BMRF is a small London-based UK-registered charity providing targeted and effective medical aid and assistance to poor areas of Bangladesh. Established in 1999, our work is structured by key elements of medical practice:
- Health Advice, immunisation and preventative health care
- Long Term Improvements with Medical Benefits, e.g. the provision of fresh drinking water
- A 200-bed Community Hospital in Sylhet District, opened in 2001
- Back-up Assistance & Emergency Aid, in times of disaster (floods, earthquakes, etc)
Each year we are able to put 100% of the funds we raise towards our charitable work, as we:
- Have no overheads and minimal administrative costs
- Are staffed entirely by volunteers from both Britain and Bangladesh
- Most have a medical background and/or specialised local knowledge
At the end of 2004 we initiated our ‘Well-Wishers’ campaign. A deep-water well (typically 350-1000 feet) delivering fresh water to a village can be drilled and fitted with a cap and pump-handle for as little as £170. This reduces water-borne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid, in villages and remote rural communities that otherwise have to rely on open ponds shared with their livestock for drinking water. Our first 100 wells were drilled in 2005 and, to date, over 1500 wells have been drilled.
Our 2011/12 fundraising campaign aims to continue this important work in Sylhet and Rangpur Districts, drilling wells in areas where the geology is suitable, thus bringing immediate and accurate aid, and ensuring that even modest donations result in maximum benefits to the widest number of people. All contributions to BMRF make a direct and real difference and are not absorbed in, or by, bureaucracy and administration.
Following the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Sidr in November 2008, we designed and built a cyclone shelter for the island village of Borguna in Barisal District to protect villagers and their livestock. The shelter also doubles up as the village school, and opened in July 2009.
We now intend to expand our educational programme and introduce a school scholarship scheme. A £500 scholarship provides a pupil with books and stationery during a five-year course of schooling and covers the cost of their exam fees. We aim to have a pilot scheme launched in four schools in 12-24 months time.