Symbiosis International (Bangladesh)

Village Vision 2018
The work of Symbiosis in Bangladesh is carried out under the overall management and oversight of Symbiosis International, an NGO registered in Australia and based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Village Vision 2018 will be conducted as part of Symbiosis Primary Eye Care Service (SPECS), the aim of which is: Supporting sustainable development by reducing low vision and blindness with a focus on primary eye care, eye health education and training of skilled eye care personnel.

UCF has made two previous grants (with pictures) to Symbiosis International and their last acquittal reported that in the 2017 Village Vision project, an additional 16 patients were found to be blind due to cataracts (over and above the 20 anticipated). Due to Symbiosis’ good relationship with the Bangladesh National Society for the Blind (BNSB), the eye hospital agreed to provide surgery and cover the costs of the additional patients from its own budget.

The project objectives of Village Vision 2018 are to-

  1. facilitate improved quality of life and development participation for the poor by providing primary eye care and treating blindness caused by cataracts and;
  2. strengthen Symbiosis’ grassroots development work by building trust through demonstrating practical care and concern

Symbiosis will arrange for SPECS staff and ophthalmologists from the Bangladesh National Society for the Blind (BNSB) to visit the area to provide vision screening to around 200 patients.

Approximately 20 patients with the greatest need for cataract surgery will be identified and arrangements made for them to receive surgery at the BNSB eye hospital in Mymensingh. Transport and post-operative care for patients are provided as part of the project.

The total cost to restore sight is equivalent to just $100 AUD per person.

Given their excellent track record, UCF directors were pleased to approve a further grant of $2,000 AUD to enable Symbiosis to continue this important work.

SIDS and Kids SA

It’s Not A Christmas Party!
One of the most difficult times of year for a bereaved family is the lead up to Christmas. Each year the festivities leave an ache in their heart because their beautiful child is not there to enjoy it with them.

SIDS and Kids SA recognises that bereaved families experience significant trauma and anxiety as they try to deal with the ‘happy’ arrangements with any other children, family and friends, and the ‘sadness’ of not having their lost child to share it with.

The Hands Of Rescue (THOR)

Safe Motherhood Programme – Papua New Guinea (PNG)
PNG is one of the worst countries in the world for recorded maternal deaths.

1 in 30 women will die in childbirth in PNG compared with 1 in 10,000 in Australia. About 1 in 10 women in PNG will have a problem delivering a baby, sometimes minor and sometimes major. If they get into difficulty in a remote village they may not survive the problems.

Living Ruff in SA

Paws & Pals – pop up vet clinics for pets of the homeless
Living Ruff in SA seeks to encourage a more compassionate and supportive attitude towards the homeless keeping their dog, so they can maintain that special bond which is of benefit to both dog and owner.

The Paws & Pals programme supports homeless people and their pets by helping them obtain free or heavily subsidised pet care and veterinary services. The first pop up vet clinic was

Grace Homestead

Materials For a Disabled Toilet
Grace Homestead is a facility in the Lockyer Valley, which caters specifically for mothers who are struggling with a substance use disorder and mental health condition.

The facility will enable a mother, with up to two children, to seek treatment while continuing to care

Essentials 4 Women SA (E4WSA)

Feminine Hygiene Products
One aspect of women’s homelessness is not often discussed – the difficulty of getting your period while living rough. Limited access to sanitary products means homeless women are often forced to choose between buying sanitary products or other essential items like food.

Symbiosis International

Village Vision 2017 (cataract surgery)
For almost 22 years, Symbiosis has been helping poor and marginalised people in Bangladesh overcome poverty, principally in rural areas. They do this through empowerment-based grassroots community development, centred on self-help group formation, adult literacy and peer savings (for income generation activities). The empowerment of women is a key focus.

Kids Arthritis Australia

Juvenile Arthritis Support Group
1 in 1000 Children in Australia live with Arthritis and Kids Arthritis Australia is Australia’s first and leading organisation solely dedicated to supporting them.

Founder and CEO Sarah Hammond has lived with Juvenile Arthritis since birth and by the age of 19 was half blind with UVitis (Arthritis of the eye), and also had Medication induced Lupus. In October 2015 she officially registered Kids Arthritis Australia to advocate for change and support.

Mission for African Mothers (MAM)

Rural Youth Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Campaign (Uganda)
In October 2014, UCF awarded a small grant of $2,000 AUD to Mission for African Mothers (MAM) to run this project in Olio sub-county. You can read about that first grant here.

The aim of this project is to use a youth-to-youth based approach as a means of creating awareness among the rural youth on sexual and reproductive services, information and rights.

Nabilala Community Development Programme (Uganda)

Hospital beds for the Nabilala Children Health Centre
Nabilala Community Development Programme is a grass roots organisation which constructed Nabilala Children Health Centre to offer medical services to the poor rural children of Nabilala and the neighbouring villages. They applied to UCF for a grant to purchase 10 hospital beds for the Nabilala Children Health Centre.