Thrive and Direct Fresh are urgently seeking donations to help victims of a merciless fire that ravaged the sprawling Korail slum in Mohakhali, Dhaka.
Thrive, an NGO begun in Dhaka, connects global donors and local volunteers to underprivileged schoolchildren by providing nutritious food and promoting healthy habits to improve students’ standards of living. Direct Fresh, a local agri-tech business specialising in delivering and growing chemical-free produce, has been distributing 100 litres of water daily along with food like khichuri, singaras, and bananas, since the fire.
The blaze started on the afternoon of Sunday, December 4. There is still no word on the official cause and there have been no reports of fatalities.
Nevertheless, the savage inferno devoured hundreds of shanty homes and has left thousands homeless. Fire fighters and local volunteers toiled for nearly two hours to extinguish the flames. Those who were out working for the day came home only to find their world in shambles, having lost not only their physical homes but also their places of refuge. Many lost all of their possessions, life savings and livelihoods.
Some victims are staying with relatives. Others have found shelter with nearby families whose homes were spared. Many are being sheltered inside NGO schools such as the one that Vialisa Foundation operates. The foundation, which is assisting Thrive and Direct Fresh, opened their school on the morning after the fire to affected families for washing, resting and eating. The school’s day care centre is entertaining some of the children whose parents are busy trying to put their lives back together. Vialisa founder and director Lisa van Gerven said: “Five families connected to us lost their homes. [Some families] who are living close to the fire site have been very helpful, a lot of them are hosting displaced families.”
Thrive and Direct Fresh are urgently requesting donations of cash and goods to help these families who have lost so much. As Bangladesh edges into winter, the blaze couldn’t have come at a worse time. Blankets and warm clothing, as much as food, water and toiletries, are desperately needed. These essentials, taken for granted by many of us, could be a lifeline to families whose lives have been turned upside down. We humbly ask readers to find it in their hearts to consider donating to Thrive the items mentioned above. Doing so will greatly help our effort to bring relief to those who need it most right now.
[caption id="attachment_41106" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
Thrive is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity registered in the United States. The organisation works to feed hungry students who attend slum schools in Dhaka. Food that Thrive distributes to students is supporter-funded and purchased through Direct Fresh. Besides operating in Bangladesh, Thrive helps bring relief to some of the poorest in the slums of Manila, Philippines.
About Direct Fresh
An agri-tech business based in Dhaka, Direct Fresh specialises in delivering and growing produce that is free of chemical residues and traceable through the supply chain. Direct Fresh was recently invited to become a member of BCtA (Business Call to Action), an initiative of the United Nations Development Program featuring global entrepreneurs who are leading the charge to help improve the livelihoods of some of society’s less fortunate.
About Vialisa Foundation
Vialisa Foundation is an NGO that operates in the Korail slum. Their school, located near the site of the fire, was founded by Lisa Van Gerven, who is also the director. Vialisa provides training and job-placement assistance for youth aged 15 and older.