The Foundation focuses its work into two areas:
As part of our work in the UK, we support young people to develop their personal and social skills by providing positive activities, training and volunteering opportunities. In the past two years, in partnership with South Camden Youth Access Point (SCYAP), we have trained young people in fundraising and leadership projects. These have enabled young people raise the necessary funding towards their volunteering trip to South Africa and Bangladesh. One of the young people said 'this project has helped me make new friends, be more confident as well as work with other children. As well as the experience, I have gained a Duke of Edinburgh certificate for the volunteering section'.Find out more about what it means to be a young Ambassador
We have plans to do the following:
The Foundation runs successful projects in the rural town of Sylhet (Bangladesh). Currently Shampan Foundation runs six projects working with young people aged 5- 21 years. The archery project is run twice a week and accessed by 18 young people. This is a mixed group, both boys and girls aged between 13-19 years old. The group is doing really well but are hampered by the lack of suitable equipment. Bows often break and have to be fixed or replaced which is expensive. The young players have aspirations to play in the league and compete against the best in the country. Recently the team attended a national tournament and took gold and silver medals.
We have registered over 100 girls and young women. They are just as mad about sports as the boys. We are the only organization in Sylhet that targets and works with young women in an inclusive way all year round. Activities include structured football training, archery, cricket, dance, music and life skills workshops. The girls and young women are at a huge disadvantage due to cultural and social restrictions. The Foundation has built strong relationships with families based upon trust and educational and sporting opportunities. Recently two of our young women from our archery program attended a national tournament and took Gold & Bronze medals.
The Sylhet district women’s football team is made up of 12 young women from the Foundation selected by the Bangladeshi Football Association. This firmly puts the Foundation on the national map and we have aspirations to signpost our most talented to the women’s football league in Dhaka, where they could earn a very good living and be fantastic role models for everyone. Some of our gifted young women will develop small businesses to make small gifts for sale like henna painting, jewellery and shawls. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Foundation to setup social enterprises and teach young people entrepreneurship. So far we have 5 young women ambassadors in Bangladesh and 10 in the UK. We have also recently developed a local partnership with Sylhet University where 4 very gifted students will be volunteering at the Foundation being positive role models.
Sylhet - like anywhere in the world has children and adults who are mad about football. We have six separate projects each delivering two sessions per week. Borjaan Tea Estate, Khan Tea Estate, Srium Pur, Shiraj Uddin Academy, Anando Shongo Teleray and Moulvibazar. Over 200 young people attend regularly and are coached by our volunteers and staff. The young people range from 10 - 18 years of age and take part in local matches in addition to training.
The Moulvibazar project has six strong volunteers who coach 150 children three times a week. Football continues to grow and the Foundation has now had to develop unofficial sessions. Once the official Foundation coaching session is finished staff become very aware that there are 50-80 children just on the side lines watching that are not registered to the Foundation but just want the opportunity to play. Staff took a decision to add another 1.5 hours of drop in football so the kids can play and feel safe. Security is very important as the children are vulnerable from adults and older kids. These sessions are not recorded rather organic and are about free play and adding value. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to work with all the children in a structured way, over time the young ambassadors will provide us with valuable solutions for our workforce and volunteer capacity. 2 of our under 19’s from the Moulvibazar football project have trialled for the national team. This is a fantastic achievement for the Foundation within one year of work.
The Foundation has built an extension to a primary school. It consists of an ICT room with eight computer terminals and a school office. The school has 200 children aged 6-12 years. The school was recently recognised by the government as a high achieving school and now various grants have been awarded to the school by local governments. The school is getting ready to embrace the technological world. Plans are being developed to employ a full time ICT tutor and open up a whole new world. The school has signed a charter to ensure all children have at least two hours of structured sports activities per week. This demonstrates a huge “can do attitude” as space is so limited as is the skill set of staff to deliver sports but that has not prevented the four female staff and head teacher in embrace change.
The Scholorship Fund was set up to support young people and their families who otherwise would not be able to educate their children. The education bursary recognizes gifted and talented young people and offers full or half bursaries depending on the financial circumstances of their parents/carers. We have advertised primarily through word of mouth and have awarded 21 students full bursaries and two children half bursaries to date. There are 50 families who have applied and are on “hold” due to lack of funds. The Foundation is seeking 73 donors to each sponsor a child this would enable the Foundation to honour all the children on our waiting list. We have a comprehensive work plan to provide mentoring and the holistic support for each child evidencing their development and achievements. One of our 16 year old students has gained a full scholarship given by the government to attend the cadet college and to study a 3 year program to join the military. This program is a must for the Foundation as it recognises abject poverty and real academic talent. In supporting these young people the Foundation believes that it also changes the lives of the families and increases aspiration and offers hope to others.
This is delivered once a week by a very special Foundation staff member who himself has transformed his life and now leads on transforming the lives of others. There is lots of stigma and stereotypes attached to working with this group. The Foundation has been proactive in recognising the need for this work. Essentially delivered through playing sport, the group of 16 young adults meet once a week and receive one-to-one counselling and group work sessions aimed at focussing on their specific needs.
Once the young adults demonstrate a commitment to change, the Foundation helps source food, paid labour work and develop skills to reintegrate them where possible back to their families. Two young adults are on their way to rehabilitation and now volunteer for the Foundation thanks to the very special skills of our Outreach Worker (Guljar Hussein) who has often worked through the night in supporting them. Much more is needed to develop and support this group but it has been an amazing first year on very limited resources.
One of the core members of this group, Nurul Islam has recently re engaged back into business. The Foundation has given a small start-up loan for him to open his own engineering motor mechanics workshop. The workshop has been called Shampan Foundation Engineering Workshop. He has been trading for two months now and hopes to pay back the loan in 6 months. This workshop also provides valuable work experience for other young people and demonstrates a significant outcome for us and gives others hope.