Maa volunteer, Tanvir, measures an expectant mother’s blood sugar levels at a health camp in Bangladesh this summer.

Visiting Speaker inspires students

Senior Ffynone House students were inspired by Tanvir Ali,  when he visited to speak about his graduate experience and charity work. Tanvir is in his penultimate year of a Pharmacy degree at King’s College, London. He is also Vice-president of the University’s Bangladeshi Society and has represented his campus in fund-raising activities during the annual student Charity Week last October.

The work of the Bangladeshi Society involves many different initiatives. These include outreach with secondary school pupils to educate them about the wider opportunities that Higher Education offers, as well as assisting students in writing personal statements.

Ffynone House School welcomes inspirational speaker
Tanvir undertaking an evaluation from an expectant mother at a Maa health camp. 

Most recently, Tanvir has become involved in the work of Maa, ‘a student-led organisation that works to improve maternal health care in resource poor settings’ with aims to empower women, help support families and raise awareness of maternal health issues. The charity was set up just over a year ago by one of Tanvir’s peers who is studying Medicine. The trainee doctor was spurred into action after witnessing the needless death of a mother following a routine cesarean operation in Bangladesh. Her tragic death was a direct result of the lack of resources available to expectant mothers in this, and many other, areas of the world.

Making a real difference to real people

Tanvir & Tahsin
Tanvir pictured with proud sister, Tahsin, Ffynone Year 11

This summer, Tanvir raised nearly £2,000 to fund a trip to Bangladesh to put Maa’s mission into action for the second time. Founder, Aqil Jagirdar, Tanvir and a group of their team took some basic medical supplies and travelled to some of the more remote areas of Bangladesh, Balaganj and Ramsiri. They set up temporary health camps for expectant mothers to have the basic antenatal checks that we take for granted in this country. They also ran educational workshops for women to equip them with a greater insight into pregnancy, and to increase the likelihood that they would spot potential difficulties early and seek medical help.

We hope Tanvir will return during the course of the year to lead more discussion-based learning with our Sixth-Formers. He certainly provided an inspirational start to our programme of speakers for our senior pupils and we wish him the best of luck with his studies and his charity work.

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