Savar: Rehabilitation and support for injured garment workers

Rehabilitation activities for survivors of the factory building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh
Country: 
Bangladesh
Region: 
Savar and Dhaka, Bangladesh
Project Duration: 
24/04/2013 to 31/10/2013
Status: 
Completed
Donor(s): 
Foundation UNESCO- Education for Children in Need, HOPE'87
Project Description: 

Project Description

On April 24th 2013 in the morning the 9 storied Rana Plaza factory building collapsed. The collapsed building was housing up to eight garment factories. According to estimates 3,122 garment workers, mostly women, were inside the building at the time of the collapse but numbers may have been much higher in reality.  A three week long rescue operation found 1.129 dead bodies and thousands of workers missing. Officially, 2.437 workers were rescued. Among them 600 have been severely injured in this tragedy and were admitted to surrounding hospitals. Among the injured garment workers many of them have lost limbs and now face a live as amputees.

Immediately after the tragic occurrence, HOPE’87 delegated a local team of first aid workers, including 20 specially trained volunteers, to support Bangladesh’s military forces in rescuing injured people, as well as removing dead bodies from the site.

After the rescue activities, the situation prooved to be most challenging for the survivors of the tragedy. Female garment workers who have survived the Savar building collapse are reluctant and often physically unable to go back to their previous work in a garment factory. However, as they are forced to maintain their livelihood for the survival of their family, they strive to find an alternative income generating activity (IGA) that fits their present physical condition. HOPE’87 Bangladesh with support of the “Foundation UNESCO – Education for children in need” supports some of these young women.

Two young women who have lost limbs as debris and walls crashed down on them, are provided high quality arm and leg prothesis to help them get back to a "normal" life. Other activities for survivors of the Savar incident include the provision of small grants to start income generating activities outside of the garment industry, as well as education and livelihood support for children who lost one or both of their parents in Savar.

Cross cutting issues: 

Disability, Gender Equality

Project Background: 

At present there are more than 2.100 garment factories in Bangladesh employing more than 1.2 million people. 85 percent of the labor force are women. Since 2005, more than 1,500 textile workers in Bangladesh have died in fire incidents and building collapses. Thousands of people - many of them young women - work in appalling and unsafe conditions in factories which supply western companies with cheap clothing.  An assessment of HOPE’87 Bangladesh has found that the economic condition of the female garment workers is significantly poor with an average monthly income of only 40 EUR. This money is often the only source of income for the whole family (average family size is around 5 people). It was observed that more than 80% of the female workers are the single earners of their family.