Moinul Islam works for the Centre for Disability in Development in Bangladesh. He is the co-ordinator of our carers projects in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka and has been in this role since 2018. Moinul kindly spoke to us about his work with carers and said the following:
Q: What specific role do you play in supporting carers?
A: “I oversee the running of the carers projects between CDD and Carers Worldwide and lead a skilled team of staff in the projects. My responsibilities in this role are varied and include: conducting mental health sessions; referring children with disabilities to rehabilitation service providers; advocating on carers’ issues with policy makers; organising local and national events for carers; and demonstrating the effectiveness of the Carers Worldwide Model in the field.”
Q: Why do you think it important that carers receive the support that they need?
A: “Prior to our work, carers were isolated and invisible in my country. I believe that we need to extend our hand to support not just persons with disabilities but carers too.”
Q: What changes have you seen in the lives of carers and their families through the carers projects?
A: “There have been so many changes to the lives of carers and their families through the projects in just two years. One key change has been the increase in carers who are able to financially contribute to their households since starting to earn an income through home-based livelihood activities. The Community Caring Centres we have set up are the first of their kind in Savar and they have been very welcomed by carers and their disabled children.
Carers are happy to be part of the new carers’ movement in Bangladesh and feel that they are finally being recognised and listened to. Many carers have developed skills in leadership which they are using to really drive the carers’ movement forward. There has been a change in thinking within local government about the carers’ issue which was evident in the support they provided during the current COVID-19 crisis.”
Q: What impact has COVID-19 had on carers and how have carers been supported during these times?
A: “COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for carers and their families due to the worry of contracting the virus, livelihood activities being stopped, self-help group meetings being cancelled, Community Caring Centres closing, and non-COVID related health services no longer operating.
We have supported carers in many ways by providing emergency food rations, providing hygiene kits and keeping carers connected via virtual meetings. As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have re-opened our Community Caring Centres at reduced capacity and are supporting carers in re-establishing their livelihood activities.”
Q: What is your hope for the long-term future of carers in Bangladesh?
A: “It is my hope for the Carers Worldwide Model to be adopted and sustained throughout the whole of Bangladesh so that all carers can benefit from the learnings from our pilot work in Savar.”
We would like to thank Moinul for his dedication and commitment to the carers’ issue. He has played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of our very first projects in Bangladesh. If you are interested in learning about our work in Bangladesh then please visit our Bangladesh projects page.