You may wonder what happens when our mothers and their children leave The Sreepur Village. After three years in the village and then a brief period in rehabilitation, the majority of mothers move back to their own communities empowered with new skills and the confidence to independently support their families. This is a story of one of our mothers who left The Sreepur Village in 2017 and has been successfully and independently supporting herself and her son.
“I am Nargis Akhter and I am 25 years old. My hometown was Pabna but now I live in Sreepur Upzilla.
When I was just two weeks old my mother abandoned me and left me at a tea stall. A man from one of the local shops found me and took me into his home where I grew up as part of his family. When I was 17 they decided to arrange a marriage for me because at that time they said I was a burden to them. So, I got married but after a short while I realised that my husband was addicted to drugs. He used to torture me because of the dowry. I was so lonely.
A year later I got pregnant with his son who I named Nafis. One day my husband was so drunk he tried to kill me, so that’s what pushed me to the edge and made me and my baby leave. I was in my husband’s house for around two years. When I left his house I returned to the parents who rescued me but they didn’t want me back.
It was around that time that I heard about The Sreepur Village and being so desperate and with nowhere or nobody else to turn to, I was so grateful with the opportunity to go and live in The Sreepur Village. I moved there in 2014 and during my three year stay I learned so many good skills and I can now say it was these skills that changed my life.
During my time in The Sreepur Village I received training at the beauty parlor, in garments and also in candle making. After successfully completing my graduation I got a job in a garments factory near Sreepur Upzilla. I now earn 9000taka (£90) per month and my son goes to school and is studying in grade one.
I owe my life to The Sreepur Village, if it wasn’t for them I would have never been trained in garments which means I would not be a working woman today independently providing for my family. I now live in a rented accommodation but one day I hope to buy a house.
You could say I have two families but in fact I have three and it is The Sreepur Village that I call my real family; it was there that I got love, peace and happiness.”
If you would like to donate to The Sreepur Village and help empower more families to independence then please visit: https://www.sreepurvillage.org/
In 2018, with the aid of CIPRB and one of their trustees, Becky Horsbrugh, the Sreepur Village started to run swimming lessons in their pond in the village grounds. The lessons, since this date, take place every year during the months of June and July, and are now taught by a number of Sreepur staff who have since been trained to facilitate the programme each year.
Approximately sixty children, aged 6-12, take part each year. They will learn how to swim 25 metres freestyle, tread water or float for 30 seconds as well as perform a rescue from dry
land. As half the number of deaths from drowning occur in 1-5 year olds, having an older child trained in dry-land rescue is pivotal in striving to keep this devastating number down.
It's British Science Week, 11th 20th March, and one of the activities that the Sreepur Village runs is the creation and nurturing of sack gardens.
This is an aspect of the Mothers Talking Everyday Science project and is a particularly important activity because when the mothers return to mainstream society they will be experienced in how to prepare a container in which to grow food plants and how to care for them.