How YOU are making a difference...
 
*To preserve the integrity of the report from the field, the content has not been fully grammatically edited. English is often the third or fourth language for GHNI field staff.*
Road to Recovery
Champion Village, Bangladesh

It's been a month of recovery from flooding in the project area. After huge losses of their livelihood, they are coping with the situation. Most of the villagers are focusing on restarting their agriculture, livestock, and other earning activities. Children are also continuing back to school and preparing for their annual exams. Women are working on their kitchen gardening and orchard. The fall season is changing to winter in Bangladesh, and now most of the children are at risk of cold-related disease.

Our project is focusing on addressing those issues and teaching all the children and their mothers the following:

  • Hygiene during season change
  • Coping with loss of livelihood
  • Precaution for seasonal diseases
  • Savings in hardship

The community appreciates our Transformational Community Development (TCD) project, especially during this disaster. This time, they suffered less due to the flooding, especially related to health issues. Many of them sold their livestock and are now planning to purchase them back.

The local government has appreciated the effort of GHNI in this hardship. Children were well protected during this period. Most of our regular activities were hampered, but now all of our activities are back to running smoothly.

Asma's Chicken Story

Asma and her family just experienced the devastation of month-long flooding. They lost all of their vegetation and sold their goat and chicken. Her husband is day laborer and they have two children--a boy and a girl. Their son, Shafuqul, is in grade seven and their daughter, Rokshana, is a toddler.

During the flooding, Asma's husband did not have any work as a day laborer . He used to catch fish to sell and support his family. As the flooding has now ended, they are in desperate need to get back their goat and chicken. They spent all the money to purchase commodities during the flooding time. Her husband has work, again, but they need more than what he earns to repair their house. Asma knows their hardship and wants to help her husband, so she shared her problem to the Transformational Community Development (TCD) group she belongs to.

The group discussed her issue and asked Asma to start a chicken farm. She told them that she doesn't even have enough money to support the family. The group agreed to loan her 4,000 taka (about $50)  to begin her farm.

With that money, Asma purchased 15 chickens to raise. After a month, she is now getting average of 11 eggs per day, which is worth 88 taka (about $1 ).  Asma is now able to regularly repay her loan and provide for her son's education fees and exam fees. Asma expects to double her number of chickens next month.  

Lawrence
GHNI TCD Worker
Children Making a Difference
Champion Village, Bangladesh

Sabbir Thrives in Life
*Sabbir has grown up as the only child of his mom , since his father has left them when he was still a baby. His mum works as a laborer by gardening on their homestead to support her family. Sabbir used to attend to school and then d ropped out. His mum was busy working and unable to watch over him, Sabbir would miss class and eventually dropped out. His mum asked him to work with her so  they could double their income. He liked working with his mum , earning money.

Sabbir noticed his friends were enjoying an adolescent group  in his village. They sing, play and learn so many things. One day, he joined them and liked the activities. He told his mum that he would like to join the group. Since then, Sabbir has been a part of the group. After three months, Sabbir learned  the value of education and joined the regular classes. He is now in the 8 th grade.

Sabbir understood his mum 's struggle and wanted to help. They had a cow, but his mum was unable to take care of it. Sabbir took the responsibility to care for their cow. He learnt how to care for it and give it a good place to live. Now it is almost two years later and he has five cows on his farm. Selling milk, Sabbir brings good earnings to his family.

His mum is unable to attend our Transformational Community Development (TCD) meetings regularly, as she needs to work on her farm; however, she shared, "TCD has changed my son and my economy." Sabbir is a happy s
chool-going boy who loves his mum .

Flood Update*
As flood waters recede, the struggle for life has just begun. Most of the community is still under water and houses are breaking down as the soil under the foundations of the houses has gone. Repairing houses, taking care of livestock, and starting new agriculture are the primary struggles. Diseases are breaking out, such as skin disease, stomach problems, and respiratory trouble.

GHNI's Transformational Community Development (TCD) has taken special initiatives to help the communities during this time. Children are looked after so that they do not play, drink, or bathe in the dirty water. Women are taught how to grow vegetables amidst flooded conditions.

