Sancred Welfare Foundation is a non-profit and non political national NGO established in 1997 aiming at implementing charitable and social welfare related activities for the poor, destitute and disadvantaged section of the society. Since its beginning, SWF has been implementing various activities like education, capacity building, microfinance, health, agriculture, human rights, indigenous community development, climate change issue, research etc. At the initial stage of its journey towards development, SWF was one of the projects named Sancred Revolving Fund and Development Project. In 2005, the project was transformed into ‘Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF)’ in order to launch and expand various development activities. At the outset, SWF started implementing development activities at Badaghat union a remote area of Tahirpur upozila, of Sunamganj district. It implements activities by ensuring participation of the poor community of Sunamganj district. Later SWF has expanded development activities with a view to ensuring sustainability of the organization as well as empowering and alleviating poverty of the oppressed, poor, landless people through social mobilization against exploitation and injustice.
SWF has gradually been stepping forward with trained, experienced and committed work-force who are, always devoted to give their best efforts in implementation of program activities very effectively. It has been extending its operational branches, staffs and beneficiaries countrywide through expansion of microfinance program. At present, it has been expanding its working areas in different part of the country.
Alongside, it has been promoting a better lifestyle of the under privileged people through implementation of health, agriculture, gender, human rights, livelihood, empowerment, social business, agro-forestry, sustainable access to agro-forestry knowledge, transferring of technology and information, and emergency relief and rehabilitation program.
Interventions on COVID-19 so far by Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF):
Sunamgonj District is one of the vulnerable are with a significant number of migrants both internal and external. Most of the people and their family members are not aware of how to maintain home quarantine and what are the guidelines to do so. Moreover, law enforcement agencies that who are in charge of ensuring they are not also aware of it. Therefore, the present situations of Sunamgonj District are red alert for most vulnerable community people of this area.
As well as the Sunamgonj district have high extreme poverty. As everything is closed due to lockdown, the poor people are now suffering a lot to meet their daily food and other needs. They will find it difficult to ensure hygiene measure to prevent COVID 19 (Poverty Map of WB 2017). Most of the people are not washing their hands with soap after using toilets in this area. Furthermore, there are two (Garo, Hajong) small ethnic groups in the remote border belt areas of this district. The ethnic group community people are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, considering their geographical location, socio-economic condition and poor access to the Govt. services. In these circumstances, Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF) has taken some interventions on COVID-19 during this period. Details are as given below:
- Vigilance Committee formed for COVID-19 at Head Office: The Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF) has constituted an 8 (Eight) member COVID-9 Vigilant committee at Head Office base. Committee Members are as given below:
|1||Mrs.Samsunahar Begum, Director||Convenor||01715032382|
|2||Mr.Shubro Dango, Deputy Director (Finance)||Member||01726899912|
|3||Mr.Jone Calvin Rema, HR Manager||Member||01990403206|
|4||Mr.Kallan Rema, Associate Coordinator (PMA)||Member Secretary||01732932162|
|5||Mr.Polash Chicham, Principal (CPTI)||Member||01720236672|
|6||Md. Aminul Hoque, Manager (Sancred Hospital)||Membe||01719585581|
|7||Dr. Hujaifa Mohamod, (Dental Surgeon)||Member||01712036859|
|8||Dr.Farzana Ali, Medical Officer (Sancred Hospital)||Member||01680634773|
|9||Md. Abdun Noor, Project Coordinator||Member||01712124346|
|10||Md. Harun Or Rashid, Project Coordinator||Member||01716873907|
- The Committee are creating awareness, monitoring and keep vigilance on COVID-l9 at Head Office, Liaison Office, Regional, Project and branch Offices of Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF).
- Facilitating is complying with the instructions from the government of Bangladesh and WHO on COVID-19.
- The Committee are facilitating the Regional, Project and Branch Offices for initiating preventive measures and share with them time to time updates of the crisis seeking steps to be taken.
- Leaflet Distribution: 5,000 leaflets distributed among most vulnerable community people at 4 Upazilas (Tahirpur, Sulla, Bishamborpur and Sunamgonj Sador) under Sunamgonj district. There have some information in this leaflet which one helps vulnerable groups to stop the spread and spotting the symptoms of coronavirus.
