The work of the MFT began in 2011 with several successful pilot projects:
free english lessons
English lessons for sixty students (aged 7-11 years) were conducted in Rajapur, Chandpur, by MFT co-founder, Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, within grounds bequeathed for a school by the late Professor Mannan.
Photos of Free English lessons in the village primary school, hosted by our Trustee Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, in Rajapur, Bangladesh
Scholarships were awarded by MFT co-founder, Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, to ten gifted primary students to enable them to continue their education.
Photos of Prize giving ceremony hosted by our Trustee Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, in Rajapur, Bangladesh
free health camps
Free health camps were hosted by MFT co-founder, Dr. Nilufar Fatema. These health camps have proved very popular with the local women of Rajapur, who are much more confident in, and willing to, confide in a female doctor. Running the camps has been a huge success, with over 100 patients seen during the course of one health camp.
A variety of medicine, which has been donated to MFT by a number of pharmaceutical companies, has been prescribed and distributed to the patients attending the health camps.
surgICAL eQuIpment DonAtIons
Surgical equipment was donated to MFT by Alcon and Lenstec.
Photos of Free Health camps hosted by our Trustee Dr Nilufar Fatema, in Rajapur village, Bangladesh
free eye health camps
Free eye health camps are led by one of the MFT trustees Dr. Tina Khanam (Opthamologist in London). These camps were sponsored by Biopharma Ltd and equipment donated by Barts and the London Ophthalmology Department. Dr. Tina Khanam hosts the free eye camps in Rajapur village in Bangladesh and in Jinja village in Uganda. In the rural areas most patients cannot afford the eye treatment required, the free eye health camps provide the treatments and consultation to those who ordinarily could not afford it.
Photos of Free Eye camps hosted by our Trustee Dr Tina Khanam. Above left: Ghana, Above right: Rajapur, Bangladesh
Women's literacy and healthcare centre
MFT aims to provide for the villagers of Rajapur and the surrounding rural communities with a new Community Building to facilitate free access to the education of literacy for women, and free access to healthcare for all villagers.
Our primary objective is to provide the girls and women of Rajapur with access to free education and the income generating skills that will empower and instill confidence. This will provide them with a sense of identity and status, enabling them to contribute to the household income and become economically self sufficient.
The building construction will be funded entirely by donations. Running costs and maintenance will be funded by the income generated from on site activities, such as fish farming, and supplemented by ongoing fundraising by MFT.
This building consists of multi-functional spaces that accommodate:
"EMPOWERING THE WOMEN OF Rural bangladesh"
The majority of girls in rural Bangladesh do not continue their education beyond the age of 11. Due to cultural and economic pressures, and with little else to inspire them, they fall into a familiar cycle: they work long hours to help their parents on their farms, they marry early resulting in child marriage, and they take on the responsibility of all household duties.
Whilst access to healthcare is already limited for all villagers of Rajapur, the situation is exacerbated for women. Due to cultural pressures, women are strongly discouraged from consulting the male doctors who make up the vast majority of healthcare professionals in rural Bangladesh.
Illustration above (left): Gender Inequality in Rural Bangladesh. Illustration above (right): Cyclical diagram of how the Rajapur Community Building benefits the rural community.
Women's literacy and healthcare centre - phase 1
The construction work to build the Women's Literacy and Healthcare Centre is led by one of MFT's trustees, an Architect, Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows.
Construction Phase 1: During phase 1 the foundations were laid and the concrete columns and floor slabs were constructed.
We hosted a number of workshops with local craftsmen to re-introduce traditional methods of building with rammed earth and bamboo. We have demonstrated ways to build a rammed earth and to treat bamboo to give the locals confidence in the local materials which are see as "low material". All the bamboo used for this building is from local gardens leading to zero carbon footprint. Energy efficiency of rammed earth is due to its high thermal mass therefore heat and cold takes long to transfer through the thick rammed earth wall. By utilising these natural materials we are able to keep the cost of construction to a minimum and there be no cost for cooling and heating the building.
Our aim is to give the population of the village ways to learn about local materials and construction methods and also to help people learn about the values in local materials.
Photos from the site during Phase 1
Women's literacy and healthcare centre - phase 2
Construction Phase 2: During phase 2 the treated bamboo formed the structural frame which comprise of regular arrangement of trusses and columns. The roofing comprised a layer of insulation with profile metal sheeting fixed onto the bamboo trusses. We have started the contraction of the rammed earth walls and produced handmade clay bricks which are now drying and will be used to complete the wall construction for next phase of work.
Photos from the site during Phase 2
Women's literacy and healthcare centre - phase 3
Construction Phase 3: We have achieved an important milestone at this construction stage. During phase 3 the internal walls are being erected. The internal walls are constructed with a combination of rammed earth walls and hand made earth blocks. All the earth blocks were made near the site by the members of the village community. The external bamboo wall cladding is also being erected. The bamboo was sourced from local bamboo gardens and treated on site to demonstrate to the community how to maintain the longevity of the material. The walls are composed with perforation to allow natural light into the building and for cross ventilation. Through several community participation workshops, the community ownership of the building is achieved.
Photos from the site during Phase 3
WOMEN'S LITERACY AND HEALTHCARE CENTRE - completed
The construction of the building has been completed and it is in full use by the community. Regular women’s literacy classes are hosted at the Rajapur Centre, where income generating skills, literacy, numeracy courses are offered to the disadvantaged women in the community, free of charge. Our aim is to assist the most needy in the community by assist in self-sufficiency by providing income generating skills to allow financial independence.
We also host free healthcamps for the community at the Rajapur Centre, to address the lack of access to healthcare in the village.