Caring for her 25-year old son, Sawpon, who has cerebral palsy left 50-year old Golapi feeling exhausted and stressed. This story explains the challenges that Golapi, who lives on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh has faced.
Since Sawpon’s childhood, Golapi has been his sole carer and has catered to his every need. As Sawpon grew, the physical demands of the caring role began to take their toll on Golapi and her own physical health deteriorated as a result.
As well as the physical challenges Golapi has faced, she has also experienced great challenges to her mental health and emotional wellbeing. The financial costs of medication and rehabilitation for her son are costly and at times she worries how the family will afford the ongoing costs. Golapi’s sleep became disturbed due to stress and she constantly lived with the thought that, as a mother, she was the only person who could and would take care of Sawpon.
Due to her thoughts, she used to pray to Allah every day that at the time of her death, her son Sawpon should pass too as this would resolve the issue of having nobody left to care for Sawpon.
In 2018 Carers Worldwide started working with carers in Bangladesh. Our 18-month pilot project “Testing an approach to social and economic inclusion of impoverished family carers in Bangladesh” in partnership with the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) Bangladesh has been working closely with carers, including Golapi, to improve their social, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
For the first time since Sawpon was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Golapi is seeing light for the future of herself and carers like her. She has commented that she is very happy with the activities initiated by CDD and Carers Worldwide which are drawing attention to the carers’ issue. Golapi regularly attends meetings of her local carers group where she shares her experiences and has benefited from home counselling. This has helped reduce the mental stress that Golapi faces.
When we met her recently, Golapi said “I would like to thanks CDD and Carers Worldwide because my family and social life has improved through the project”
We are delighted to hear how our pilot project has helped changed the life of Golapi. We could not have achieved this without the dedication of our partner, CDD. To find out more about CDD please take a look at their website.