Redefining perceptions about less fortunate communities | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 31, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:03 AM, July 31, 2020

Redefining perceptions about less fortunate communities

Perception Foundation started out in 2014, when some school students identified various societal problems and the differences between communities with regards to access to basic necessities. Since then, they have been working to improve the lives of the underprivileged populace in Bangladesh.

"We observed the gap between people from different socioeconomic classes residing in the same area and the struggles that the underserved communitieshave to go through," shares Sajid Mahmud, one of the founding members and an advisor to the organisation. "We wanted to address this gap between people, with reliable approaches."

The organisation runs Project Pot Belly during Ramadan, Sweater Weather in winter and 'HaatheHena' during Eid, among other programmes.

For Project Pot Belly, their volunteers are divided into different teams, who are responsible for bringing, sorting out and handing out food packets to underprivileged groups, including day labourers in their localities, for iftar.Around 300 people benefitted from this project in Uttara, this year.During winter, their volunteers collect donations and winter clothes from people in the city. They use the monetary donations to buy winter clothes for those in need. Last year, the clothes were distributed to 400 people in Rangpur. At their annual charity programme, 'HaatheHenna', volunteersapply henna on people's hands for a certain amount,during multiple live performances.A percentage of the earnings from the event is utilised in other initiatives of the organisation.

Perception Foundation teamed up with FootstepsBangladesh for Project WeCan, where waste collected from different schools was recycled with the help of Garbageman, another organisation working to protect the environment. The profitswere used to develop school resources and provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems. Perception Foundation was the pilot funding partner in the project.

Change the Lives School is an organisation that strives to provide a better future through education for the disadvantaged children residing in slums. For their initiative, Project Dream, Perception Foundation's volunteers spent a week with these children by interacting with them through sports, art competitions and many other activities.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the foundation has been working in different areas to help struggling communities. Their COVID-19 response began with the collection of donations and the distribution of care packages in eleven areas across the country, including Khulna.

Their volunteers maintain proper social distancing protocols while working, and raise awareness about proper hygiene and cleanliness practices. As the number of COVID-19 cases are on the rise, Perception Foundation plans to continue their initiatives to help people in need.

"We aim to step up for those in need, while involving the youth. We want to empower young people and teach them how they can use their privilege to make the lives of the less fortunate a little easier," says Nazeef Khan, CEO of Perception Foundation and a recent graduate from International School Dhaka.

Determined to bridge the economic gap in our society, members of Perception Foundation are working tirelessly to change the views we haveabout the underserved communities.


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