Yesterday was a historic day for carers of persons with disabilities,, our partner organisation Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), and ourselves as we held the first ever Carers Conference in Bangladesh. A total of 125 carers representing 25 carers groups from Savar and Tatuljura Union participated at the conference.

It was an incredible day filled with inspiring personal stories from carers about how their lives are beginning to transform since becoming involved with the Carers Project just over a year ago. Some of the most memorable comments from carers were:

“My role as a carer is slowly being recognised by the family and the society” and “The project has brought hope in our life and we are beginning to find a meaning to life.”

Anil Patil, Founder and Executive Director of Carers Worldwide, commented that he was honoured and humbled to witness such transformation to the lives of carers, including the boost in self-esteem of carers.

A special mention should be given to Mahmuda Min Ara, the Managing Director (Additional Secretary) JPUF for the Ministry of Social Welfare, who chaired the conference. We were delighted to hear her make a promise to take up the carers issues at national policy level discussions. Carers presented several recommendations to the Additional Secretary to consider at policy level which included carers being formally recognised, financial support for carers, health services for carers, respite opportunities for carers and the provision of community care centres. 

During the conference, one of the carers highlighted that it is not just enough to support herself and her fellow carers in Savar and Tatuljura Union but that such support should be available in all 64 districts of the country. This demonstrates that carers are empathetic to the pain and suffering of other carers and are able to think beyond their own needs and support. The carers are so farsighted and visionaries, that this gives us enormous energy and courage to march ahead towards a global carers movement.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the staff and senior management at CDD who are involved with the Carers Project, and to the carers themselves who attended and spoke at the conference.

To find our more about our partner, CDD, visit their website.