Our Project-Based Learning programme in Bangladesh is producing literal and figurative fruits!
Over the past three years, the local community in Banishanta has been acquiring skills in organic agricultural practices, which have produced a magnificent increase in yields compared to previous years when agrochemicals were being employed.
This is enabling the locals to not only secure their own needs, but also to sell at the local markets, and most recently to open the very first organic shop in the whole Delta! The shop is selling the excess fruit and vegetables from the area and, on its first day in business, was delighted to count a profit of 515 Takas (apprx. £5/$7) at the end of their busy market day.
The programme for “Building Capacity and Empowering Communities” recently marked the end of its third year with an international Conference showcasing the lessons learned so far. Over the past years, the project has strengthened the agro-ecological productivity of 42 villages, while breaking the cycle of food insecurity and creating a space for empowered women to enhance their livelihoods. The most powerful part of the Conference was provided through the testimonies from the villagers who had joined the training during the project and were now applying it; community leaders stood up and spoke confidently and passionately about their commitment to eco-farming and their small-scale activities, which on its own acted as evidence of their empowerment through the project process. Their integrated solutions to secure food production and adapt to the changing climate reflect the interdependence of all life - not only as a concept but a living experience of transformation of the life conditions.
During the Conference, the delegates and beneficiaries were happy to learn that the Scottish Government has granted the project a year’s extension, which will enable Gaia Education, CIFAL Scotland and Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD) to continue the crucial work within the Delta area. The three partners will be gathering together at an event entitled “UN Global Goals: Framing a Progressive Bangladesh/Scotland Cooperation” held at the Scottish Parliament on the 17th of March, with the Executive Director of BASD, Boniface Gomez as a special guest.
Watch a touching short video report on the programme below.