Karen Heaslip is an Occupational Therapist in Mental Health came to CRP as a volunteer for 10 weeks. This was her first visit to Bangladesh as well as CRP. She was so much interested and impressed to the activities of CRP that she came back to CRP in March 2014 for six months attachment. Karen and Iris, two of our volunteers, have introduced the idea of accessible gardening that can help our patients who are spinal cord injured. Karen described that gardening can help the persons with disabilities in many ways. It can be a part of Occupational Therapy (OT) as well as a source of income. When the disabled persons work in the garden, different parts of their body especially the hands become more active. This way, the body movement of the patients will be increased and become flexible. On the other hand, by selling the product of the garden, the patients can support their family. So the idea can help the persons with disabilities both for therapy and also to generate income.
In this regard, they started an accessible garden in the premises of CRP for the help of the patients. Already a group of patients have been interested about the garden. They are working in it and have grown many kinds of vegetables such as Tomato, Radish and flowers like Marigold, Rose etc.
During her visit to Bangladesh, Karen visited Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet, Noakhali, Dhaka and Shishu Palli Plus in Gazipur. The entire journey was very interesting and enjoyable. She was very pleased the see the world’s longest sea beach in cox’s bazar. It was amazing. She said, “The people of Bangladesh are very friendly, hospitable and nice. It’s a beautiful country. I love it”.