Aid for Bangladesh

"Who has no hunger, has many problems. Who has hunger, has only one problem. "

(Elke Stumpf)

If we hear something from Bangladesh at all, then mostly just because the country was watched again by a storm flood, the South Asian country is one of the poorest in the world. To stay with the regular storm floods: If one takes the number of residents of the coastal regions directly affected as the basis, hardly a country in the world is so strongly affected by the consequences of global warming like Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is also the most populous country in the world - for comparison: While the country is only about twice as large as the Free State of Bavaria, live here twice as many people as in Germany.Dabei is everyone who takes a trip to Bangladesh and to First time in the capital Dhaka quickly realizes that such numbers can only be rough estimates. Other problems include in addition to the extreme poverty, the low degree of alphabetisation (about 60% of people are considered an illiterate - whereby the remaining 40% partly have only a very rudimentary education level), the poor state of health care, child labor and the social position of women, which are treated much too often in particular in the country as part of the institution, instead of equal people and partners.

This brief overview of the situation of the country may sound daunting, but there are also good news. In no country in the world are working so many NGOs and different key figures move into a positive direction. Thus, the economic overall situation develops quite well, and even if it is questionable whether this means an increase in living standards for all people, there is reason for hope.

One of these hopes is the Bengalian organization "Dipshikha" (to German "Light Funes"), which for many years with the support of the German NGO "Shanti" ("peace" in english) at a very concrete improvement of the life circumstances of the poorest people of the country Works. Paul Tigga, one of the founding members of Dipshikha, explained in a letter that it can only be help for self-help promising success.

"Give somebody a fish and he has to eat. Give him a net and he has food for a long time. Show him how to make a net and he never has to be hungry again."

In the spirit of this idea, Dipshikha has built a whole series of project centers in the north of the country, which each for themselves wear a whole bundle of measures into the villages and looking there together with people, which works best. DipShikha maintains its own schools, forms men to electrics, but also takes care of fountains where they are needed or latrines that have an immediate impact on the health situation.
For some years now, Dipshikha girls who are all too often the first to which a school visit is denied and that, of course, also have difficulties to find work, the opportunity to train as a seamstress. The strawberry, our trademark, is manufactured here since 2007 by the young women as part of their training as a follow-up. We buy the strawberries at fair prices and from the proceeds from each pendant sold (individually and pockets) 2€ flow back to the project.
2€ - That may not sound like much, but with the donation of a single sold strawberry can eat four families for a day in Bangladesh. Already nine strawberries finance the costs of training as a seamstress ...... Even small things can cause great things.
Of course, the money is a reliable source of income and an important building block for existence, but a not to be underestimated effect is the self-confidence that the young women win through education: many of them leave their families and village communities for the first time and can suddenly discover something: Their own value. What may look like a nullity in view of the materials needed is the basis of a change that hopefully acts beyond the limits of their villages. In addition, women's income relieves the children who are now more likely to visit schools, rather than having to make money. In March 2010, we had the opportunity to visit the project together with SHANTI employees and see with their own eyes, which can cause many little things.

If you want to know more about the work of Shanti, you can inform yourself on the homepage of the association.
You can find more pictures of the closers at work in the training center of Dipshikha on the facebook fanpage of la fraise rouge.
As part of the visit we also visited further project centers:
Impressions of the trip through Bangladesh can be found on Marcels photoblog.