The home has been closed since the beginning of lockdown. Zakir had to be in Dhaka with his family, but all the staff who live in the boundary have stayed there, together with a few of the older children.
Since we have so few to feed, we have identified the parents who are most in need of financial help and have arranged to give them money.
We know there are many other families in Bhola who, because they cannot work, are finding it hard to feed their families. Since we are a charity giving support to people of disability, it is within our remit to raise money for these families. We are working with our partner DORP and our local trustees, as well as the District Commissioner, to identify those in most need. Meanwhile, our appeal to our donors for the families in need in Bhola brought in the wonderful sum of £14,000, which will shortly be sent to Bangladesh.
Finally two weeks ago Zakir, together with his wife Neera and daughters Zara and Nora, were able to get back to Bhola. They had a long and very uncomfortable car journey but are now out of quarantine and are happy to be away from Dhaka. He reports that the situation in Bangladesh has become far worse. The country is ranked 10th worst hit but numbers are increasing very rapidly. Sadly only the very privileged can get medical care.
All the staff are back. The three teachers who live out, Salina Surma and Masuma, arrive at 9 and leave at 12, and may only go to their allocated classrooms.
Physio, of course, is closed until such a time as it is safe to resume treatments. A few older boys and girls stayed, and a few more are being allowed back including some small girls whose families struggle to feed them. Each has to isolate for at least a week on arrival.
Zakir is naturally being ultra-cautious about taking more children back and we fear it will be a while before the boundary is full.
These photographs in this post show staff disinfecting the boundary and being disinfected on arrival, as well as some pictures of small classes. We hope and pray that the home will be back to being its usual busy and happy place before too long.