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Activities

The following projects have been initiated by Bangladesh Foundation:

  • Bangladesh Foundation gave its first representative, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, crucial logistic support during 1972-74, providing him a rent-free house in Dhaka for two years, which helped him financially to start his micro-credit collateral-free bank at the rice-roots of Bangladesh, known as Grameen (village related) Bank, for which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with his bank in 2006.
  • Supported a part of an expanding project under GANO SHASTYA KENDRO (People’s Health Center) in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, started by Dr. Zafrullah, a renowned health care specialist of Bangladesh. BF support involved training for medics modeled after the “Foot Doctors” in China.
  • Funded the training component of crafts-cum-agriculture project for boys and girls in Jessore (a district of Bangladesh) run by late Mr. Sultan, generally recognized as a leading artist of Bangladesh, next only to the legendary Zainul Abedin.
  • Supported crafts-artifacts-weaving training for destitute women in Dhaka (capital of Bangladesh) and Comilla (a major city of Bangladesh) under KARIKA, an income generating-skill building outfit directed by Mrs. Parveen Ahmed, a social worker from Punjab (a province of Pakistan) settled in Bangladesh. To facilitate transportation of trainees and their products between Dhaka and Comilla BF also donated a minivan.
  • Selectively funded two training programs for destitute women on vegetable dyeing and Batik printing which led to their employment in Saree (a type of garment worn by most women in Bangladesh) printing stores in Dhaka and Comilla.
  • To aid another garment making training project in Comilla for poor women BF donated a number of manually operated sewing machines and partially funded sewing, embroidery training programs.
  • Supported a rehabilitation program in Dhaka for women who were violated by Pakistani troops during the liberation war. Their training pertained to preparation of food for their self-service cafeteria and vehicle maintenance-driving lessons. Upon completion of training most found employment. A few got into partnership to start their own catering business.
  • Perhaps the most exciting project funded by BF involved transfer of high temperature kiln making know-how to Bangladesh. BF sent an expert, Professor Howard Shapiro, from Chicago’s Art Institute to Bangladesh with a specific mission to train a group of potters headed by a prominent potter Moron Chand, who had tried in vain to build high temperature kiln in order to make his products more polished and durable. After a three-week intensive training program Moron Chand and his group of potters learned how to make high temperature kilns with locally available materials. This low cost special kiln building technology has since spread to different parts of Bangladesh enabling potters to manufacture different types of pottery, much more competitive in the open market against some imports. It has also increased significantly the exportability of their products.
  • Provided partial funding to a batik printing project for destitute women in Dhaka run by a painter-craftsman, Mohammad Iqbal, leading to employment of a number of women in batik printing and garment making outfits.
  • Funded a hand-made paper project run by Ershad, who was trained by Mohammad Iqbal to make different types of paper out of paper and garment waste. BF supported two of Ershad’s training programs, one in Dhaka and the other in Bogra (a district of Bangladesh), provided poor women hand-made paper-making skills. Ershad expanded both programs resulting in export of different types of handmade papers to a number of Asian and European countries.
  • BF funded a fish culture (Telapia farming) and banana plantation-cum-goat rearing project by poor women in central Bangladesh (district of Mymensing), creating an income generating opportunity for them and their families.
  • Funded a project by orphanage children in eastern Bangladesh (district of Faridpur) for training in Japanese method of agriculture and animal husbandry.
  • Funded two projects in two northern districts of Bangladesh (Kurigram, Rangpur) involving training for selected youths in cooperatives in agricultural cultivation and marketing of produce.
  • An important project BF funded comprised a health care-cum-literacy day care project directed toward very poor children and their working mothers in Dhaka. Selected trainees took care of small children during the day helping them to learn hygiene and how to read and write. Their mothers received periodic training in the same subjects when they came to pick up their children.
  • In response to specific appeal from Ambassador Obaidullah Khan, Bangladesh Ambassador to America in the late eighties, to contribute to flood relief funds of Bangladesh President in 1988 when most of the country was flooded causing untold sufferings, BF donated $5000.00 as a one-time contribution.
  • During 2010-11 BF made it possible for scholarship program at the Notre Dame College in Bangladesh with $5000.00 donated by one of its trustees.
  • BF took under consideration a proposal to explore the feasibility of village based, self sustaining water treatment plants to significantly improve the quality of life at the grass roots, where more than eighty percent of people of Bangladesh (7th largest nation of the world) live.
  • The most recent project BF funded involved providing learning digital tablets to disadvantaged families at the rice-roots level in selected villages of Bangladesh. Amadeyr Cloud in carrying the project succeeded in raising the consciousness of targeted rural families about literacy, health care and other access to resources for women’s empowerment.