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.
As we celebrate the recent success of our Patron and British Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, we would also like to celebrate the aspirations and goals of other women who in the face of adversity have also never given up.
Here are the future aspirations and ambitions of three single mothers living in The Sreepur Village, who despite their previous adverse experiences are now determined more than ever to succeed and live life independently and financially self-sufficient.
Shumi is a single mother of one daughter and two sons. Her husband is a driver but he is addicted to drugs. Due to excessive drug taking, his lifestyle is out of control. Shumi's husband would frequently beat her. In his eyes, his wife could not cook so in return she had to bear more punishment.