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SPECIAL NOTICE: Building collapse in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka
Luckily none of our women, working girls or staff were involved in the tragic collapse of the building which housed four garment factories and a shopping centre in Savar. One of our staff visited the site the day after the disaster. There were many volunteers and rescue workers and he discussed the support needed with the army officers coordinating the relief effort. They decided the best thing for us to do was to broadcast our contact information for any women who may have lost their husbands or children who may have lost one or both parents. Initially we have put up banners with our contact information at various key points of the relief effort.
All hospitals in the area are working to provide treatment, and schools and colleges are providing water and saline.
The tragedy has added an additional dimension to the already volatile political situation in Bangladesh. All garments factories have been temporarily shut and many of the girls who grew up at SPP and now work in this sector are coming back to SPP as they feel unsafe. We should note that we carefully scrutinise the factories we work with and they are responsibly run, properly built and maintained and comply with safety and human rights legislation. We try to give mothers and girls the education and skills for other types of work but for some the salaries offered by the factories are hugely better than begging or having a marginal existence in the streets.
Bangladesh (Shishu Polli Plus)
The UK based '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. SPP works with destitute mothers and their children to give them the health, knowledge and skills they need to function independently in society. At the moment over 100 mothers and 450 children are supported by SPP. As a grass roots organisation we 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.