Our Stories

The poverty fighter Didi of Godnail slum

Shabdi D’Costa was in her forties, barely surviving with her three daughters on her husband’s meager Tk 1,800 (US $22) salary, when she took a principled decision that she would find a way out of poverty by taking charge of the family finances. “We barely had enough money to feed and clothe ourselve more

Migrant workers get a ticket to a better life

Ashikur Rahman (36) dreamed of going to abroad to work, but that dream ended badly when just over 4 years ago, he along with a friend paid Tk 200,000 to a recruiting agency. After a few months they learned that the agency had shut down and their money was lost. Late last year when the government more

Women take the lead in fighting poverty

Shyamola Begum, 43, knows why she lost her husband. Under the pressures of crippling poverty, with too many mouths to feed, he left their one room shanty in the capital one morning and never came back, she explains. “We came to this city looking for a better life, but my husband Jamal struggled more

Multi-lingual schools get attendance up in the hill districts

Going to school was never a real possibility for the children in the village of Alutila, a remote hamlet that houses a smattering of villages in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Torn by decades of conflict and lacking basic infrastructure, the region had few schools to begin with, and those that did more

Seeing beyond disabilities

Farzana Akhtar, 31, accepts the reality that her blindness has caused potential employers to reject every job application she has filed in the past three years. While her disability couldn’t prevent her from emerging among the top 20 students in her bachelors and masters programmes at Dhaka more

A budget, of the people

Sitting under a mango tree on a sunny Saturday morning, the wrinkled face of Haider Ali brimmed with pride as a local government official addressed the thousand-strong crowd. "Dear Citizens, now we are going to announce the budget of Devhata Upazila Parishad for FY 2013-2014 before we open the more

Justice for all

When Jahanara Begum’s sons stole mangoes from a neighbour’s garden, what should have been a petty incident of children’s mischief, escalated into a violent confrontation between Jahanara and her neighbour Babul Mia. Angry at Jahanara, Babul Mia assaulted her and injured her eye, for which she more

Safety-nets, bed-nets fight malaria in Bangladesh

Joykumar Chakma, 28, has never been treated by a doctor. “My father was the village mendicant. If we got seriously ill, the family sacrificed a pig or a hen and he believed the illness would pass. This was the custom in my community,” said Joykumar. “So many children used to die of malaria in those more

Radio cyclone warnings save thousands of lives

Monu Mia is no stranger to cyclones. “I have survived several cyclones but the memory of losing my family in a cyclone stays with me,” the fisherman from Moheshkhali says. Mr. Monu comes from an impoverished community of fishermen, people so poor that even some of the lowest mobile phone tariffs in more

Cleaner bricks lay foundation for green economy

Fourteen years ago Razia Bewa`s husband passed away, as a 30-year old widow with 4 daughters, she was not prepared for what life had in store for her. Her husband was a landless farmer who worked as a day laborer in other people`s farms and after his death their hand to mouth existence disintegrated more

Bangladesh's 'green wall' fights global climate change

Five years ago, on the night of November 15, a cyclone ripped through Bangladesh’s coast killing more than 3,000 people and leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. “We woke up in terror after the roof of my house was swept away, and moments later we were chest deep in the rising waters,” says more