(1) Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program:
ABC had been implemented Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program since 1987 with the financial support of Sight Savers International, UK for the rehabilitation of young adult V.I persons of different rural areas of Bangladesh. Now ABC is running the CBR project in six Upazillas of the Narsingdi district from April 2013 to March 2016 with the support of Sight Savers International and the European Union.
ABC Launched Community Based Rehabilitation Program (CBR) In September 1987 with the financial support of Sightsavers International, UK for rehabilitation of young adult Visually Impaired Persons in rural areas of Bangladesh. The program initially started at Mirzapur and Tangail Upazilas of Tangail district and was extended to three Upazilas (i) Bhaluka under Mymensingh district (ii) Dhamrai under Dhaka district (iii) Kaliakoir under Gazipur district from August 1990 and covered two new Upazilas (i) Delduar and (ii) Shakipur under Tangail district, from July 01, 1993. Six more Upazilas, Ghatail and Khalihati under Tangail district, Gauripur, Ishwargonj, Nandail and Gaffargaon under Mymensingh district were taken up under this program from July 1996. Four Upazilas Nabinagar, Bancharmpur, Kashba, and Akhaura under Brahmanbaria district were included from January 01, 1999, and subsequently, 2 Upazilas Nasirnagar and Sharail under the district of Brahmanbaria were taken up under CBR program from January 01, 2000. The new CBR approach was introduced in January 2003 according to recommendations and guidelines of Evaluation made in December 2002 by two external consultants by the financial support of Sightsavers International. Accordingly, 6 new Upazilas Narsingdi Sadar, Palash, Shibpur, Monohardi, Raipura, and Belabo under Narsingdi district and 2 Upazilas, Brahmanbaria Sadar, and Ashugonj under Brahmanbaria district were taken up from January 2003 The Present CBR activities are going on in this 8 Upazilas of said two districts. 27 Upazilas have been covered in 5 districts up to June 30, 2007, since 1987, where 7,793 Visually Impaired persons were identified as irreversible blind of whom 5,586 received basic rehabilitation training. Out of these 4,765, Visually Impaired Persons are running small trades, receiving soft term loans from different financial institutions due to linkage making. Under the family counseling program, a total of 99,830 families were covered up in the rural communities, as on June 30, 2007. The CBR program has been extended at Narayanganj district since January 2007. We are grateful to Sightsavers International for supporting innumerable numbers of rural visually impaired persons for their social inclusion and overall development, taking ABC as its active partner.
(2) Barrier Free Inclusive Society Project of European Union
Barrier-free, inclusive society for persons with disabilities is a project of the European Union. Royal Commonwealth Society for the blind (also known as Sightsavers) is the applicant of this project and implemented at Narsingdi and Dhaka in Bangladesh. Sightsavers implementing partners ABC and BVIPS are responsible for all project activities and ensure quality delivery of interventions.
This project has been designed for three years social inclusion and inclusive education project with ABC and BVIPS over the past four years. BVIPS was responsible for selecting under-serviced and underprivileged parts of Dhaka city while ABC was responsible for Narsingdi district. The overall objective of this project was (i) To strengthening the capacities and voices of disabled and blind people’s organization and increase their linkages and networking with state and non-state actors. (ii) To promote the full participation of disabled people in Socio-economic activities and empower their access to services. (iii) To support local authorities and other government departments to meet their obligation for inclusive development.
Total cost approved by European Union was 8,02,264.85 Euro and the time frame was set for 36 months, starting from 1st January 2012 to end of 2014.
ABC took this project as a great challenge for implementation. As per the program of the project, ABC hired an office in Narsingdi town and appointed one Project Director, four Project Officers, ten rehabilitation assistants, One Accounts Officer, One Monitoring Officer and one Office Attendant. They were fully responsible for strategic planning and advocacy and implementation of this project.
Sightsavers were providing technical assistance and ABC volunteers had kept close contact with staff for smooth running of the projects. After three years of hard and soul effort, ABC had become successful to complete the following program targeted in this project proforma.
ABC has successfully completed the works in time and earned reputation. European Union also verified the expenditure of grant contract and factual funding of ABC and found no irregularities. So ABC can claim a real organization for serving humanity. ABC volunteers thus have been working for the well-being of distressed people.
(3) Heroes for All and ABC Partners for Making a Difference
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision. "Helen Keller This saying perfectly highlights the need for being aware in a way that allows us to build a vision that creates a better world. Unfortunately, we are still in the darkness where people of our country with disabilities are struggling for their basic human rights. Empathy is rare as many of us grow up not ever meeting or building a connection with a person who might have certain types of disability. A disability such as blindness in Bangladesh often leaves a child in darkness not only physically but also psychologically and emotionally, as little opportunity is given to the kids to help them explore their own potential. But amidst the hopelessness, Assistance for Blind Children (ABC) boldly took initiative to bring light to the lives of the kids who are visually impaired. The progress and contribution of ABC to help the children learn to live with dignity and pride have been unparalleled.
While ABC continues to equip visually impaired children with the power of education and giving treatment since 1978, Heroes for All started its journey in 2017 with an aim to help every kid and youth from all background with or without disabilities to find their gifts to contribute. Heroes for All (HFA) believe every child is born with a purpose and with proper nurture and guidance–each can convert their potential to limitless outcomes. Therefore, in September 2017, Heroes for All teaming up with Camp Abilities USA took an initiative to build an inclusive first of its kind educational sports camp that will create consciousness, sense of confidence, and sense of responsibility among both kids who can see and those who cannot through sports and recreational activities.
The Goal of the camp is as the following:
Participants will become more confident and competent about sports, recreation, and physical activity. This confidence will help them to develop their identity and help them to transfer the confidence in other areas of their lives. Students from different school and colleges will gain experience teaching children with visual impairment and develop skills to communicate and care for individuals who have disabilities Participants will be aware to build opportunities in their communities, improving public perception and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Participants will become more independent and empowered as a result of their involvement in the camp program.
On Nov 11, 2017 , MOU was signed between ABC and HFA in the presence of representatives from both organizations agreeing to collaborate through fundraising, creating volunteering opportunities, training, cross-cultural exchange of experts and organizing Camp Ability as a yearly special event. Dr. Rehnuma Karim, Founder and President, Ms. Irfat Ahmed, General Secretary, Mr. Ashraful Alam, HR and Administrative Executive Senior Officer represented Heroes For All while Sr. Vice President Mr. K. M. Zainal Abedin, Vice President Mr. Data Magfur, General Secretary Mr. Md. Akhterul Alam, Treasurer Md. Habibullah Khan, Joint Treasurer Mrs. Munira Khan, Executive Member Mrs. Raushan Ahmed, Executive Member Engr. Mirza Abu Taher of ABC was present at the signing. Undoubtedly, the collaboration will build a synergy that will help both organizations achieve their goals to empower every child despite their blindness and allow them to grow up to their potential.