Help for victims of the caved-in textile factory in Dhaka completed

by Jasmin Eigemann,  2014/07/14

The 17 women are beaming. Today is their day. The day for which they have worked during the last four months. They are the successful participants of the sewing course offered by humedica, which is meant to help the victims of the caved-in textile factory to start up a small business and thus secure their future. The certificate they are holding in their hands is a proof of it. At this moment, the shadows cast over their lives and families since April 24th, 2013, have faded a bit.

It has been the most serious factory accident Bangladesh has ever experienced. Nearly 4,000 people were in the dilapidated Rana Plaza building, when it caved in at about 9 o’clock in the morning. 1,127 people lost their lives, more than 1,300 of the 2,700 survivors had suffered serious injuries.

This accident has made waves worldwide and has drawn the attention on the inhuman conditions in the textile production. Because important fashion labels also had their clothes produced in this factory. Nevertheless, after a short time the catastrophe had disappeared from the public awareness.

After the catastrophe, the actual struggle began for the victims. Many survivors had suffered heavy traumata and couldn’t imagine working in textile factories any longer. They had been enclosed under the debris for days, had lain between their dead friends and colleagues.

Even if, unlike other workers, their limbs had not been amputated, they could not continue carrying out the physically very hard work. Hundreds of families had lost their only source of income. Especially the widows, who often only had had bad basic education, have been affected by this. As they were unable to pay, they were threatened by homelessness.

Here started the humedica help. In collaboration with the longtime local partner Koinonia Bangladesh, humedica has accompanied and supported 35 especially hard hit families financially for six months and helped them through the first months.

In order to offer at the same time a prospect for independence, a four-month training as a seamstress was offered. The basis for the start-up of an own business. Former factory workers as well as widowed women have taken part in this full-time training course. Besides theoretical and practical knowledge they also received money for their households.

A psychologist specialized in industrial accidents has been a demonstrably important help for the victims. He has cared for the 17 women in the training and five other victims within the framework of therapeutic measures. Medical treatment could be provided to two survivors with heavy injuries.

At the end of the training, all participants received the sewing materials and cloth they had wished, clothes, a linking machine needed for sewing and an own sewing machine. Seed capital for a future!

In order to continue our help where it is needed, we depend on your help. With your support you enable humedica to help those who suffer without any detours. Thank you very much!

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