HelpAge International has operated in Bangladesh since 1991, when it embarked on its partnership with Resource Integration Centre (RIC) and afterwards with another local organisation, Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC).
In 2010 we opened our own office in Bangladesh, enabling us to step up our drive for better healthcare, campaign to increase the Old Age Allowance and to ensure everyone eligible for the award is getting it.
Life story: Momtaz, 60
Antonio Olmos "I have been a domestic worker for 20 years, ever since my husband passed away. He made enough money for us. Now I work as a paddy harvester. In the harvest season I work a lot.
"Paddy harvesting is tough. First, I boil the paddy. Then I spread it on the earth to dry. When it is dry I take it to the mill and then I take the rice home and separate the rice from the husks.
"I work from 7am to 4pm. I try hard to finish the work, but sometimes I feel sick and have to stay at home.
"I have done this work for a while but now it's getting harder because of my age. I get tired.
"When I separate the rice from the husks the particles go into my nose and I can't breath properly. I have received the Old Age Allowance for four years. I get 1,400 taka (US$20) every six months, but its not enough to stop paddy harvesting.
"I don't like the work that I do and if I could stop, I would. If I had a monthly income of 2,000 taka (US$28), I could find some work that was less tough on my body."
The difference we made in 2010-11
- 2,700 older people benefited from emergency response and recovery programmes.
- We worked with more than 11,400 older people through 643 older people's associations to improve their access to income generation and livelihood services.
- Over 5,700 older people were supported to claim existing entitlements (through documentation, legal support, registration on schemes, etc).
- We worked with more than 25,000 older people to improve their access to health and financial services.
We are aiming to continue our existing programme of work including:
- Continuing our existing work with more than 20,000 older people through 507 older people's associations in accessing their rights to secure incomes.
- Support 27,000 older people to access to financial and health services.
- Lobbying to ensure the National Policy of Ageing becomes effective and is implemented.
- Expanding our disaster risk reduction programme to 18 new regions.
Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC), Resource Integration Centre (RIC)
Bangladesh Institute for Theatre Arts, Pidim Foundation, BOHUBRIHI, Uttaran.