|Project Name:||The Dhaka Project|
|Type Of Work:||community development|
|Costs:||your own expenses, Bangladesh is a very cheap country|
|Contact Person:||Maria Conceicao|
The Dhaka Project Objective
To break the cycle of poverty in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, through social and educational development of the community.
We do welcome volunteers to come visit us in Dhaka. To get an idea of the kind of work volunteers might like to be involved in, please visit our website http://www.thedhakaproject.org, and under "latest news" at the bottom of the page, you can read a story by a volunteer visitor _(as well as many volunteers' feedbacks under "Volunteers" tab)_. This story gives an outline of the kind of volunteer work that a visitor can do. You can read further our newsletters _and our blog at http://thedhakaproject.blogspot.com_ to find out about the experiences of other volunteers. We are also open to suggestions from visitors too.
Volunteers pay for all their own expenses [airtickets/hotel accomodation/meals/local transport costs/visa fees/vaccinations etc] as we are a charity-related organisation that depends on financial donations from the public to help see us through the monthly expenses of looking after more than 650 poor children and some of their families.
The duration of volunteer visits depend upon the time available of the visitor and the nature of the work the volunteer wishes to do. We can work out an arrangement to serve mutual needs. The timing can also be mutually agreed upon, but of course during the school vacation break and the children are on holiday, that might not be the best time for a visit.
Visit visas can be arranged through the local Bangladeshi consulate in your country [if there is one] and our sponsor in Dhaka can arrange for you to receive an electronic invitation letter to visit + the company's certificate of registration. These documents are needed when you apply for a visit visa ie if your passport requires such a visa. A check on the Bangladeshi consulate can clarify that.
Please keep in mind European citizens can get a landing permit for 15 days on arrivals for 50 us dollars
I do hope I have given you you sufficient information. If you need more, please write. We can look forward to welcoming you to Dhaka.
The Dhaka Project is a community project that aims to break the cycle of poverty in the slums of Dhaka. The project focuses on giving skills to the adults, both men and women, whilst taking their children from the streets and garment factories into full time education. To help the women get work, there is also a nursery.
The project currently has 45 children in nursery, 28 in pre-school and 114 in primary School and recently opened a new school in a dedicated building, the Emirates Airline Foundation School with 468 students attending.
In addition to their education, we provide these children with 3 meals per day, medical and dental care, school uniform, including shoes, stationary, electric lamps (so they can study at home even with the frequent power cuts). We also provide these children with all education materials, uniforms, rain coats, vaccinations.
Health and education of the children are our top priority. Over 700 children have been vaccinated for Hepatitis B (last dose to be given next year), Typhoid, Polio and Measles. The project also provides housing 38 families, 21 of these are families of 64 children, who came from the slums. The project provides this when the children are the income earner for the families, for example if they have sick parents. One of the unique things about the project is that the money really goes where it is needed. Only Bangladeshi members of the project team receive a salary, all the international volunteers who work on the project do so at their own expense, covering their own flights and accommodation. This means there is no heavy overheads and expensive costs that a lot of NGO/charities have and that the money really gets straight to the people who need it.
The Dhaka Project was conceived in April 2005 by Maria Conceicao, a Portuguese flight attendant, who visited Dhaka for work. She visited the slums and decided there and then that something must be done to help break the cycle of poverty. Maria still maintains a full time job, but since then she has spent all her free time and holidays in Dhaka working on the project. It started in the Gawair suburb of Dhaka with two rented rooms for a sewing school for ladies from the slum, shortly followed by an apartment to school 39 children, since then the project has grown enormously. The project focus's on three areas to sustainably break the cycle of poverty: Children's Education, Womans Skills and Mens Skills Development Programmes. The Women's Programme involves training woman in beauty skills, tailoring and handicrafts as well as teaching them English. The Men's Programme involves English language school, driving school and the project also has a fleet of rickshaws which the men can use to earn a supplementary income. These development programmes are supported by hygiene, medical and welfare assistance, including housing rent support, from the project.
Since April 2005 we have accomplished a huge amount. As of June 2008 here are some examples:
44 Families have made the successful transition from the slums of Dhaka into stable housing
All families are being given support with clothing and medical.
A day care centre was set up with 42 children attending daily
A preschool was set up with 28 children attending it daily
A primary school with a library and computer training centre has been set up with 103 and 125 children respectively attending daily.
