Sunday, July 25, 2010

Knitwear and Knowledge

After two off days for the weekend, we traveled to Grameen Knitwear Ltd. to see how the garment industry operates in the Export Protected Zone. Production started in 1999 and has doubled since then. There are 2, 718 employees working in three main production departments. This facility does not sell locally, but exports 50% to Germany, 45% to other European countries and 5% to the US. Each of us received a shirt. Mine has a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Our second stop of the day was a Slum School visit. These youngsters, 10-12 years old are offered a few hours of education a day, as the rest of the time is spent working to help support their families. They introduced themselves and sang songs and performed dances for us. I was really impressed when they sang “We shall overcome” in English. I can appreciate the fact that Grameen Shikkha, a sister organization of Grameen Bank is trying to help these children achieve their dreams. They told us how they wanted to be doctors, teachers, businessmen, and computer engineers. We also visited one of their homes and saw the sari that two boys were working on. It would take them 7 days to complete one and they would earn 900 takas which is equal to approximately $12.80 in US currency.

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