Maya Rani from Savar, Bangladesh cares for her daughter who has learning difficulties and a physical disability. Her husband’s health is poor and he is unable to work. Before getting involved in the project, Maya Rani worked as a maid on a very low income. Struggling to feed her family on such an income, Maya Rani struggled with depression and worried for her daughter’s future. “I totally forgot how to laugh at that time,” she says.
Maya Rani was one of the first carers to join our project in Bangladesh and when the project staff met her, it was obvious that she was a priority for support. She joined the carers group that was set up in her village on the outskirts of Dhaka and started attending meetings regularly. For the first time, she met other carers and she no longer felt alone. Through the group, she learned that her daughter was entitled to a disability allowance from the government and project staff helped her to apply for the certificate she needed to claim this.
Maya Rani attended one of the project’s health camps and also regularly received counselling. During the lockdown imposed at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the counselling continued over the phone, providing a lifeline for Maya Rani and her family.
By far one of the biggest impacts the project has had on Maya Rani and her family has been the support provided for her to find a new means of earning. She was one of a group of carers trained in making craft items, for which there is great demand in the markets of Dhaka. Now, she prepares beautiful paper flowers at home and then goes with her daughter and husband to sell them in the city. She is now earning triple what she was earning as a maid, enough to comfortably feed her family and save some money for the future.
“Before the support from the project, my life was stressful and I was struggling a lot. Now I am a lot happier. I can earn an income in a dignified way and my family life is better.”
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