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Listen to mother of FinCredit : Girls' Goal 1 of 17

Back in the day of Keynes' "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" ending poverty was the greatest goal, and ending village poverty the greatest compound challenge.

Villages being defined as places where peoples had been excluded  during the era of colonisation from electricity grids and all modern connections. Will you join us in studingy Bangladesh to understand how the world poorest village women took on Keynes chalenge in what was born in 1971 as the 8th most populous nation in the world and the poorest.

These days economists on your nightly news come in all sorts of different pinstripes. They represent vested interests and polarised political parties. This is because what you measure and monetise doesnt just determine what human behaviors you communally get it exponentially locks in what futures are possible for your -and all our -children (girls as well as boys). Technologists most famously celebrate this system dynamic as Moores Law. Revelation: the innovatiion chalenge to our human lot  in the most micro form is concerend with a doubling of Computing and Communications power every 18 months or so. For example, one consequence of Moore: any mobile smartphone now has more C&C than NASA had when IT and manpower raced to the moon.

50 years ago Entrepreneurial Revolution (ER) was launched in The Economist at the time of moon landing to study one translation of moores law- what if every community worldwide linkedin round 4000+ times more tech 2030 versus 1946. Of two opposite end games would parents invest in their next generation' sustainabilty or not. Consider Bangladesh with alumni of ER. Welcome to girl empowerment's media for truth isabella@unacknowledgedgiant.com welcome to BRI.school

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#BR6 why isnt sili-valley panda frinedly? A1 

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Two fifths of the world's people including half of the poorest girls live in part of mother Earth we call China (BR0) and nations on the coastal belt of South Asia (BR@) -India, Bangladesh, East to Myanmar before you retirn to China, WEst to Pakistan before the Coastal Belt ends in the Gulf. To Keynsians the happiest news of the 21st C tpo dayte occurred when Jack Ma's networks took a share in the Bangaldesh girls netwoirks of BRAC. Lets study how BRAC girls (born 1972) collabgratively devleoped Bangladesh. Its can be retold as a story of two halves before Ma came to town. Pre-digital, pre-elecrtric village network 1972-2000,, and what exponentially mapped next.

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                                     Imagine all the people I wonder if you can ...

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download map of ERworld: surveys on loving global peoples' places % livelihood education tech mobilised by all for all -
 
 


1979 (after brac's first 7 years of serving villagers) this is how tems of girls were organising - miraculous in a culture that had previously demanded that vilage girls were not seen and not heard

#BR2 bracs 7 year leaps - help us understand how 

Up from under in Bangladesh

 

Village women of Jamalpur meet to discuss common problems. THe Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee helps to initiate aid projects based on the idea that the villagers themselves know best.

Photo: Nick Fogden

The women of Jamalpur, Bangladesh, are breaking with tradition - a tradition that has kept them secluded in the houses of their husbands for centuries. They are learning to read and write. They are finding out about the causes of poverty and disease around them. They are teaching one another about farming and weaving, health and medicines. They are assuming public roles of leadership and management for the first time in their history and are contributing to local economic development through successful production cooperatives.

It is hard for us in the West to imagine the drama involved in such profound changes. These Bengali women have always assumed heavy reponsibilities and worked long hours to maintain their households. But their work was neither visible nor recognized and they bore their burdens in isolation.

At the age of five or six, Jamalpur girls begin rearing their younger brothers and sisters. They usually do not go to school. If they do, they seldom attend past primary school. Often they are given less food to eat and fewer clothes to wear than their brothers, for their status is second to any male born into the family.

When she grows up, a Jamalpur woman can expect 11 to 12 pregnancies and several miscarriages and infant deaths. She will spend 14 to 16 hours a day housekeeping, childrearing, farming, threshing, husking, preparing and preserving food, spinning and weaving. She will also tend livestock, collect fuel, make fishnets and carry water. Her husband works fewer hours out in the fields, where communal activity is too public for women. By the age of thirty she will probably be a grandmother and will be considered too old to be useful.

Her contributions to family economics are essential, and she must know a great deal to carry out her roles effectively. But she earns no income or recognition. Her low status is deeply ingrained in her culture. If she were not poor, she would work less but would still be socially isolated by the ‘purdah' tradition.

The devastating floods of 1974 wiped out harvests and drove many of these women into the streets to beg. The struggle for survival was stronger than the tradition which had kept them behind closed doors. Food was a vital necessity and had to be obtained some­how. UNICEF offered a food-for-work program and 15 women agreed to be trained as teachers. When the program ended in late 1975, they had gained enough courage to seek assistance in continuing their work.

The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), aided by funds from Oxfam in the U.S. and the U.K. agreed to support a program the 15 women would plan, manage and implement to serve 24 villages within a five-mile radius of Jamalpur town.

After five days of intensive training, the UNICEF experience in conducting ‘functional education' classes, and two short evaluation and planning courses, they embarked on the new project in January, 1976.

BRAC is a non-profit private organi­zation of Bengalis whose rural develop­ment plans have served hundreds of villages throughout Bangladesh. At the heart of BRAC's philosophy is the expectation that the villagers will achieve a level of competence that will later enable them to carry out programs without BRAC's help. The. idea is to make villages economically. independent, In Jamalpur, the women are organizing cooperatives, education, and family health programs - all run by the village women themselves.

