How we make a difference

EXPLORE A SELECTION OF OUR PROJECTS IN THE FIELD.
Our work with the poor began with Healthcare, but it soon became clear that to make a lasting impact on people’s lives we had to resolve other issues at the same time to break the cycle of poverty. Below is a selection of some of the services and help we offer communities in otherwise inaccessible areas of Bangladesh.

Hopspital ship - One of Friendship's Projects out in the field

Free healthcare on our Hospital Ships

Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right and yet the poor living in remote areas of Bangladesh do not have proper access to medical services. People die from easily preventable diseases. Friendship’s hospital ships are often the only hope people have of receiving medical aid.

LEARN MORE >

Medical Health Camps

Cataracts, cleft palate, club foot and burn contractures are some of the conditions seen frequently amongst the char inhabitants. We organize regular free health camps where specialists (local and foreign) operate and treat these patients in our hospital ships.

Cataract operations - Friendship NGO project in the field
Cervical Cancer screening - Friendship NGO project in the field

Cervical Cancer Programme

There is a huge lack of care for cervical cancer in hard to reach areas although it is prevalent among Bangladeshi women. We are proud to play a part in raising awareness and helping treat the disease. In 2015, Friendship screened 16,910 women and 265 were treated for pre-cancerous lesions under our Cervical Cancer programme.

Immunisation of Children

Difficulties in accessing the remote char areas often mean that children miss out on receiving vital healthcare services that are available elsewhere. In cooperation with the Bangladesh Government Heath Authority, we facilitated full vaccination coverage of 9,500 eligible children in 2015.

Child immunisation - Friendship NGO project in the field
Solar powered lighting - Friendship NGO project in the field

Low cost solar-powered lighting

Using modern technology, Friendship has developed a clean, environmentally friendly and low-cost solar panel that powers a lighting system. It is adapted to suit the needs of the char dwellers and is designed to replace the traditional source of lighting in the poor rural areas of Bangladesh, the kerosene lamp. The kerosene lamp is inefficient, unhealthy in closed spaces and a dangerous source of fires and burns. Friendship’s Solar Home System operates at the same cost to the user as the kerosene lamp and brings with it other advantages that greatly improve living standards.

LEARN MORE >

Empowering women through training in weaving, tailoring and embroidery

Friendship gives vulnerable women in the chars the opportunity to contribute to the income of their household or even achieve self-reliance. By providing them with training and the opportunity to earn their own income, these women can immediately establish their own identity, achieve personal growth and enrich their lives by opening doors that were previously closed to them.

LEARN MORE >

Empowering women - Friendship NGO project in the field
Fishermens project - Friendship NGO project in the field

Helping fishermen improve their business

Fishing in the Bay of Bengal is a hazardous occupation. Extreme climatic conditions can damage and destroy boats and equipment and place livelihoods and lives at risk. Business is unstable because income depends on the fluctuating prices of fish in the market. Fishermen have been forced over generations to turn to local moneylenders for help and become trapped in permanent debt, as their income is insufficient to repay the high interest charges and loan capital. With the help of strong community involvement, we strive to liberate fishermen and their families from their debts to moneylenders, and to help create opportunities for them to generate a fair income.

Advising and training farmers on how to improve production yields

In the precarious environment of the chars, the first concern of the rural farmer is to provide food for his own family. Initially, the main focus of Friendship’s agricultural project was to help farmers achieve food security. As people’s access to food has improved over time, the focus has now been extended to assisting the farmers to diversify their crops, increase productivity and earn income by selling their produce.

Sustainable Economic Development - Friendship NGO project in the field
Helping vicitms after flooding and other natural disasters - Friendship NGO project in the field

Helping families rebuild after natural disasters strike

Recovering after a natural disaster is a lengthy and difficult process. We strive to assist communities in rebuilding their homes and livelihoods by helping arrange and finance rebuilding efforts. When rebuilding, we aim to create an infrastructure that is more durable when faced with natural disasters. We also help communities obtain the services and support made available by the government.

