Shishu Polli Plus is a purpose-built complex where our mission is to support mothers and children to keep female-led families together. To enable the mothers to keep and care for their children we provide long term rehabilitation services- are including literacy, life skills and income-generating skills – in a safe environment. The families who come to us are at severe risk of the children being given in to care or the homes of distant relatives. Many of these families come from amongst the poorest and most isolated areas of Bangladesh and are struggling because of poverty, social stigma, abuse, trauma, etc. The model of rehabilitation is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The Village was founded in 1989 and was the concept of Patricia Kerr (now Overseas Director). It was established with the support of a large donor group in the UK- including many British Airways staff as BA flew to Bangladesh at that time. As a grass-roots organization, we respond to changing needs amongst our target population and are constantly reviewing programmes that include nutrition, caring, training, counselling and community fostering for vulnerable children and traumatised mothers.
Approximately 500 mothers and children live in the village and follow an agreed rehabilitation programme for up to three years. As well as receiving literacy and vocational training and other educational opportunities, the mothers work for SPP and earn a small allowance. Each month they also receive money in a saving account that is given to them, as a capital sum, when they return to their communities.
SPP also has a number of physically disabled children who are in need of special care and are staying with us for the rest of their lives.
The complex is designed to have a village structure and atmosphere and it has facilities like a school, a clinic, kitchens, deep and shallow tube-well, ponds, agriculture, accommodation, vocational training, garments training, handmade paper mil, greeting card production, embroidery, tailoring and other facilities. The Village also provides a safe and loving environment where mothers and children receive nutritious food, health care, education, training and work skill development programmes to enable them to be independent and to live in their communities with empowerment, independence and dignity.
Destitute, marginalized and underprivileged women with their children are enabled to live a self-reliant and empowered life in mainstream society-provided with adequate knowledge, capacity, dignity and with their rights acknowledged.