Monday, December 17, 2007

Carl Visits Rotary Sponsored Schools

This is the second part of today's notes. After visiting the Akshay school we drove through town to a slum near the airport to see another Rotary sponsored school "Education for Livelihood". This school includes a sort of day care where workers go through the slum looking for small 2 yrs and up that have been left at home because their parents are working. They get care and food. Older children, especially girls, are given classes and a lunch with the focus of providing them with skills such a sewing, hairdressing and computer techniques so that they can bring themselves out of poverty. Many are from villages. A study was done and they found that many had gone back to their villages and were very respected because of their skills. Again there is a focus on girls as they believe that educating them will lead to the next generation being educated and more stable and smaller families. The fellow in the turban who is standing beside me is one of the major drivers in the polio eradication effort in this part of the world. Another Rotarian.

It will not be long until we leave for home. This has been a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it to others; Rotary members or not. In this program we didn't see many of the typical tourist sites but have an extensive exposure to the local people at all levels. This program allows one to contribute to those who very much need help and to those who are actively helping their own countrymen and women. I must note that most of the work and money comes from local Bangladesh and Indian Rotary members and others in country. They don't just take our money but especially when it comes to personal involvement, do they majority of the work themselves. The local Rotarians contribute very substantially to these programs. I am filled with hope for the future as they are making great progress in bringing millions of people out of poverty. One key is the focus on women. Another is the rapid introduction of technology. Cell phones are everywhere, even outside the major cities and the Internet is providing massive exposure to the rest of the world.

I am filled with hope.

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