Bholas Children Foundation is a new charity that provides accommodation, education and medical treatment for orphans and children with different disabilities in Bhola, an island in Southern Bangladesh.
It is a unique project because apart from sleeping, boys and girls are always together, studying, playing, eating, sporting.
Above all there is no differentiation on disabilities, therefore blind children learn sign language together with the deaf and dumb, cerebral palsy, autistic and down syndrome children. They all swim and play water-polo, they all play cricket (even the blind) and do gymnastics. They all learn to plant and pick the ready vegetables, to rear animals, to fish. They help each other with no inhibition and don’t look at their disabilities in a negative way. They also learn woodwork and tailoring and all the teachers and helpers in the home/school are orphans and some also disabled, finding a home and work at the same time.
Very important, whenever it is possible we try to integrate our children in the local schools.
Another important thing for the future of our children is to get more land to creat small allotments around our main home where they can build accommodation for the grown ups and organize agriculture and animal rearing (that they already learn in our school) to sustain themselves and create their own local economy (they can sell products to the main school and local market).
It is an always growing and moving forward project; we don’t want to create a ghetto or institution for the orphans and disabled. We want to teach them and allow them to have a place, a role within their society; to enable them also to teach their families and friends, to show that it is possible not only to survive but to make a dignified living. In this way we can always help many and more children in the future that will become part of a better adult society of Bhola.
We also organize very needed operations to cure cleft lip and palate for the many children of the rural villages around us. In over three years we managed to do more than 100 operations with a very good doctor in Dhaka. These operations are essential to improve the quality of life for so many young people and give them the chance of a better future.