LEARN MORE >

Adult literacy programs

We offer adults a second chance at education thanks to our 8-month adult literacy program. Our priority is to ensure students can read, write and do basic calculations by the end of the program. Once the course is complete, we encourage students to attend our vocational training program (where they can learn trades such as weaving and tailoring) as well as other programs run by the government or other NGOs.

LEARN MORE >

Improving adult literacy - Friendship NGO projects in the field
The right to an education - Friendship NGO project in the field

Building schools in remote areas where there are no government schools

Friendship is proud to have successfully established 78 self-sufficient schools for kids in remote areas of Bangladesh. These schools are easily dismantled and relocated in the event of a natural disaster and use innovative solutions, including solar panels, to generate electricity.

LEARN MORE >

Providing food and emergency medical aid when disasters strike

Friendship’s teams act quickly and work together with other organisations to provide immediate relief when disasters strike. Our priorities are to provide food, shelter, access to clean water and immediate healthcare. We survey how many people are injured and how many people will need relief, we then distribute emergency food packs and provide basic essentials.

Distribution of flood relief aid - Friendship NGO project in the field
Sources of clean water - Friendship NGO project in the field

Ensuring families have access to safe drinking water

Our water treatment plants provide a reliable source of safe drinking water by cleaning any sources of water that might have been contaminated. We also ensure safe drinking water is supplied to local communities by installing deep tube wells.

LEARN MORE >

Providing legal advice to those in need

We establish legal booths in the chars, staffed by Paralegals and Governance Aides. They provide legal solutions and build links between the victim and the appropriate legal service provider. Our Paralegals maintain a mediation practice and advise char dwellers on how to handle legal or administrative problems. They also help community members solve problems without going to court.

Preserving Cultural heritage - Friendship NGO project in the field

Recording boat-building skills for posterity

Bangladesh’s boat-building skills are passed down orally from one generation to the next. There are no written records documenting these ancient techniques. We work with the last remaining carpenters able to transmit their ancestral technical skills, with the aim of documenting and preserving this national heritage.

LEARN MORE >

How we make a difference

EXPLORE A SELECTION OF OUR PROJECTS IN THE FIELD.
Our work with the poor began with Healthcare, but it soon became clear that to make a lasting impact on people’s lives we had to resolve other issues at the same time to break the cycle of poverty. Below is a selection of some of the services and help we offer communities in otherwise inaccessible areas of Bangladesh.

Free healthcare on our Hospital Ships

Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right and yet the poor living in remote areas of Bangladesh do not have proper access to medical services. People die from easily preventable diseases. Friendship’s hospital ships are often the only hope people have of receiving medical aid.

LEARN MORE >

Medical Health Camps

Cataracts, cleft palate, club foot and burn contractures are some of the conditions seen frequently amongst the char inhabitants. We organize regular free health camps where specialists (local and foreign) operate and treat these patients in our hospital ships.

Cervical Cancer Programme

There is a huge lack of care for cervical cancer in hard to reach areas although it is prevalent among Bangladeshi women. We are proud to play a part in raising awareness and helping treat the disease. In 2015, Friendship screened 16,910 women and 265 were treated for pre-cancerous lesions under our Cervical Cancer programme.

Immunisation of Children

Difficulties in accessing the remote char areas often mean that children miss out on receiving vital healthcare services that are available elsewhere. In cooperation with the Bangladesh Government Heath Authority, we facilitated full vaccination coverage of 9,500 eligible children in 2015.

Low cost solar-powered lighting

Using modern technology, Friendship has developed a clean, environmentally friendly and low-cost solar panel that powers a lighting system. It is adapted to suit the needs of the char dwellers and is designed to replace the traditional source of lighting in the poor rural areas of Bangladesh, the kerosene lamp. The kerosene lamp is inefficient, unhealthy in closed spaces and a dangerous source of fires and burns. Friendship’s Solar Home System operates at the same cost to the user as the kerosene lamp and brings with it other advantages that greatly improve living standards.

