Friendship was founded in Bangladesh by Runa Khan and Yves Marre and has begun its operations in 2002. The organization is based on key humanitarian values and offers its support to the poorest and the most marginalized communities that live in the riverine areas of Bangladesh. Friendship’s actions are based on compassion, field experience, knowledge, the usage of modern technologies and innovation.
Friendship began its work in the remotest and hardest to reach areas of the country, to provide a holistic range of development services. With the philosophical beliefs and values that “no support to development is possible as long as there is immediate suffering”, Friendship began its work in the health sector with the implementation of the first floating hospital (Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital, LFH) in the country. Since 2002, this boat has enabled Friendship to offer medical treatment to more than a million patients.
This medical network in the Northern part of Bangladesh was further expanded by a second floating hospital (Emirates Friendship Hospital, EFH) and eventually in another ship hospital (Rangdhanu Friendship Hospital, RFH) at the Southern costal belt. The health care implementation of Friendship covers 446 satellite clinics per month and 555 Friendship Community Medic- Aide (FCMs) who have been trained and deployed in the community to provide health education, follow up & referral service in every household at Chars & Islands. Friendship currently provides health services to approximately 2.5 million direct and 8 million indirect beneficiaries annually.
To bring hope and future opportunities to these forgotten communities, the education and good governance sector of Friendship has initiated the operation of 75 primary schools and 73 Adult Literacy Centers.
Furthermore, an innovative concept of savings and social entrepreneurship has been successfully implemented in about 75 island communities, to provide a sustainable support to livelihood development.
Finally, Friendship has provided disaster relief and aid in the form of 3.5 million man days of rations (food and other essentials).
The Friendship Cultural Preservation sector is working towards preserving the rich boat-making heritage of Bangladesh by building model replicas of these boats and raising awareness at a national and international level.