Mar 22, 2021

Serving Communities During a Pandemic

Spreeha's work during COVID
Spreeha's work during COVID

2020 was a challenging year for Spreeha due to the pandemic.  The pandemic has affected our communities in two ways. First, it has posed constant health risks in a dense and congested setting and increased unemployment as our community members are mostly daily wage earners. About 80% of our community members have lost their jobs; malnutrition among children has increased by approximately 18%; education programs came to an almost halt. Second, a reverse migration trend to villages from slums tends to show the risk of early marriage among young girls.    

To maintain our services, we have taken innovative approaches. We redesigned service delivery at the healthcare center by increasing awareness, assurance, and hygiene measurements. We developed and implemented hygiene and cleaning guidelines. We redesigned pre- and after-school, Adolescent Girls Club (AGC), and MoMs club service delivery. We introduced an extensive door to door program. We also provided food and nutrition supplies to families.  

New service delivery has increased the cost of providing services due to additional protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, door to door services, and bringing school and library to home.  

But we continue to implement Spreeha’s vision as we are constantly looking for ways to improve our impacts to empower people and transform lives. 

Last year, we served 12,493 people in healthcare, that includes treating patients with various diseases, pregnant mothers, neonates, raising awareness about health and safety issues etc.  Our education program served 1,535 persons in pre- and after-school, adolescent girls club, scholarship and various education awareness programs.  Our community and health workers went door to door throughout the year and reached out 14,372 community members on healthcare and counselling. Earlier before COVID hit, our Progga program empowering adolescents in the remote area launched workshop and knowledge sharing sessions to reach out 314 students, teachers and parents. In addition to our regular programs, we provided food, Hygiene material Essential medicine packages to 14,000 people, and distributed masks to 15,000 people.

Summary of 2020 services
Summary of 2020 services


Nov 20, 2020

Journey of Hope Project Report

Spreeha Foundation 3rd Quarter Highlights


Spreeha's mission is to break the cycle of poverty for underprivileged people by providing healthcare, education, and skills training. Our major service area constitutes urban slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During this pandemic, Bangladesh government, like most other countries in the world, has implemented a strict stay home order.  As members of our communities live in heavily crowded urban slums, they become more vulnerable to coronavirus than others. Also, their livelihood is directly affected as most of them are daily wage earners.


Spreeha's deeply integrates within the communities, to understand the problems. During this crisis, Spreeha's core areas of services, especially healthcare becomes extremely important.  


Adjusting services for this changed time


Spreeha Healthcare Center is serving the underprivileged people in the community in their health urgencies ensuring proper safety measures taken by all healthcare professionals in the centre. All patients coming to the centre are also undergoing disinfecting process and proper social distance has been maintained. Patients are separated into different categories and given treatment accordingly based on the presence of high body temperature and another corona like symptoms.

To fight the pandemic, following measures are running continually since the beginning of this year:

  • Ensure hand sanitization during entry and exit from the healthcare centre with 70% alcohol solution
  • Ensure each patient is wearing a mask. If the patient is not wearing a mask, 2 layers’ cotton masks have been provided
  • Ensure social distance in the waiting zone and during providing service
  • Monitor temperature by non-touch method (thermal gun)
  • Continuous cleaning of the surfaces – desk, flood, door handle, instrument, etc. with 70% alcohol-based solution
  • People with flu like symptoms are encouraged to stay home and take treatment via phone call
  • Every staff in the healthcare centre is fully equipped with PPEs


Difficulty to bring the light of hope in programs


At the end of the Q3 this year (July to September), we could see light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic battle. The number of patients with lung disease problem decreased significantly in this quarter which is 10% of the total cases. However, there is always a risk of increasing the number of lung disease patients in Q4, if proper preventive measures are not taken by people and keeping in mind of the upcoming winter season. However, the percentage of patients with skin disease in Q3 is 13%, which was only 7% higher than Q2.

We reckon that more people were staying in the slums at that time and not were not going to work which has enabled them to give their lungs rest, stay away from severe pollution. At the same time, since the slum areas are not the best place in terms of hygiene, the skin-related diseases went up.

