Initially Bhola Garden was run by WOD Trust, a charity registered in Bangladesh (WOD = Welfare for Orphan and Disabled), which was funded by the ad hoc group of donors. In 2007 those donors paid for WOD Trust to purchase the land and buildings at Bhola Garden. Then from April 2007 Bhola’s Children took over as WOD Trust’s principal source of funds. The ad hoc donors and associated supporters have continued to provide some funds and in particular have financed the purchase of additional land.
In 2015 we decided to apply for National NGO status. We formed a new trust called BCSB (Bhola’s Children Special-School Bangladesh) and elected to remove ‘orphans’ from our description.
All the trustees of this new trust are well respected Bangladeshis who either live in Bhola or have strong connections with the island. The chairman lives in Bhola Town and owns a daily newspaper, while the deputy chairman and treasurer is a retired Lt Colonel in the Bangladeshi army, now a director of a major life assurance company, who has houses in Dhaka and Bhola. The other trustees are college or school principals, politicians, doctors or local businessmen.
In February 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding between Bhola’s Children Special-School Trust and Bhola’s Children UK charity was signed by two chairmen.
The relationship between the two bodies is excellent. The UK chairman speaks to the BCSB chairman or deputy chairman at least once a week on the telephone. No unilateral decisions can be made.