Blessings in Bangladesh - Salvation Army Canada

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  • Feb13Thu

    Blessings in Bangladesh

    Maternal health, housing and education highlighted in newest Partners in Mission command. February 13, 2020 by Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray
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    Traditional wooden boats are an important means of transportation in Bangladesh
    Traditional wooden boats are an important means of transportation in Bangladesh

    The sights and sounds of Bangladesh are both colourful and vibrant. More than 165 million people call this beautiful land their home—one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The capital city of Dhaka has an electric energy as people move around in rickshaws and on motorcycles. It’s estimated there are more than 600,000 rickshaws in Dhaka alone. For the visitor, the traffic initially seems to be chaos on wheels, but one quickly comes to realize there is an ebb and flow to the movement of people. As a floodplain, with more than 700 rivers and inland waterways, traditional wooden boats, such as Bainkata or Kosha, are also an important means of transportation.

    Photo of rickshaws in BangaladeshIt's estimated there are more than 600,000 rickshaws in Dhaka, Bangladesh
    The Salvation Army began work in Bangladesh immediately after the Liberation War with Pakistan in 1971. A team of Salvationists, who had been serving in refugee camps in Calcutta, India, accompanied the thousands who returned to the newly liberated country. Today, The Salvation Army continues to serve in this Muslim-predominant country, with 86 officers, six cadets, 32 corps and 12 outposts. It also has 196 employees, and is involved in vast outreach ministries in the areas of health, housing, education and women’s empowerment.

    The Canada and Bermuda Territory and Bangladesh Command became Partners in Mission on January 1, 2018. Last year, a team from the world missions department visited Bangladesh to see how The Salvation Army is bringing hope to the communities it serves.


    Photo of young mother and child at tuberculosis control clinic



    Sweety, a young mother, visits The Salvation Army Mirpur Clinic in Dhaka for a follow-up appointment. After a positive test for tuberculosis, she underwent a successful six-month treatment. “The doctors and nurses have been very helpful,” she says. 

    The clinic has been treating patients with tuberculosis and leprosy since 1972, when it was first established as a mobile medical clinic. The current building was purchased in 1989. This busy clinic has a holistic approach to community health care, and the words of the Army slogan, "Heart to God and Hand to Man,” are clearly seen in the way people are treated with care and compassion.


    Photo of staff at the tuberculosis control clinic  
    Staff at the tuberculosis control clinic explain their services. In 2018, the clinic treated 286 patients. In addition, they take every opportunity to educate the community and raise awareness of the symptoms and transmission of this disease.

     Photo of medical officer at the leprosy control clinic with a patient cured of the disease  
     Dr. Jessy J. Rozario, a medical officer at the leprosy control clinic, with a patient cured of the disease through good medical treatment and care. Antibiotics can cure, but not reverse, the deformities caused by leprosy.


    Photo of corps officer with children outside clinic  
     Major Stephen Biswas, corps officer at Mirpur Corps in Dhaka, with children outside The Salvation Army Mirpur Clinic. The corps provides a spiritual foundation for ministry in the community, as they interact with patients and staff at the health clinic, support the women’s empowerment program and hold regular home league meetings.


    Housing and Education


     Photo of children exercising at the Integrated Children's Centre in Bangladesh

     Photo of child exercising at the Integrated Children's Centre in Bangladesh
    The Salvation Army believes that every child has a right to education. At the Integrated Children’s Centre in Savar, Bangladesh, exercise builds self-esteem and contributes to a child’s overall health and well-being.

     Photo of young boy smiling  
    Yasin’s smile exudes the joy of the moment. The Integrated Children’s Centre provides housing and education for vulnerable girls and visually impaired boys. An integrated approach to life and learning benefits everyone.

     Photo of young boy showing his mosquito net  
    Manik is excited to show his mosquito net. According to the World Health Organization, a child dies of malaria every two minutes, and more than 200 million new cases of the disease are reported each year. The Salvation Army Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program provides mosquito nets as part of their support to the Integrated Children’s Centre. Through generous donations, you help to prevent malaria one mosquito net at a time—and keep Manik healthy.


    Women's Empowerment


    Photo of women in community-based empowerment program
     Major Lipi Biswas, corps officer at Mirpur Corps in Dhaka, with women from a community-based empowerment program. They call their group “Mukti,” which means “freedom.” The women organized themselves and, with the support of The Salvation Army, are building their capacity through literacy, education, and savings and loans. Here, they show their government certificate for a microcredit license. They received the registration on April 4, 2017, which has become a day to celebrate every year.

    Photo of woman and child  
     Future generations are forever changed when women are empowered to reach their full potential.


    Corps Ministry


     Photo of officer praying with soldier
    Captain Sarah Bapari prays with a soldier at an amalgamated service at the school on the Integrated Children’s Centre compound. “We’re all seeking the same Saviour, we’re all seeking the self-same Lord, we’re all claiming the same cleansing, we’re all finding our peace restored.”—John Gowans/John Larsson


    Training College


    Photo of cadets leading worship
    Music is an integral part of worship. Six cadets of the Messengers of Grace Session share a special song with guests and territorial leaders at the training college chapel.


    Lt-Colonel Brenda Murray is the director of the world missions department.

    Photos: Mark Yan









    On Friday, February 21, 2020, Arthur said:

    Very interesting to know...


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