During the last month, all tube-wells were submerged in flood water, so most water sources were unusable. We have asked to transport water from high parts of the village and boil it before drinking. Most of the families are able to collect clean water and use that as well. As flood water continues to recede, villagers are taking extra care of their tube-wells. The local government is assisting with repairing, cleaning, and testing water.

Most of the community is suffering from a food shortage. Villagers are forced to spend their savings on food supplies. Flood waters destroyed crops, vegetables, and an orchard. Villagers are learning to grow many vegetable crops that grow in water. Now all villagers are re-starting their farms and gardens to earn income.
Previously, none of the families had started income generation projects. Many families earn money by selling cow's milk. Others have started raising ducks since this may be done amidst flooding. Many are still waiting for the waters to recede completely before re-starting their small businesses and other work to earn income for their families.
For over 20 days, most of the schools were closed. Still now, many schools are unable to reopen because of water issues. TCD has taken this opportunity to teach the children, and the children have complied. They listen to their parents and help out during this time of disaster. Parents are also happy about their children suffering less sickness.

Lawrence
GHNI TCD Worker

*Due to the nature of receiving news from the field, this report is about activity in September.

Vegetables Save a Family!
Eigh t ye ars old *Sadik is a bright student and a regular TCD class member. He loves learning TCD and building his savings. His parents are unable to sa ve from all their laboring to earn money. Their income is tied to their varied worki ng o pportunities. During the last two months of flooding, both of them lost their earning opportunities, so they struggled to live. Having no food, they were in big trouble. They liv e in the higher part of the village, so thankfully the flood did not submerge their home.

Sadik ha s been faithfully saving for the last two  years. He saves from his daily tiffin money. Now he has 1,500 taka (about $18 ) which is lots of money for his family. As the family struggled to survive, Sadik took the initiative to do home gardening. He has planted over ten papaya trees and other leafy vegetables. He borrowed money from his TCD group to begin his garden. Since flood waters destroyed all vegetation, there was high demand for vegetables in the market. Sadik has sold over 3,000 taka (about $36 ) worth of vegetables in seven weeks.

Sadik's family has more money than in their normal season. His father shared, "TCD has changed my son and saved our family. We never thought an eight-year-old boy could earn and save a family."

Northern Bangladesh Flood Update
Suffering the most devastating floods in three decades, the northern part of Bangladesh is still coping with the recent flooding. Most people are repairing their broken mud houses, starting rice farms, and getting back to their lives. GHNI's Transformational Community Development (TCD) program  has taken extra initiative to help women and children during this unwanted disaster. Northern areas are usually dry and flooding really scares. This time, the TCD team will equip many youth and men to catch fish and sell them in the market. This was a good income source for many families and was a first experience for many of them.

Since most of the tube-wells were submerged under water, we mobilized a TCD Children and Youth Group to monitor that every family collected their water from tube-wells that are above flood water level. It worked and helped many families survive from many waterborne diseases. Now our children and youth are working to clean and repair tube-wells that are under water.

The last two months have been the hardest for most families to survive because there were no earning opportunities due to the flooding. Incomes have dropped significantly as most families earned money from selling their fish and livestock. A few make fishing nets for income. Many have withdrawn from their savings to survive during this disaster. The nutrition quality of infants and children decreased. However, 60% of TCD participants earned money from fishing. We have also taught them to grow vegetables that grow in water, making vegetables and fish available to the families. As the water recedes, the opportunities for work increase in agriculture, brick fields, and other places where they can sell their labor . We are working hard to help families to rebuild their livelihood to earn income as before.

While schools remain closed, our TCD team has taken this opportunity to teach children about water and hygiene measures during flooding. To mothers, we have taught how to keep their children safe from diseases. Children have been excellent examples of obedience to their parents and will begin school again, once the flooding is gone. It has been amazing to see the sharing of resources during this disaster period.

Lucky
GHNI TCD Worker
Thank you!

Your support has been exceedingly crucial in this time of recovery from the devastating floods. Our teams have been able to see first-hand the difference TCD training has made in the lives of families, especially the children. Thank you for continuing your support to help bring this life-sustaining knowledge to Champion Village!

*For purposes of safety and wellbeing, "Sabbir" and "Sadik" are pseudonyms for the individuals being helped by this project.
Thank you for bringing Help & Hope to the Hidden & Hurting!

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