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Concern Bangladesh bowled over by Irish cricket team visit

Concern Bangladesh welcomed the Irish Cricket Squad as guests of honour at its St Patrick's Day reception.

2008 is a special year for Concern; not only marking 40 years since it was founded, it also marks 35 years of solidarity between Concern and Bangladesh in the struggle against poverty. To mark the occasion, Concern Bangladesh welcomed the Irish cricket squad as guests of honour at a St Patrick’s Day reception. The team, in Bangladesh as part of an international tour, spent the evening at the reception and made a very special presentation to some lucky children.

Kieron Crawley, Concern Country Director in Bangladesh said, “We are delighted to welcome the Irish cricket team to this event and grateful for their support. Sport has the potential to create a level playing field on which people from all cultures and backgrounds can meet. The presentation of cricket equipment to the children is a fitting gesture that reflects the importance of equal opportunity in life - the right of all children.”

Gavin Craig, Irish Team Manager said, “The Irish team is very happy to be associated with Concern in Bangladesh. We have been very warmly received here and we can see the enthusiasm for cricket in this country. Like Concern, cricket can brighten the lives of children here and give some the opportunity to improve their standard of living.”

Concern's work in Bangladesh

Highlighting Concern’s 35 years of working with poor and marginalised people in Bangladesh, the Irish team made a special presentation to a group of 11 children who are part of Concern’s Outreach to Sex workers project. Sex workers and their children are currently discriminated against widely in Bangladesh. This project sets out to increase awareness of the rights of sex workers and ensure equal access to education for their children.

Irish Coach, Phil Simmons said, “I've travelled the world with cricket, and it's great to be able to give something back to these children. We can all see the wonderful work that is going on here in Bangladesh with Concern, and hopefully our visit will give them some much needed support.”

In the early 1970s, Concern began an enduring relationship with the people of Bangladesh responding to a double emergency of a severe cyclone in 1970 followed by civil war. Concern sent medical teams to help refugees and aided the repatriation of millions of refugees when they returned from India to the newly founded country of Bangladesh in 1971 helping them to rebuild their lives. Since then, Concern developed programmes supporting long term needs of extremely poor and disadvantaged community members through livelihood, disaster risk reduction, health and education programmes.

Trent Johnston, Ireland Captain said, “It's great to see just how hard Concern are working in this part of the world, and hopefully our visit will bring some much needed cheer into these youngsters’ lives. Cricket is a great sport for young people to be involved in, and the Irish team have been overwhelmed by the great reception we've received here.”