Helping children play once again is the CareTech Foundation as it provides a community grant to fund the shipment of much needed sports kit from London to the rural Bangladesh village of Sundarban.
The £535 community grant was awarded to UK architecture charity AzuKo. AzuKo had identified the need for sports kit whilst working with JAAGO Dinajpur Primary School in Bangladesh to design a new playground, and provide psychosocial support for students who have witnessed physical and emotional abuse.
As part of the playground project AzuKo were keen to provide sports kit. In collaboration with the football kit recycling charity, KitAid, and football boots repurposing charity, Charity Boots, AzuKo sourced over £8,500 worth of sports kit, team strips, boots, and goalkeeper’s kit for shipment to Bangladesh.
After a 4,798 mile journey the kit successfully reached its destination and was distributed to two community football teams, Bandhu Sports and Lal Sobuj Tarun Jubo Songho, a non-profit primary school, which provides education for disadvantaged children, individuals and families in need of clothing.
Jo Ashbridge, CEO, AzuKo says: “To receive this help from the CareTech Foundation is priceless. At a time when we desperately needed to ship the clothing to Bangladesh they were there. The kit is more than just clothing, a football shirt is more than just a shirt – the kit builds a sense of pride, and self-worth. We thank the CareTech Foundation for recognising and supporting that. ”
CareTech Foundation CEO, Jonathan Freeman MBE, says: “The CareTech Foundation was delighted to provide a grant to transport the sports kit from London to northwest Bangladesh. This small but valuable contribution will help to enhance the lives and opportunities of children and families in need. Playing football barefoot was part of everyday life, now with kit and boots they are able to develop their skills and enjoy playing a game they are very passionate about.”
Lal Sobuj Tarun Jubo Songho team player Md Shahinur says “It’s very exciting for us, we have everything now. We’ve never played with boots before. I will never forget your help.”
Sundarban resident, Chandra says: “This has been a very difficult time, no money, many people have no job. We’re hoping everything is getting better… Normally people in the city have these types of clothes and shoes. I feel proud to wear it.”
Sundarban Union is based in northwest Bangladesh. Poverty is deep and widespread and the impacts of COVID-19 over the last two years have been incredibly challenging. National lockdowns resulted in extreme food shortages. There has been violence between police and communities, and serious impact on mental health.
Pictured are the Bandhu Sports and Lal Sobuj Tarun Jubo Songho football teams in their new kit.