Monday, July 26, 2010

Being Resourceful

Another busy day as we traveled several hours outside of Dhaka to visit another example of Grameen Shikkha, this time in a village. About 20 pre-school youngsters were awaiting our arrival inside a Center House and saluted each one of us and we entered and took a seat on the floor. They sang songs and recited poems for us. One of their songs was “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. These youngsters attend for 2 ½ hours each day for six days a week. This pre-school is a combination of borrowers and non-borrowers children, with as in most cases, the borrowers get priority. The funding for this program comes from Grameen and UNICEF.

The second stop of the day was Grameen Kalyan which is a health clinic for villagers. Dr. Moinur gave us a brief overview and then a tour of the facility. The delivery room, where they perform up to 10 deliveries a month was very primitive. If a woman has complications during the pregnancy or delivery, she is sent to the nearest hospital which is approximately an hour away. The most common diseases he treats are hypertension and diabetes. While were visiting, a young boy who had fallen and cut open his head, came in for treatment.

The other two stops on this trip exposed us to Grameen Shakti, which means “energy” with examples of solar power and turning cow dung into methane gas to use for cooking purposes. The solar panel is wired to a battery and in the evenings, the battery can provide up to 4 hours of electricity. These villagers are very resourceful and they take advantage of what Grameen has to offer in making their lives better.

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