For National Volunteers Week we approached one of The Sreepur Village’s very dedicated volunteers Becky Horsbrugh to share her story on what inspired her to help The Sreepur Village Charity.
I'm usually a very fit and healthy person, taking part in triathlons and open water swims. However, for several months last year I was pretty ill. I was in and out of hospital and eventually underwent major abdominal surgery the beginning of November. Then followed several weeks of very slow recovery. I had nearly three months off work in total, and that gives you a lot of thinking time. Also being very ill does somehow change your perspective on life a bit. Anyway for years I had always had a wish to visit India or Pakistan. It had never transpired however. I currently work as a producer for a TV news agency covering Asian news and the more I have got to know about that part of the world the more I had wanted to visit. To be honest I knew very little about Bangladesh however. Then one day I was looking at twitter and I saw an article there from the Guardian about a girls' cricket team at a place called Sreepur Village. I immediately wanted to know more about the place. I found the website and read up on the whole background and history of the place.
One other thing I decided I needed to do when i was recuperating was to complete my swim teacher training. I had passed my assistant level earlier in the year and entered for the level 2 earlier this year, around 4 months after my surgery, when I knew I would be well enough to complete it. So I was then armed with a proper teaching qualification and learning more and more about Bangladesh, and wanting more and more to visit. I then read how drowning was the biggest cause of child death in the country. So I thought well, maybe I could help in some small way by visiting the village and passing on some of my teaching knowledge?
So I got in touch with Pat Kerr and to cut a long story short found out that a scheme called SwimSafe is visiting Sreepur this summer with the exact aim of teaching the children drowning prevention. It seemed an amazing coincidence, and I was so glad to hear that the residents of the village will get a proper chance to learn to swim, and hopefully some lives will be saved. I asked SwimSafe if they would be happy for me to join them and they were delighted.
My trip is now booked for the middle of July and I aim to spend around a week in the village assisting SwimSafe. I cannot wait. I am also going to write a couple of articles on my experience and the company I work for, Associated Press are also set to cover it in print and on video. The best bit for me with swim teaching is seeing a smiling face after a pupil has achieved something new. I hope that the children at Sreepur will have the biggest of grins once they gain confidence in the water, and will be safer from harm.
Or if you’d like to give a specific gift for this project visit our Gift That Gives page to purchase swimming buoyancies for our children click here or visit: https://www.sreepurvillage.org/collections/gifts-that-give/products/swimming-buoyancies
Ignorance and wrong beliefs surrounding disability, compounded with a negative and derogatory attitude of the community (including family members) have contributed to the marginal development in the disability sector in Bangladesh.