We are delighted to share with you pictures of The Sreepur Village celebrating its 31st Anniversary.
On February 6, long-standing donors, our overseas director, well-wishers, government officials and former beneficiaries of The Sreepur Village attended the day long anniversary programme, which included the launch of the Sreepur girls cricket tournament, speeches, evening cultural activities and a lively puppet show.
Every year The Sreepur Village celebrates this day and we can’t believe that we are already into our 31st year of providing a safe haven for destitute mothers and their vulnerable children.
The Sreepur Village mission is to keep female led families together. To enable the mothers to keep and care for their children we provide long term rehabilitation services including literacy, life skills and income generating skills and all in a safe environment. The families who come to us are at severe risk of their children being given in to care or the homes of distant relatives. Many of these families come from the poorest and most isolated areas of Bangladesh and are struggling because of poverty, social stigma, abuse and trauma.
The Village was founded in 1989 with the mandate that it is in the best interest of most children to be brought up in their families and by their mothers. The organisation was initiated by Patricia Vivian Kerr, a former British Airways stewardess, who had been volunteering at a local orphanage and witnessed the plight of these families. It was established with the support of British Airways and a large donor group in the UK. As a grass-roots organisation, we respond to the local needs and, over the years have developed programmes that include nutrition, caring, training, counselling and community fostering for the vulnerable children and traumatised mothers.
Approximately 500 mothers and children live in the village and follow agreed rehabilitation programmes for up to three years. As well as receiving literacy and vocational training and other educational opportunities, the mothers also work at The Sreepur Village so that they can earn a small allowance. Each month they also receive money in a savings account that is given to them, as a capital sum, when they return to their communities.
The Sreepur Village also has a number of physically disabled children who are in need of 24/7 special care and they will stay with us for the rest of their lives.
The Sreepur Village complex is designed to have a village structure and atmosphere and it has facilities like a school, a clinic, kitchens, a deep tube-well, ponds, agriculture, accommodation, vocational training, garments training, handmade paper mill, greeting card production, embroidery, textile skills and other facilities. The Village also provides a safe and loving environment where mothers and children receive nutritious food, health care, education and work skill development programmes which will enable them to return to their communities with empowerment, independence and dignity.
Life can sometimes throw unimaginable challenges at us, but it's the human spirit's resilience and determination that can lead to remarkable stories of triumph.
Lia's life is a testament to this spirit, marked by adversity, courage, and ultimate success. Lia's story draws parallels to other stories of perseverance, and highlights the crucial role of organisations like Sreepur Village in transforming lives.
Out of the blue, at the tender age of 13, Chia found herself sitting on a bridal stage, about to marry a man who was 35 years old. Her parents had arranged the match, finding the man from their nearby locality in Bhairab.
He was a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businessman who occasionally sold vegetables and fruits on the street. Chia's aspirations and youthful dreams were abruptly interrupted by this sudden marriage. Instead of books, she found herself with kitchen utensils in her hands. She went from feeling like a princess to becoming a servant overnight.