The same school is utilized for adults to teach general knowledge, hygiene and family planning in evenings.
A new school, the Emirates Foundation College, with 468 children attending daily.
All the children in both schools are following a 'fast track' learning program converging to Cambridge Standard.
All the children are sponsored in stationary, uniforms, shoes, raincoats, books, vaccinations and medical clinic.
All our children have been vaccinated for Polio, Typhoid and Hepatitis B. A sewing / handcrafts training centre has been set up with 12 ladies attending daily, so far 89 have been trained.
A beauty school has been set up, so far 10 ladies have been trained, 2 have been employed in Uttara, 2 got a job in Gulshan, 1 founded her own beauty center and 1 still having the opportunity to work in Dubai.
A First Aid Centre was set up (complete with a Doctor and Dentist) which sees about 50 children per day.
The project has a fleet of rickshaws to supplement incomes.
We have recently set up a new clothes shop for the local community.
The sewing shop produces thousands of bags for the local supermarket, now that plastic ones have been banned.
A metal work/ welding shop has been set up, which provides metalwork items for the project and sells to the local community.
A carpentry shop has been set up, which provides furniture for the project and sells to the local community.
A Karchopi (Bangladeshi hand made embroidery) workshop produces high value womans clothing for the local market.
We have set up a Grocery Store, which supplies the project, but also sells to the local community.
5 Year Project Plan/Vision
Goals Year 1-3
Raise USD $1million for the project to buy land and build a dedicated school for 1000 children.
Find more donors to cover the monthly running costs, which will increase as the project grows.
Find more jobs for the adults from the slums.
Open a medical centre for the community, covering GP, vaccinations, dental etc.
Make some roads in the Gawair area the community will supply the labour for free, we just need to pay the materials.
Solar panels, generator for the project.
Covers over open drains.
Build a prayer room in the school.
Establish a scholarship trust to send the most gifted students to specialist schools.
Create a proper system of rubbish collection and disposal.
Proper kitchens and bathrooms for all the homes
Women and Mens Social club.
Clean the stagnant ponds/lakes, because they have a lot of disease.
Business generation providing jobs and income to support the community and make it self sustainable without outside NGO/charity support.
Clean Water Supply for the whole community (water wells and piped supplies)
Transport bus (for children), mini van for administration and volunteers
Public lavatories for the community.
Goals Year 3-5
Mobile medical centre, including dental on a truck to visit other slum areas.
Cultural Centre focusing on the arts.
Hospital specializing in pediatrics and childbirth.
Hotel to provide jobs and revenue to the project
Proper drainage for hygiene and floods during monsoon.
Line down the middle of the road to improve driving of rickshaws and cars
Eradicate all the slum areas in Gawair area, not by shifting the people, but by building proper accommodation and ground work in the existing slum area.
Widen the roads
Scholarships to university
Apprenticeships in multi national companies
Sponsorship and donation requirements
To continue running the project at its current level as well as achieve all our future goals, we are always looking for one off donations and ongoing sponsorships. The donations really help us drive the project forward, but it is also essential for us to have the sponsorships to ensure we have monthly income to cover all our expenses. A lot of our previous donors have picked an item of development they want to assist with, for which we are extremely grateful, but we also encourage them to come to The Dhaka Project to spend the money they are donating. The donors who have time to do this have a thoroughly enjoyable and fulfilling experience, they get to see first hand how their money is being spent and which people are benefiting from it. It is also wonderful for The Dhaka Project community to meet the donors and sponsors first hand and for some of the team members to work with them on completing the donation project.
Who will be responsible for what i.e. how will it get done
Maria and her team in Dhaka will be responsible for the operations of the Dhaka Project, including implementation of new projects, with the assistance of qualified/specialized volunteers, such as Rahima Frooz for the legal side in Bangladesh. The Emirates Foundation will provide administrative support and assistance. Of course, if someone donates money for a particular project and wants to be involved, they are more than welcome.
Maria Conceicao, runs the operations in Dubai.
The Dhaka operations are run by Richard Flemming.
Accounts are audited by Naim Zaidi a 26 years veteran accountant in United Nations.
The Dhaka Project will reach out to local corporations to fund the project , as well will target educational institutions to provide instructors , art teachers , vocational training teachers.
How money will be spent and how it will be accounted for
The accounts will be audited every year by an outside auditor. For specific project donations or large value ongoing sponsorship, the donor may request to see monthly expenses in relation to their donation.