Wednesday, 17 Mar 2021
Meghna: A Young Woman with Disability to Inspire Us All
CBM wants to honour the wonderful women we have the privilege of working with and getting to know. One bright light, is Meghna who is a young woman living in Chattogram, Bangladesh. When Meghna was a very young child she contracted typhoid, once she recovered, her family noticed that she began to struggle to do regular activities. Her parents sought medical advice but her condition did not seem to improve.
Recently, Meghna was invited to join a project run by CBM’s partner organisation, and was offered an opportunity to join a Self Help Group. Through the project, self-help groups are set up to provide a place for persons with disabilities to mutually help and support one another. A keen participant and quick learner, Meghna was able to use this membership to forge a strong network with other members, boosting her self-confidence. The CBM project offered her a training course on leadership development to promote strong women leaders who can contribute to decision making in their community Meghna put these new skills to good use and was able to begin to develop her advocacy skills. Working in advocacy, Meghna was able to shine, engaging with different government departments and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs.)
Building on the skills she developed from her experience in the local self-help groups, Meghna took a role with the Department of Social Services, and now is part of an advocacy group campaigning with different schools and local government to promote disability inclusion. Thanks to her work, a number of students with disabilities have been enrolled in school and some have been supported through government subsidies.
Meghna has earned a reputation in her locality for her role in advocacy, strong leadership and determination. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she was instrumental in packaging relief materials, and advocating for accessible support for people with disabilities.
Meghna has credited her success to her initial step into working with the small self-help groups, which gave her the confidence to volunteer and engage with other groups. Meghna aspires to do meaningful things for the development of persons with disabilities, and CBM has no doubt she will do just that.
CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).