2011 Launch Presentation

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/65378337 ]

Olveston School Fun Run 2013

The Olveston School Fun Run 2013 is on Sunday 30th June

Find out more and download an application form at


Non Discrimination Policy

This policy is to demonstrate our awareness that discrimination does occur in society and what we do at ARBAN UK to ensure there is no discrimination in our work.

  1. We are committed to ensuring within the framework of the law that ARBAN UK and the clinic in Jheelpur Slum are free from unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religions or other similar philosophical belief.
  2. We embrace differences as being an integral part of the diversity of human beings that makes life interesting.
  3. Our aim is participating and belonging for every person without discrimination.
  4. We will challenge any behaviour that is considered discriminatory.

Visit Report to Jheelpur Slum, Dhaka




Nearly New Sale, Bristol – Saturday 22 June 2013

Maternity, baby, toddler and children’s clothes, toys and equipment sale, being held in support of ARBAN UK:  We already have lots of things to sell from cloths to cots, prams and car seats all in really good condition.


  • Newman Hall, Grange Court Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol BS9 4DR.  (Opposite the entrance to Red Maids Junior School.
  • View Newman Hall on the map


  • Saturday 22nd June 2013.
  • Gates open for: Sellers at 9.30am. Priority buyers, 10.30am. General buyers, 11.00am

How Much:

  • Price for buyers: £5 for Priority early entrance per adult. General entrance £1 per adult
  • Options for Sellers (to book tables and discuss the other options please contact Sally on the details below):
    • Take a table for £10 and sell your own goods
    • Donate items for us to sell for ARBAN UK.  Please contact Sally in advance (preferred option) and depending on items and your location, she may be able to collect them from you.  Alternatively, bring the items on the day.
    • Bring and sell individual big items such as prams, cots, car seats etc to sell yourself without taking a table and give us 10% of the sale price (this option is available at the digression of the charity committee only)
    • Take a table for free, man it for us and give us the proceeds – we would really welcome your help as well as your stuff!


  • Tea, coffee and homemade cakes for sale.
  • Even if you do not want to buy or sell anything, come and have some top quality refreshments.



Giardia, So Ill, But So Simple To Cure… If You Live In The West

Could you keep clean here?

A week or so before Christmas I started to feel a little unwell, it started as horrid wind and then progressed to diarrhoea.  Within a week, I was feeling really ill and not able to do a lot, I was eating very little and found it harder and harder to look after my two little boys.  I missed out on all the Christmas food and drink (and therefore felt rather sorry for myself), however I had all my family around to help with the boys.  I was able to lounge about and go to bed early.  Eventually after a month, I headed to the doctor, the visit was delayed by short improvements in how I felt (followed by relapses), the Christmas period and the suspicion that they would not be able to help.  The doctor did some tests and told me I had giardia, a parasite that is one of the world’s most common causes of diarrhoeal illness. People or animals carrying giardia in their intestines pass it out in their faeces. The parasite is then spread through poor hygiene or contaminated soil, food or water.  With a tough outer shell, the parasite can survive for long periods outside a host body, such as in soil or water. A person only needs to pick up a few giardia cysts for infection to develop within their gut.  Thankfully it is treatable with antibiotics and relatively rare in the UK – within 24 hours of starting treatment I was feeling almost normal.

I was ill for long enough to know how debilitating it was.  Imagine how it would be if you lived in a slum, could not afford tests or antibiotics and had to live with this parasite.  Now add in having to work (long hours) or your family won’t eat and when you do get home, you are living in one room with your large family, no running water and no way of keeping your hands really clean.  Before you know it other members of the family have caught it too – what if that is your husband and he struggles to work too, or your baby, we all know diarrhoea can be a killer in babies when left untreated…

All I can say is that this was a real eye opener.  The ARBAN UK committee is working so hard to raise relatively small amounts of money to keep the clinic we have managed to build open and treating these seemingly minor illnesses – things we take for granted in the UK, but which can mean tragedy in places like Jheelpur Slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Every pound we raise goes straight to pay for the doctor and drugs in the slum, let us hope we can continue to raise enough to keep it open and stop people having to live with such simply cured and debilitating illnesses.

