A few days after Cyclone Yaas wreaked havoc across the coastal areas of the country on 26 May, a volunteer team consisting of 15 students from University of Dhaka embarked on a mission to rebuild the lives of those most affected by the calamity.
The volunteer team, an initiative of Poriborton Kori Foundation, reached Dhalchar Union in Char Fashion Upazila, Bhola district on 30 May. The team began their work with 3,000 packets of saline, 2,000 water purification tablets, 200 reusable sanitary napkins, which were sponsored by Shaathi Organization, and dry food for 130 families.
Led by Tanvir Hasan Shaikat, who has been previously recognised as a Real Hero of the United Nations in 2020 for his voluntary work during the pandemic, the team distributed supplies of fresh groceries and other aids, said a press release.
The team also rebuilt broken homes by carrying sand clay to raised lands, repurposing tin sheds and buying new material; they mobilised locals to help reconstruct an entire community.
Six homes have already been built and work is going for few more.
Dhalchar Union came to Poriborton Kori Foundation's attention given its remote and nearly inaccessible location. The fact that other organisations were yet to reach the place is another reason which prompted its selection.
"As a climate vulnerable country, emergency response to disasters is a huge challenge. We must not solely depend on the government and foreign-funded NGOs in such cases, rather we should proactively look at how we can utilise local resources effectively and look to build climate-resilient coastal communities," Ahsan Habib Bhuiyan, founder of the organisation, said.
The fund for the work was raised by Poriborton Kori Foundation through their social media for Cyclone Yaas disaster relief. Donations came from members and well-wishers of the foundation, both at home and abroad.
The transportation of the team was organised by Fairy Shipping Lines.