by Izla Kaya Bardavid
I must say Bangladesh surprised me. With its beautiful yellow mustard fields, colors and lovely people it took me with a storm. The contrast between the messy and crowded urban settings and the quite, calm and soft rural environments gives one a wonderful experience of life.
The trip to Bangladesh was one of the best project trips I have made.
Life for women in Bangladesh is hard. They have limited access to markets, education, health care and much more. It was amazing to see how women through ADRA’s development projects are empowered, elected to local governments, food secure and brining income to their family.
Every year Bangladesh gets flooded. There is water everywhere and people use bamboo bridges to cross the water. It was hard to imagine that the soil I was walking on and the large fields would be covered by water in some month’s time.
The most heartfelt moment of this trip was when I got a taste of urban poverty visiting the slums of Dhaka. Houses are built on bamboo stilts over stagnant water, it dreadfully stinks, and people are extremely vulnerable to seasonal flooding. The water supply is extremely poor, there are no latrines and the water is used as an “open toilet”. Water related diseases are highly prevalent and kill many children. 65% of the people here have lost their land and houses due to flooding and have moved here for a new hope, and others come from all over Bangladesh to seek opportunities. I left this place with a deep hole in my heart. No human being should be living under these circumstances.
I’m happy I got the chance to discover this Asian flower and I would love to go back!
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