LEARN MORE >

Empowering women through training in weaving, tailoring and embroidery

Friendship gives vulnerable women in the chars the opportunity to contribute to the income of their household or even achieve self-reliance. By providing them with training and the opportunity to earn their own income, these women can immediately establish their own identity, achieve personal growth and enrich their lives by opening doors that were previously closed to them.

LEARN MORE >

Helping fishermen improve their business

Fishing in the Bay of Bengal is a hazardous occupation. Extreme climatic conditions can damage and destroy boats and equipment and place livelihoods and lives at risk. Business is unstable because income depends on the fluctuating prices of fish in the market. Fishermen have been forced over generations to turn to local moneylenders for help and become trapped in permanent debt, as their income is insufficient to repay the high interest charges and loan capital. With the help of strong community involvement, we strive to liberate fishermen and their families from their debts to moneylenders, and to help create opportunities for them to generate a fair income.

Advising and training farmers on how to improve production yields

In the precarious environment of the chars, the first concern of the rural farmer is to provide food for his own family. Initially, the main focus of Friendship’s agricultural project was to help farmers achieve food security. As people’s access to food has improved over time, the focus has now been extended to assisting the farmers to diversify their crops, increase productivity and earn income by selling their produce.

Helping families rebuild after natural disasters strike

Recovering after a natural disaster is a lengthy and difficult process. We strive to assist communities in rebuilding their homes and livelihoods by helping arrange and finance rebuilding efforts. When rebuilding, we aim to create an infrastructure that is more durable when faced with natural disasters. We also help communities obtain the services and support made available by the government.

LEARN MORE >

Adult literacy programs

We offer adults a second chance at education thanks to our 8-month adult literacy program. Our priority is to ensure students can read, write and do basic calculations by the end of the program. Once the course is complete, we encourage students to attend our vocational training program (where they can learn trades such as weaving and tailoring) as well as other programs run by the government or other NGOs.

LEARN MORE >

Building schools in remote areas where there are no government schools

Friendship is proud to have successfully established 78 self-sufficient schools for kids in remote areas of Bangladesh. These schools are easily dismantled and relocated in the event of a natural disaster and use innovative solutions, including solar panels, to generate electricity.

LEARN MORE >

Providing food and emergency medical aid when disasters strike

Friendship’s teams act quickly and work together with other organisations to provide immediate relief when disasters strike. Our priorities are to provide food, shelter, access to clean water and immediate healthcare. We survey how many people are injured and how many people will need relief, we then distribute emergency food packs and provide basic essentials.

Ensuring families have access to safe drinking water

Our water treatment plants provide a reliable source of safe drinking water by cleaning any sources of water that might have been contaminated. We also ensure safe drinking water is supplied to local communities by installing deep tube wells.

LEARN MORE >

Providing legal advice to those in need

We establish legal booths in the chars, staffed by Paralegals and Governance Aides. They provide legal solutions and build links between the victim and the appropriate legal service provider. Our Paralegals maintain a mediation practice and advise char dwellers on how to handle legal or administrative problems. They also help community members solve problems without going to court.

Recording boat-building skills for posterity

Bangladesh’s boat-building skills are passed down orally from one generation to the next. There are no written records documenting these ancient techniques. We work with the last remaining carpenters able to transmit their ancestral technical skills, with the aim of documenting and preserving this national heritage.

LEARN MORE >

“Poor people can't afford poor solutions”

Runa Khan (founder of Friendship)

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“Our experience in the field has shown that gaining the trust of the communities in which we operate is a key component of success. Trust can only be built up over time by providing consistent and reliable quality services and earning the respect of the people we work for. Friendship doesn’t work through short-term projects, but ensures its commitment to the communities on a long term basis.”

Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Friendship Bangladesh