop onto my next big adventure of giving back to this world.

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