One of the main focuses of our healthcare is to aware underprivileged pregnant mothers about the importance of health-seeking behaviour during pregnancy. No maternal deaths were reported among the 38 cases of safe delivery in this quarter. Maternal mortality number of this quarter was zero. However, we started to slowly observe that the families in the slums have started thinking back about ‘Child marriage’. They are trying to solve the issue of poverty by minimizing family members and trying to get the girls married. Since Spreeha team has observed this, they have started counselling and awareness building to stop the girls to get married as minors.

Screening for malnourished under 5 children is part of our project regular activity. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, Spreeha’s schools are closed now, our community workers are conducting malnutrition screening at their homes with uppermost precaution and reporting our doctors from time to time.

Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median. It generally starts before the age of two. Once stunting happens in a child’s life, the result is mostly irreversible which is more likely to result in delayed motor development and cognitive development.


In Spreeha Bangladesh, kids are often found with stunting symptoms and it increased during the pandemic 2020 due to more infections around, and less availability for nutritious foods due to job loss of the parents. Spreeha’s ground team is constantly fighting Covid-19 and poverty and continuously checking the childrens’ health and taking proper measurements as needed.


The ground workers are also going door to door for empowering adolescent girls through developing soft skills, sense of rights and responsibilities towards communities, and the provision of sound knowledge on Sexual and reproductive health and right (SRHR). Same for kids education. Teachers are carrying the books and other educational materials with them to the kids and giving them lessons one student at a time at their slum rooms. The physical work has increased enormously for the teachers and the community workers.



Annual Fundraiser (this year- virtual)


Spreeha USA team (Seattle, Dallas, Richland, Boston and some other locations) did the annual fundraising this year together instead of doing one for each location as this year it had to be on a virtual platform. It was a great effort by all the volunteers and donors who made self-less efforts to transform lives and empower people.

See the event here:


  Some drawings by our kids in Spreeha Bangladesh

Jul 24, 2020

Journey of Hope Project Report

Impact 2019 at a glace
Impact 2019 at a glace

Impact Healthcare

Healthcare Components
Preventive Healthcare
Maternal and Child Healthcare
Primary Healthcare
Pharmacy and Pathological Facilities
Family Planning Program

In 2019, the Healthcare program served a total of 20,458 persons.

One of the main focuses of mother-child healthcare is to make underprivileged pregnant mothers aware of the importance of antenatal and postnatal checkup during pregnancy. A total of 178 childbirth were supported during last year, among which 132 (43 NVD/Natural Vaginal Delivery and 89 CSection) cases were hospital delivery and 46 cases were home delivery (NVD).
No maternal deaths were reported among these cases. The number of maternal mortality this year was zero.

Impact Education

Education Components
Pre school program for children 3-5 years
After school program for children 6+ years
Scholarship program
Education counselling and awareness
     - Drawing Club
     - Cultural Club
     - Book Reading Club
     - Kid's Club

In 2019, the Education program served a total of 2,576 persons.

The Scholarship Program awards scholarships to individual students to enable recipients to complete their academic levels.
In 2018, Spreeha introduced the Shams and Nasreen Scholarship which honours Khawja Shamsuddin and Nasreen Shamsuddin, integral members of Spreeha who have been actively taking part in the building of communities and shaping people’s lives with their volunteerism. A new scholarship program is introduced under Kusholi or ‘The Skillful’ that aims to
equip individuals with market-based education and skill sets necessary for the competitive job market.

Impact Skills training

Skills Training Components
Adolescent Girls’ Club
Computer Training Center
Sewing Training Center
Kusholi- skills for decent employment

In 2019, the Skills Training program served a total of 338 persons.

Kusholi - Skill for decent employment aims to equip individuals with the skill sets necessary for the competitive job market. Spreeha initiated Kusholi in 2019. In partnership with Access to Information (a2i) of the Government of Bangladesh, and UNDP, Kusholi focuses on ensuring decent employment for the youth through scholarship and apprenticeship.

Scholarship: This provides income-generating skills for the higher secondary poor students alongside stipend. Examples of some the training include- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Electronics, Embroidery and
Nokshi Kantha, etc. Apprenticeship: This leverages the “demographic dividend” by empowering youth through meaningful
skills most demanded by the market. The apprenticeship program covering over 450+ formal industries of 6 months duration course. After completing 6 months of the apprenticeship program, the trained apprentices will get a certificate of National
Training and Vocational Qualifications Framework (NTVQF).



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