- Mikeing: We have deliverer key massage to sensitized on COVID-19 by 3 days mikeing among 20,0000 vulnerable community people as well as through this mikeing they can prevent and control them self. This activities implemented at 2 Upazilas (Sunamgonj Sodor and Sulla) under the Sunamgonj district all over close coordination with local administration.
- Provide laundry soap: 5860 pcs laundry soap provided among 2884 vulnerable community people and 50 number children of Sancred Bidhya Niketan, Donpur, Bishamborpur. So that, they can clean effectively their surfaces and parts to clean individually. (Palms, wrinkles, fingernails, between fingers, under rings, band aids). This activities Implemented at 2 (two) upazila(Sulla and Bishamborpur) under the Sunsmgonj district.
- Provide medicine and Masks, Hand sanitizer: Provided medicine and masks, hand sanitizer for the 40 vulnerable community people through Sancred Hospital.
- Hospital and Ambulance Service: We are providing ambulance and Hospital Service for 24 hours by Sancred Hospital in this Moreover, we are counselling and sensitizing on COVID-19 with patients who are coming to Sancred Hospital for normal treatment.
- Others: Sancred Community Paramedic Institute (CPTI) has sensitized their 41 number students on Covid-19.As a result those students are counselling and sensitizing with the community people at their respective village/area on COVID-19. In the meantime we are communicating for awareness rising on COVID-19 with more than 10,000 number members of CBOs, Primary Groups of FISH, REECALL 2021 and Microfinance project through mobile phone by respective staffs of SWF.
Future outlook and recommendations:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is becoming widespread, exceeding boundaries. It is very difficult to prevent an epidemic, spreaded over 5 continents and more than 200 countries (number of patients has come up to more 21.0 (Twenty One Lac) and number of deaths reached more than 1.35 (One Lac thirty five thousand). If the outbreak can’t be brought under control in a short time, all activities will be affected too. The economic effects of the outbreak will become more evident in the coming months.
Our future outlook and recommendation is given below:
With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring coronavirus as a pandemic, the underprivileged in Bangladesh like domestic helps and drivers are at higher risk due to a lack of knowledge and weak access to health care. Considering the challenges, Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF) will scale up preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure food and livelihood to venerable groups through following major activities:
- To share basic hygiene tips through IEC/BCC materials which is bearing messages on COVID-19 (GoB/WHO approved materials) by Involving our CBOs Members, youth groups, adolescent groups, primary group members (Microfinance), CP students, patients who are coming to Sancred Hospital for normal treatment and also community peoples.
- Launch behaviour change communications strategy/campaign through various channels that are accessible to vulnerable communities: social media, megaphones, print, digital, electronic, mobile messages, leaflet, poster and audio, video folk song etc.
- Ensure to all front-line staff/volunteers (CBOs leaders, youth groups and adolescent group, CP students ) with personal protective equipment (PPE), soap, hand sanitizers and face masks who are engage these activities. SWF must be ensuring staff wellbeing and appropriate protection.
- Ensure through advocacy and networking by CBOs leaders a stimulus package at agricultural, livestock sector to the farmers and monthly allowance to the extreme poor (who are heavily reliant on daily wages for the purchase of essentials, are among the worst affected by the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic) which was declared by Honourable Prime Minister, Bangladesh Government.
- Sancred Welfare Foundation will develop common operational guideline on COVID-19 consideration of existing Instruction of Bangladesh Government and WHO.
- Separate fund should be arrange on Covid-19 for the NGOs in Bangladesh
- Recommendation to study budget of ongoing projects at SWF and search for scopes to spent some amount for awareness and lifesaving support to Venerable Community People.
- Recommendation for provide to subsidy to Microfinance program of NGOs by the Government. Which is the worst affected by the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic. This is very important to continuously provide loan to group members for their income generating activities.
Most of the countries are affected by Coronavirus and Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF) shown solidarity with this situation. We know that the current situation related to the spread of Covid-19 is not only on health, but is becoming increasingly a social issue. It has started to affect more those already experiencing fragile conditions, creating new situations of poverty. And in synergy with local government institutions and organizations Sancred Welfare Foundation (SWF) has been doing its best to address the situation. And we shall keep continuing to stand by the poor people.