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To donate with a check, please send a check payable to SpaandanB to:

    SpaandanB
    P.O. Box 64183
    Sunnyvale, CA 94088
    U.S.A.

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For donors in the United States, your donation is fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

SpaandanB is a 501(c)(3) organization and the tax id for SpaandanB is 77-0479128.

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Warmth - 2008

Project Warmth activities

Bangladesh is under a gripping cold wave. People with no shelter or with very little warm clothes are spending nights in shivering cold. The cold wave has already taken toll of hundreds. The sufferings of small children and aged people living in the streets are beyond explanation. SpaandanB has started distribution of warm clothes and blankets to Slum and street dwellers in Dhaka. We are also planning to extend it to the Northern part (Kurigram) of Bangladesh where the intensity of cold is even greater. We urge you to come forward and donate generously for this cause.

As always, our goal is to maximize the benefit of the actual victims. Accordingly, SpaandanB is bearing the expenses for collecting the funds and remitting them to Bangladesh.

SpaandanB's Effort to Help Fight the Cold Wave in Bangladesh - 2008

With your kind support, SpaandanB has completed the warm clothe distribution program on Jan 3rd, 2009. A total of 1200 sweaters and blankets have been distributed to the dwellers of various Basti (slum) area near Dhaka. SpaandanB officials and volunteers from Badhan, a voluntary blood donor organization, carried out the distribution process. Tokens were distributed to qualified benificiaries before the actual distribution. The token system avoided the inevitable chaos if identificationa and distrbution would have been made at the same time. Warm clothes were procured from Shyamoli factory,Dhaka and from Thakhurgaon factory.
Total expenduture of the program was Tk 176,791 (~$2,600)of which Tk 8,791 was used for overhead which included transportaion and distribution cost. Overhead is less than 5%.

A summary of warm clothe distribution activities is provided below:



Date
Activities
Comment

Dec 24-26,2008
SpaandanB officials and Badhan volunteers visited first distribution sites and distributed tokens.
Visited Deper bosti, Purbachal ghat bosti, Boddha Vhumi bosti, Subinir Bosti, Beribath Bosti

Dec 27,2008
185 blankets and 550 sweaters distributed
200 sweaters for women and 350 for men. Blankets were for families.

Dec 31,2008
SpaandanB officials and Badhan volunteers visited second distribution sites and distributed tokens.
Visited Beribath Bosti, South Ghat bosti

Jan 3rd,2009
400 sweaters and 65 blankets distributed
200 sweaters for women and 200 for men. Blankets were for families.

 

A Field Report

One of the first things I noticed as soon as I got off the plane at Zia International Airport last month was how cold it was! While northern California, where I was flying from, can hardly be considered a chilly place, it does get significantly colder than Dhaka. Yet, I was forced to keep my sweater on. The cold wave that hit Bangladesh persisted throughout the two weeks that I was there and it actually got colder after I left.

Cold wave in Bangladesh is always bad news because people are usually not prepared for this kind of weather. I was glad to see that email activity had already started within the SpaandanB team about Project Warmth by the first time I got a chance to check email. The SpaandanB Bangladesh team sprang into action early as well and made arrangements to procure blankets and sweaters much needed for surviving such cold weather.

One of the common difficulties with distributing warm clothing is that the demand far outweighs the supply. So handling distribution in an equitable and organized fashion is always a challenge. With the help of Badhan volunteers, the SpaandanB team did a superb job in managing the distribution process! I had the good fortune to be present at one of the distribution sites and noticed how uneventful the process was. Once the SpaandanB crew arrived with the truckload of warm clothing, news of the arrival was spread to the beneficiaries and they lined up within minutes. Each person with a token picked up a blanket or sweater in exchange for the token. No fuss, no commotion, no bickering that often accompanies such distributions. Distribution to about 735 beneficiaries was completed in two hours or so! That does not tell the full story, though. The smooth distribution was possible because the distribution crew spent one and a half days in preparation for the hours spent on distributing the clothing. They visited the slums, identified the needy, collected information about the families, generated the beneficiary list and distributed the tokens. Their diligence made the process work and I deeply admire the dedication of these volunteers!

As the distribution was taking place, I wandered off into the slums with SpaandanB's Mostafiz, my namesake, to get a closer look at the beneficiaries. Mostafiz told me that most of the residents at the slum were din mojur (day workers). In addition, one of their activities is to sort out recyclable goods from dumpsters. This means sifting through trash and identifying plastic and paper goods -- needless to say, an extremely unhygienic activity. All around the slum, there was evidence of this as garbage was littered all over the place. Being a frequent traveler to the homeland, I've (unfortunately) been somewhat conditioned to seeing hardship and poverty, but seeing half-clothed infants playing around in such litter just broke my heart. While we cannot fix all of people's problems and sufferings, my only solace was that generous donors have made it possible to at least make life slightly less difficult and a little more bearable for a few.

Mustafiz, Fremont, CA, Jan 2009