Nipa lives in Dhorenda village near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. She lives with her husband and their three children. Their eldest daughter, who is 14, has Cerebral Palsy and Nipa keeps her at home and takes care of her. Her husband doesn’t have a permanent income and because of this and their caring responsibilities, they have always struggled financially.
When we began our project in Nipa’s community, in partnership with Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), she was very interested to be a part of the movement.
The project, titled ‘Achieving Socioeconomic Inclusion of Vulnerable Family Carers in Bangladesh’, was funded by the Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission. It provided 300 carers of people with mental illness or disabilities with the means and support to build sustainable livelihoods alongside their caring responsibilities, lifting themselves and their families out of poverty and into long term economic security.
Nipa spoke to other carers from her village and together they formed a Carers Group, a place for them to come together and support each other – she was elected as president of the group. Nipa took it upon herself to help identify the unskilled carers in the group and arrange livelihood training for them. She also received training herself in cow rearing.
The Carers Group has funds to loan out to its members. Our project provides the initial seed money and then carers repay it into the ‘pot’ for future carers to borrow from. Nipa borrowed 10,000BDT (Bangladeshi Taka) (about £85), adding 25,000 BDT (about £213) of her own money to buy a cow. As a result of her training, funded by the project, she is able to properly look after and care for her cow and give basic treatments as needed. Her cow has also now given birth to a calf!
The cow produces 3-4 litres of milk every day, which is a big help financially to Nipa`s family, as she sells the milk within the community, earning on average 300BDT (about £2.50) a day. There is also enough left for her own family to use. She has been able to pay back the loan from the Carers Group and is planning on borrowing some more to buy another cow. She said that “It’s my dream to establish a cow farm in the village”.
She is also skilled in handicraft, so she borrowed some money to buy materials for making paper bags. In her free time she makes paper bags and sells them as an additional income stream. Her husband also helps her in this.
Nipa said “I give thanks to CDD and Carers Worldwide for extending the hand for the carers of Bangladesh.”
Read more stories of carers like Nipa in our #HumansCare series and find out how our support has helped to transform their lives.
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