Pat told us that assembly on a school day is at 8.30 am. After a tasty breakfast which included a delicious fluffy omelette we made our way to the grassy area, armed with my camera of course. The children standing in lines listened first of all to one of the teachers making a few announcements before they began to sing the national anthem of Bangladesh. We felt quite emotional listening to the singing as the children sang with such gusto. All too soon assembly was over and everyone dispersed to go to their classrooms.
The school in Sreepur Village covers pre-school, kindergarten and primary classes with the older children attending the local village schools for secondary education. Academically bright children are supported through further education and university. Most children however learn practical skills in the village and some through work experience with local ethical companies. Apprenticeships are available too.
John and I spent our remaining time in the village having fun with the younger children in their creche and re-visiting some of the workshops. I also bought handmade cards from the shop, a scarf and a few gifts then all too soon it was time to say goodbye.
I am so grateful to Pat for giving John and I the opportunity to visit the village. It is an inspiring place and so uplifting to see the difference this project is making to the lives of destitute mothers and their children. I am proud to be a supporter of this charity, long may their work continue.
Sreepur Village has a superb website which explains what the project does and why and when the charity was set up and lots more. Please have a read because it’s so interesting and very heartening. I could be tempted to ‘lift’ some of the information and use it here but it’s better if you read about Sreepur Village written by people who know much more about the project than I do. Basically the charity offers a safe haven and life skills and training to destitute single mothers, abandoned by their partners and provides a wonderful life for their children. You only have to be in the village a very short while to see they achieve their Mission Statement every day.
What I do want to mention however is one very important person …Pat Kerr. Pat was instrumental along with support from British Airways and a charity called ‘Families for Children’ in building a village complex outside the capital Dhaka. This children’s village in Sreepur was the start of the project.
By 1989 Sreepur Village was ready to accept the first group of children; some orphans and some who came with their mothers. Over the last eighteen or so years the project has grown and developed. Today with Pat who lives at Sreepur there are eighty staff, over 150 mothers and more than 420 children plus street children in Dhaka helped by their city project.
With Pat at the helm, Sreepur Village under her leadership has enabled hundreds of children to look forward to a better life and once abandoned women to return to their communities having learnt skills to enable them to live independently and support their families.
More pictures to follow in the next Blog! Meanwhile if you would like to support this very worthwhile charity just click on the ‘Donate’ button on the website.
Although the sun was already up in this corner of the village at Sreepur, the light was very soft. I love the detail of the bark on the tree and the lone figure walking down the path. Yet another of my favourite shots from our holiday in Bangladesh.