It`s true. Women and children`s lives are being saved and transformed in Sreepur Village, Bangladesh, by a UK-based project that THE FAIR TRADE STORE has come into contact with.
‘Sreepur Village, Bangladesh’ funds and oversees ‘Shishu Polli Plus’ (translated as Childrens Village Plus) a small non-religious, non-political organisation based in Sreepur, rural Bangladesh.
It is the only project in Bangladesh offering shelter and training to women and their families, and is becoming increasingly well known throughout the country.
SPP works with destitute mothers and their children to give them the health, knowledge and skills thay need to function independently in society.
At the moment over 135 mothers and 450 children are supported by SPP.
As a grass roots organisation they respond to local need and run other related programmes such as supporting vulnerable (eg trafficked or abandoned) children and fostering.
“We provide safety, a loving environment, food, clothing, education, and vocational training so that the people who come to us can look forward to independent lives in their communities.” commented one of the project workers.
Shishu Polli is often the first place where each woman wakes up knowing that she will be safe, will receive nutritious meals and will have the company and friendship of other women in similar circumstances.
Each mother stays up to 5 years following an agreed rehabilitation programme. They are paid a small allowance each month plus a compulsory savings scheme where money is put into a bank account by the project so that they have funds when they leave.
All of the women have been abused in some way so group and individual counselling to bolster their self esteem and confidence is provided.
Shishu Polli Plus is a happy and relaxed place for the children too.
The children have a wonderful life at the village. They have plenty of friends and space to play – both in the well equipped playground and in the sports field (despite the presence of goats and cows!) and on the basketball court.
Most of the children have mothers at Shishu Polli, but the project still takes-in abandoned and trafficked children if there is not a more suitable place for them with other NGOs.
All the kids are provided with nourishing food, education and lots of opportunity for play. All of them have suffered severe deprivation before arriving in Sreepur.
“It is a joy to see them running round, laughing and playing. There is always a child coming to hold your hand, sing you a song, or show you a dance” the project worker added.
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Look out for more posts from THE FAIR TRADE STORE BLOG soon – Paul