Northwest Bangladesh Ultra Poverty Initiative Project
Location: Northwest Bangladesh
Program Length: Jan.1, 2016 – December 31, 2018
2018 Funding Need: $96,604
Why the Program Exists:
In Bangladesh, almost 1 in 4 people live in poverty. And people living in Northwest Bangladesh living with disabilities from leprosy or Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) are living in Ultra Poverty. This means that an entire family lives on less than $2/week – only $0.17/day, for an entire family. Many of these families cannot afford to eat regularly or send their children to school.
This program focuses on reducing ultra poverty among people with leprosy or LF-related disabilities in Northwest Bangladesh by providing: job skills training, support for small businesses, food and education assistance, and access to clean water. Team members also advocate on behalf of this group to ensure those most in need have access to government social programs.
Since 2016, we have supported 240 people with leprosy or LF-related disabilities who participated in the program in the following ways:
- Through education, treatment and regular monitoring of disabilities through home visits, 90% of beneficiaries are now free from ulcers.
- Provided vocational training for 10 participants each year, of which all graduated.
- Advocated the government to ensure access to water and sanitation services. 37 people now have sanitary latrines from the government in their homes.
- Helped 50 children go to school by providing uniforms, supplies and fees.
- Repaired the homes of 40 participants.
- Provided emergency nutrition support for 60 beneficiaries.
- Supplied assistive devices such as crutches for 47 people.
- Helped 32 beneficiaries gain access to the government disabilities allowance in 2017 and 19 in 2016.
- Organized educational workshops to help participants understand their rights and manage their disabilities.
- 55% of participants are now eating three meals a day
Your gift will go towards:
- Equipping men and women with skills to earn a livelihood
- Providing access to school for children affected by leprosy and LF
- Teaching people with leprosy and LF how to prevent and care for their disabilities
- Providing housing development and repairs for those in need
- Supplying mobility aids and assistive devices for participants in the program
- Supporting communities to ensure inclusion for those with leprosy and LF
A brighter future is possible for people affected with leprosy and LF. They just need the life-changing impact of your help.
Carving a New Future
Noyon dropped out of school at an early age because his parents could no longer afford his studies. As one of four children in his family, there was never enough food to eat. His father suffered from leprosy, so Noyon began working as a day labourer to help support the family.
Program staff met with Noyon and his family about how to help them sustain themselves. They provided Noyon with skills training in carpentry, education assistance and 20,000 BDT (C$307) to start a small business.
Today, Noyon is a 25-year-old carpenter who works in the village and is supporting his parents and siblings. He earns 300 BDT (C$4.60) a day and has two assistants. He purchased land for 30,000 BDT (C$460) and has 5,000 BDT (C$77) in savings.
“Before this program, I depended on my parents. Now I am thankful I can support them.”
What is Lymphatic Filariasis and Leprosy?
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease caused by microscopic worms that form “nests” in the human lymphatic system, affecting the body’s fluid balance and ability to fight infections The disease is also known as Elephantiasis because sufferers sometimes have limbs that are so swollen, they mimic those of elephants (read more about lymphatic filariasis ).
Leprosy affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities. Although it can be cured, many sufferers are isolated and shunned from society. The first sign of the disease is often skin lesions all over the body. Then the person begins to lose sensation in their fingers, toes, and limbs. Read more about leprosy.
This innovative approach will be implemented by effect:hope, in partnership with The Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh.