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#HumansCare | Living with Dignity, Fatema’s Story

Published: 12 December 2022
Updated: 23 June 2023
Mum making her son laugh
Fatema lives in a small village in Savar sub-district on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh She cares fulltime for her son Ridoy who has Down’s Syndrome. Other unpaid family carers living nearby brought her to the attention of the project team from our local charity partner Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) and she eagerly got involved with the project.
“I was facing negative attitudes from the community because of my son’s disability. I was feeling depressed because of my situation and in a lot of physical pain: I have to carry Ridoy everywhere and so my back and shoulders are always hurting.” – Fatema

Fatema joined her local carers group and realised that this was a great way to get to know other carers and to get involved in bringing about positive changes for unpaid carers and their families. She is now the leader of the group and has built up a strong working relationship with local government officials, most recently securing social security cards for the group’s disabled relatives.

To support her health, Fatema has attended the project’s health camp where she received treatment and advice for her back and shoulder pain. She also saw a counsellor and now regularly attends sessions with one of the project’s barefoot counsellors.

Fatema’s son attends one of the project’s community caring centres where he is thriving due to the specialist therapy, educational and social opportunities. While Ridoy is engaged in the sessions, Fatema has time to relax with other mothers and also to take part in livelihoods training. She has learned how to care for chickens and is about to receive a grant from the project to purchase 15 chickens, a coop and chicken feed. With her determination, she is sure to make a success of this new activity, which will bring much needed additional income to the family.


Project staff have noticed that since Fatema became involved in the project, her family and neighbours have become more supportive of her. They have seen the benefits of the project to her personally and the contributions she is making to other family carers. Her self-esteem has increased, and she now describes herself as being on a path to help all family carers.

“We are now becoming more accepted in the community, and we are able to live our lives with dignity.” – Fatema

If you would like to help more unpaid carers like Fatema, then now is the time, as your donation will be doubled! Throughout December we are running a Festive Match Funding Appeal thanks to The Cosaraf Charitable Foundation with the aim of opening a new Community Caring Centre in Bangladesh for carers and their disabled children.

Update: our 2022 Festive Appeal was a success and we raised enough money to open a new Community Caring Centre, like the one that Fatema and Ridoy attend. If you’d like to help us continue our work, then please do consider giving a gift to support more carers like Fatema. Thank you!