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Lives of children with deafblindness in Bangladesh transformed, thanks to support from the British public

26 August 2019

Morium Begum is underneath a tree

The global deafblind charity, Sense International, is delivering a pioneering programme that is transforming the lives of children and young adults with deafblindness in Bangladesh.

Sense International is working with local partners in Bangladesh to improve access to education and opportunities to work for children and young people with dual sensory loss in the country.

The programme follows a successful appeal that raised £521k from the British public – including a £216k contribution in Aid Match funding from the UK Government.

A new film that highlights the work being done in Bangladesh focuses on the experience of Morium. Deafblind, Morium was initially taken out of school because of her disabilities, and faced a lifetime of social isolation. However, last year, with support from Sense International, became one of the first children with deafblindness in Bangladesh to pass her primary school exams. She is now confident young woman, with friends and a bright future.

Morium said: “People like me who have problems with their hearing and vision. They can also have an education like me.”

Less than ten per cent of children with a disability in Bangladesh are in primary school. It is rare for children with deafblindness to be included, often because teaching staff don’t have the skills to support them and families are overwhelmed by the emotional and practical challenges. Without access to education, children with deafblindness remain at home, and do not develop the vital communication and life skills they require to achieve basic independence.

The Sense International programme recruits specialist teachers who work with families to support the children at school. It trains mainstream teachers; promotes best practice through a model school and and targets meals so that children with deafblindness are well enough to learn. 

Sazzad Kabir, Development Manager for the programme in Bangladesh, said: 

"We are working with about 1,200 plus children with deafblindness. What I'm thinking is, that Bangladesh will be fully accessible to people with deafblindness and they can feel that it's a barrier-free environment all over Bangladesh." 

 

UK Aid Match logoThe UK Government matched eligible public donations to the My Turn to Learn appeal – which ran from 18 October 2017 to 17 January 2018 – through its UK Aid Match scheme. UK Aid Match, which is run by the Department for International Development, brings charities, the British public and the UK Government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. 

 

To find out more about the programme please visit: www.senseinternational.org.uk/MyTurnToLearn

 

 

 

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 4 April 2018