About us

Since its inception in 1998 the Banyan Trust has always remained a small charity, without costly offices or salaries. Every penny we raise goes to children in need in our projects in India and Bangladesh. We initiated those projects, set up by our Banyan Trust volunteers together with local professionals. Continuously assessed and monitored, we ensure that the work of the Banyan Trust makes a difference and that our local partners deliver what is needed for the children and teenagers with multiple disabilities and their often complex needs.

We chose for a minimum of needless expense and bureaucracy, where even the stamps for the annual newsletter were donated and instead of growing into a charity business, we could always count on you, our loyal sponsors. With ‘small charity, big impact’ as our motto, we aim to support activities and initiatives that find it difficult to garner the attention they deserve.

The projects that we built deliberately remained of limited and manageable size, in correlation with the special needs of the children. Annie Larner, Chair of the Banyan Trust UK, likes to refer to them as “small pearls”, where we find it important to know every child, its family, its home and be part of the child’s entire trajectory into adulthood.

The Banyan Trust is an international group of people, in fact a group of friends. We are a registered charity in the UK and the Netherlands, with small boards that can make swift decisions. Throughout the years we partnered with multiple local organisations to implement and continue our programmes, such as the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation, Stichting Niketan, DRRA, OFFER, the Dhaka School of Hope, SLUM/Bright Stars School.

So let’s fast-forward to 2021 and the Banyan Trust still operates along the same principles: almost no overheads, quick response, every penny spent is child-focused, a short line from donor to child.

The Covid19 crisis has proved a challenge, where the Banyan Trust needed to adopt a more holistic approach to support for the child with special needs: we help the entire family. With our Dhaka network of Stichting Niketan, DRRA and the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) we managed to provide essential relief to the children and their families through an emergency package of food and funds and continued special education. With the child’s home of paramount importance to its health and development, the Banyan Trust extended its funding scope to maintain or recreate a safe environment.

We believe in the individual and not in charity as a business. Children with special needs, their families and poverty are our focus. We help where we can, with our limited means as a small charity. No bureaucracy and no needless expense. That’s the Banyan Trust.

The Banyan Trust is a Registered Charity No. 1071981 and a Company Limited by Guarantee No. 3610633.

DOCUMENTARY: The Banyan Tust
A short film by Adrian Bol about the Banyan Trust’s first initiative, the Apanjan Project in Calcutta in collaboration with local NGO OFFER.
Adrian Bol’s latest film is “Legacy of Lies”  (2020), in cinemas and on Netflix.