You may recall that in November last year we announced that UK aid from the UK government awarded us a grant as part of the Small Charities Challenge Fund which has enabled us to launch a pilot project in the Savar District of Dhaka, Bangladesh. For the past three months we have been working on this project with our local partner ‘The Centre for Disability and Development’ (CDD) and we are eager to share news on our impact so far.
Anil Patil, our founder, has held several training sessions with CDD project staff to teach them about the Carers Worldwide Model. The staff have done an excellent job of getting to know the model and have been effectively putting the learnings into practice with local carers. In addition to this, the news of this training has spread beyond the project staff to other CDD staff who are now discussing how they can include carers in their own projects and fields of work!
We have also been busy identifying carers to participate in this pilot project. A total of 286 carers have been identified with over 90% of these being women and girls. For each individual carer we have drawn up a ‘carer plan’ that is being used to support and develop their social, physical and economic well-being. 228 of the identified carers have joined one of the 14 newly established Carer Self-Help Groups. Although in their primacy, the groups are already discussing their rights and recognising the needs of both themselves and those they care for.
One carer who has benefited from the project to date is Rehana, a widow who cares for her 18 year old son, Rabbi, who has cerebral palsy. When the CDD staff first met her, the most pressing need she had was for assistance to move around with Rabbi as he is both taller and heavier than her. The team linked Rehana up with other local services and Rabbi has now been given a wheelchair which makes moving around together easier than before. This seemingly simple act has made an incredible difference to the everyday life of Rehana and her son.
In the short space of three months, to be having an impact on the lives of 286 carers and to have established 14 active carer groups is a remarkable achievement. We are very proud of the dedicated team at CDD who have excelled at implementing the project so far and are hopeful that the remainder of the project will be a success.
We look forward to bringing you further news on this project as it progresses.