As today marks the start of Volunteers Week, this is not just an opportunity for us to thank all of our volunteers but it is also a chance for us to share with you some of the stories of how our volunteers have got involved and helped The Sreepur Village charity.
Dorothy has supported The Sreepur Village, Bangladesh almost from it' s inception. As a British Airways long haul stewardess she was aware of Pat Kerr’s vision for a new village where mothers and children could live together and babies could not be taken away from their mothers to go into an orphanage, which would leave both parties damaged.
After Dorothy left the life of flying she continued to keep in touch with the village and its development and started to become a regular supporter. For a number of years that was the extent of her involvement but as she began to have a little more time she decided to start selling some of the beautiful cards and other products that were being hand made in the village.
Dorothy told us, “I love telling people the story of the village, the unique qualities it has such as the swimming pool and swimming lessons, the girls cricket team and the half-way house for women leaving The Sreepur Village and moving on to independent lives outside. In fact, each time a newsletter arrives there is a new story to add to the list.”
Once a month, Dorothy sells at a Fair Trade stall in her local church and she also takes stalls in local charity and craft fairs. She says, “I enjoy meeting lots of new people, spreading the word about what I consider is one of the best charities I have ever supported and helping to raise funds which I know will all go back to Bangladesh and be wisely used. I have enjoyed attending charity days in London, dinners in Brick Lane and I have particularly valued the help and friendship of Ruby Porter. In January I was able to display some of the wonderful quilts she has helped the women make at a local textiles exhibition. There was so much interest and we raised over £200 in sales and raised awareness of the charity among a whole new group of people.”
Dorothy’s only sadness was that she missed the 20th anniversary trip to The Sreepur Village as her mother was ill at that time and since then the political situation has meant it has been dangerous to go but she still hopes to get out there one day. At the time she did not want to spend money on an air fare which she could have given to the village so, instead, she decided to do a sponsored walk to raise the money. Several other friends joined her and they walked the Fen Rivers Way from Cambridge to Kings Lynn. Together they all raised sponsorship money and had a lot of fun along the way. In fact, just recently one of Dorothy’s friends has asked her when will they be doing it again!
It is with the support of volunteers like Dorothy that we are able to provide over 200 vulnerable women and more than 500 disadvantaged children with life-changing opportunities and a future without poverty or fear.
If you are interested in volunteering for us in the same way that Dorothy does then please call or email us for further information.
We share with you a story of Sharifa, a mother who has had her fair share of struggles in life and who recently, along with her family, visited Sreepur to share with us her successes in life.
The sudden death of Sharifa's husband in late 2004 left her as the sole provider for her four children. With no one to turn to for help, Sharifa felt lonely, scared and desperate for her family's future survival.