Day 6 – sharing clothes

Today we handed out children’s clothes that have been kindly donated by people in our community.

We caused a riot! Mothers with babies and children were jostling outside the clinic to be put on the list for a coupon that would entitle them to receive something. Rahima was in despair. She said it wasn’t always like this, normally they organise the list beforehand but today it was crazy because we were there.

Eventually we decided to abandon the idea of handing out clothes with us there so that it would be done in a more systematic way without us. We handed out just a few bits and bobs to mothers and children who were already in the clinic.

We are keen to share this experience so that we can say to everyone who has donated clothes for Jheelpur Slum, for this trip and before, thank you, they are VERY much appreciated.

This girl below loved this dress, especially the pockets, she kept putting her hands in there, absolutely delighted. Thank you, thank you to all who have donated.

Images of Jheelpur Slum

Children play and eat on the streets, unsupervised by anyone in particular but watched by the whole community.


In this space used to be homes. They have been bulldozed as the land (owned by the government and lived on illegally by the slum dwellers) is being “grabbed” by the owner of the garment factory (the tall building at the back right of the photo).

ARBAN Bangladesh is helping the slum dwellers fight this – they have lived there for 29 years, these shacks may be basic but they are their homes.




Cooking is done on clay ovens – seen here being made. Off-cuts from the garment factory are used as fuel, but they don’t create much heat. Wood is more expensive.

Day 5 – disruption and reflections

Today our plans have been disrupted as Dr Kamal, head of ARBAN, advised that we stay in Gulshan where we are staying. This is due to a “hartal”, a huge political protest taking place in central Dhaka. Apparently the crowds can be volatile and anything can happen – and the traffic gets even worse so moving around the city takes even longer – yesterday we think we spent approx 4 hours in the car moving between places which is very frustrating.


So we are “at home”, Jo and I writing our report of what we’ve seen and Charlotte doing some homework.



We are all reflecting on what we’ve experienced this week – we’ve seen someone with leprosy; a girl who had her first baby at 11 and another girl who had recently lost her first baby during a traumatic labour in the slum. In her brown eyes were a deep sadness.

Jo and I have been discussing how best the ARBAN UK clinic can help these women who have very little ante-natal care and therefore no knowledge of any possible complications before they go into labour. They are assisted by “dais”, the older women of the slum, including Rahima, but they have little training and a lot of what they do is founded on old-wives tales – for example, until educated otherwise, they advised mothers to throw out the “first milk” (collustrum) as it was bad for the baby. We have learnt so much this week, now is the time to think about how we can best help.

Day 4 – Sharing pencil cases

Today we visited “Milk Better-10” School. (This is an interesting name for a school, but the area is called Milk Better 10 because there is a milk processing factory in it).

There were two Class Two classes in session, one class had 32 pupils, the other 35. Children in class 2 are aged 5-7. The school is a two-room one storey structure which was pretty grubby and smelly. The children were sitting on the floor around the edge of the rooms. In front of each child were handwriting books and a slate. They all said wonderful hellos as we arrived and there was lots of grinning – also from the children staring in at the open windows and doors.

They were very appreciative of the pencil cases, most answering very polite and clear “thank yous”. It was great to be able to give a pencil case to every child there – thank you families of Olveston School for your generosity. We took some video of them saying hello to Olveston School which we hope to share in assembly. We then gave out paper and the children started to draw. It was interesting to see that many of them used rulers to draw very formal looking “western” houses. Maybe this is what they dream of having most? We handed out letters and pictures from Year 6 at Olveston School and explained that children there were keen to know more about them. We also gave Olveston caps and school bags which will be shared between the staff.

This school is on the edge of the slum. Inside the slum the clinic volunteers (a group of very enthusiastic and helpful teenagers) had gathered some younger children and those who attended other schools. Here we handed out the packets of pencils and felt tips we had left and they were given paper. Clearly some of the younger children had not held a pen before; it was great to watch a three year old do some experimental scribbles. Other children must have drawn before as they drew some fantastic pictures of people. They were keen to hold up their work to the camera and grin. We also have these drawings to share at Olveston School. It has been a good day of children sharing across the world. And interesting to note that their pictures were pretty similar to those I seen drawn in the UK.