The goal of the Jamalpur Women's Program is to provide ‘functional education' - education suited to the needs of the villagers: raising the level of literacy, improving personal health, ad­vancing economically and increasingly cultural awareness. Functional education provides an opportunity for critical self­awareness in relation to that environment, for building confidence in the women's own creativity and in their capabilities for action. Villagers are learning to focus on and analyze their own problems and to see the advantage of coming together in groups, such as village cooperatives.

The fifteen women from Jamalpur spread their movement effectively. Because most of them were from the same socioeconomic class as the village women, the latter were open to learning from them. Subjects such as personal health or hygiene could be discussed without embarassment. New teachers, para-medics and group leader are all volunteers, from the same class as the villagers.

Despite occasional discrimination for breaking away from the 'purdah' tradition, the women sense the real importance of their actions and are not deterred. The BRAC Newsletter reports:

Although they have experienced some community resistance to their work, especially from their mothers-in-law, the resistance has died down. They are proud to be earning members of the family alongside their husbands. Even if they do not earn a large income, they have benefitted from the actual fact of working.

The BRAC staff address their activities primarily to the most disadvantaged of the villages, since development programs usually do not include these people. For the Jamalpur program, the target popu­lation is women of productive age (15 to 45) who came from landless families with no assets, fisherman families with no tools, and families who sell their manual labor on a seasonal basis.

Emphasis changed from skills training to the establishment of economic cooperatives. Fourteen cooperatives were established with some loans and financial assistance from BRAC. They include eight (rice) paddy husking cooperatives, one paddy - husking and silk worm cooperative (sericulture), one paddy husking/fishery coop, a paddy husking/ cheera making coop (cheera is a snack food made from rice), two poultry co-ops and one weaving co-op.

One difficulty in establishing the co-ops has been finding economic activ­ities with ready market outlets. When new markets have to be established, the women face a community of men who are reluctant to deal with businesswomen - obviously an anomaly in Bengali society.

Paddy - husking was the first successful economic venture of the program, primarily because it produces quick cash. Two women working a rice husker can process 410 pounds of rice per week yielding 58 pounds of rice and 21 pounds of husks. The rice can be sold at a reliable profit and the husks are used as poultry feed.

Workshops in sericulture and weaving, cooperative organization and management and groundnut (peanut) cultivation signal the change in emphasis from education and social development to economic development. Fisheries, silkworm farms and weaving cooperatives require several years to realize any profits; thus they represent the kinds of longterm economic plans that can be implemented by the women of Bangladesh. The key has been to tailor economic development plans to the skills, resources and needs of the area.

Fazel Hasan Abed, BRAC's executive director, has described their approach as:

a humanist rather than humanitarian approach to development, one which is people-as much as service-oriented. In the past develop­ment programs have failed because their objectives did not match the real needs of the people. We say, who knows the needs o f the village best? The people who live in it - and it is from the local community that we enlist workers for each project.

But the road is not always smooth as BRAC itself admits. The Committee's 1978 report on the Jamalpur project notes that ‘local field staff did not mature and develop as expected' and there was confusion about loans amongst both management and field staff.

In Jamalpur, the direction andguidance of the program is left to women of limited education and limited experience with the outside world. The success of the Jamalpur project is directly dependent on the training and understanding of the original 15 women. Consequently the first few years have been a time of dis­covery; the first teachers now are dis­covering their abilities as leaders. As teachers they were raising the conscious­ness of their students and at the same time having their own consciousness raised. As leaders, this process continues.

This article was adapted from a longer piece by *Flora Moon* of Oxfam-America.

New Internationalist issue 082 magazine coverThis article is from the December 1979 issue of New Internationalist.

You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with  a digital subscription of new internationalist. 

 

 2014-2021  world largest and most collaborative ngo partnership- world's latrgest cashless banks -

BRI.school: typical partners from #BR0 2018 Alibaba's Jack Ma - currently and previously #BR6 MIT & #Br7 Dubai Legatum, Gates Foundation Matsrecard Foundation Soros Foundation; #BR5 British & Commonwealth Aid, #BR1 JICA

 2007-2014
2000- 2007
 1993-2000
 1986-1993
 1979-1986

 1972-1979 Up from Under - partered in rice sceince with china and japan; innovated 2 gamechnaging models of aid whuch transfered development finace and livelihood elarning to the community; bridged disaster relief and developpemnt in vilage area where cyclone and war had killed million people; planted a vision of hope unlike any the rest of the world has yet seen

 

3:20
Partners In Health Co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer shares his views on hope, a prominent theme in a new book co-written with Fr.
youtheconomics note- we met paul in budapest as he and george soros were celebrating investoiture of sir fazle abed as 20th
open society laureate at the central european university- nobody would dispute that paul and long-time fellow partner jim kim are the most extraordinary of public health servants but they still dont understand brac 1979-1986- how on earth was it possible to train at
under 100$ per peson 200000 last ile health workers and turn their village practices into sustainable microfranchises- the very heart of
why bangaldeh brac microfnace plus started up the most exciting banking system by and for the world's poorest  

 

 

 


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