Introduction of the organisation
Since 1999, Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), not-for-profit works with a vision of Bangladesh that is free from acid violence and having dignified life through implementing programs with a holistic approach of bio-psycho-social model. ASF works closely with Bangladesh Government, and engages national and international stakeholders. Acid attacks are an extreme form of human rights’ violation, leaving survivors (majority being females) with physical deformities, potential permanent disabilities (if left untreated), and psychological trauma; some even experience premature death.It is the only specialized NGO in Bangladesh working for prevention and elimination of acid and burn violence; empower survivors, especially women and children.
Programmatic interventions in response to COVID-19
For COVID-19 response, since March 21, ASF has undertaken to support the local community particularly women and girls in 5 districts (Dhaka, Sirajganj, Bogura, Narshinghdi and Comilla) of Bangladeshduring this crisis through its awareness campaign by social media. The activities are as bellows:
- Disseminating customized awareness message through facebook boosting to 1.3 million women who are 18-55 years in 5 districts. Hope this boosting will be reached at estimated more 2 million people through organic reach/share.
- Already ASF reached 577428 people, 52902 liked, shared and comments and 24605 click the post after boosting the awareness message dated from March 21, 2020.
- Support hardcore community people in distributing food basket containing with hygiene materials for among 160 families (partly Acid Survivors) in Dhaka district for 30 days meals.The target can be increased subject to availability of fund.
Future outlook and recommendations
ASF has seriously been impacted to continue its hospital services and support to the acid survivors due to the crisis and funding gap.
Introduce emergency food assistance for large scale to victims- In Bangladesh there are 3800 acid victims and many of them affected by the pandemic due to loss of their income or business. I received calls from the survivors that they are starving. We need help form the government and donors to bring them under social safety net.
In distributing food package, physical distribution has risk of transmitting virus among the beneficiaries and the staff as it is difficult to maintain social distancing of 6 feet because people are not serious in this distancing. So, digitalization of the beneficiaries to transfer cash are essential as the situation may not change sooner and also this digital option has comparatively better efficiency to stop corruption.
See more of ASF’s work in COVID-19 response
People can see more detailed information on ASF’s COVID-19 response through official Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/acidsurvivorsbd