Bangladesh Development Project (BDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created by first-generation Bangladeshi-American youth who sought to embrace their cultural roots, work together to address important challenges and injustices faced by underprivileged people in Bangladesh, and promote a brighter future for all of Bangladesh’s citizens.
BDP seeks to fulfill this mission by carrying out meaningful projects dedicated to five core areas of social impact: education, healthcare, social awareness, disaster relief, and humanitarianism. Since its founding in 2018, BDP has carried out initiatives in each category and helped alleviate the suffering and hardships of Bangladeshis in over 15 districts across the country.
Knowledge is power. BDP embraces this philosophy, thus in 2019, we launched our first education project in Arjuntala, a village in Barura Upazila of Comilla district. We collaborated with local Bangladeshi social welfare organization, Digonto, to provide 30 underprivileged primary school students school supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, and paper) for an entire school year.
Our team worked hard on #ProjectDefeatCorona (#PDC), a two-part campaign aimed at providing frontline healthcare workers and underfunded hospitals in Bangladesh urgent medical supplies. After raising more than $6,000 in part one of this campaign, BDP delivered over 6,000 filtered masks, 20 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) suits, and 1,200 gloves. In partnership with local NGO “Doctor’s Welfare Trust,” we distributed these supplies to 5 different hospitals that offer COVID testing, including Dhaka Medical College & Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Patuakhali Medical College, Rangpur Medical College & Hospital, and Shahabuddin Medical College & Hospital.
We strive to bring attention to issues that need more social awareness and actionable change in Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi community in America. BDP understands that it can be hard for immigrant families to meet their basic needs and navigate their lives in a new country when they have little to no support network. In our current social awareness and relief project, we have raised over $2,000 to provide financial assistance for a family whose primary breadwinner, the husband, had passed away due to COVID. The wife (who recently arrived in the United States from Bangladesh) has no other family to support herself and her four-month-old infant. BDP has covered $2,600 in rent expenses and collected donations to provide the mother and child with food and baby supplies. We are also staying in contact with social workers to provide more financial aid and government assistance for the family.
During June 2020, BDP initiated “Cyclone Amphan Project 2020” to provide food relief and care packages to devastated families hit hardest by this category 5 cyclone. Cyclone Amphan has exacerbated the hardships already faced by many poor and rural families struggling to cope with the COVID crisis. So far, we have collected over $2,000 and will distribute food relief to 6 districts - Jhalokathi, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Barguna, Patuakhali, and Barisal, that have been most adversely impacted by this natural disaster.
During May 2019, for the month of Ramadan, we carried out our first food relief project sponsoring iftar meals for the poor, elderly, and underprivileged youth in Panthapath, Dhaka. We raised $1,250 in two weeks and were able to feed 1,000 people for 5 days. The iftar meal consisted of pulao rice, roast chicken, jilapi (fried dough), beguni (fried eggplant), chickpeas, fruits, and bottled water.
During April/May 2020, for the month of Ramadan 2020, we raised more than $13,000 through fundraising collaborations with popular groups and influencers of the South Asian diaspora. We provided more than 800 low-income families with a month supply of food (rice, lentils, potatoes, salt, and sugar), antibacterial soap, masks, and COVID19 information guides in Dhaka, Brahmanbaria, and Comilla.
Despite its tropical monsoon climate, Bangladesh undergoes cold temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below during its winter season. Many low-income laborers and poor families are unable to buy warm winter clothing or prepare appropriately for the cold month, thus they are more vulnerable to contracting or even dying from cold-related illnesses. In December 2019, we initiated a winter clothes drive where we raised nearly $1,000 and delivered 500 sweaters and cardigans to orphans, youth, adults, and the elderly in four different districts of Dhaka. We also delivered 150 warm blankets to villagers who were either homeless or living in poverty within slums.