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Transformative stories are springing up from local communities in Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Jharna Mondol and her family used to be very familiar with living hand-to-mouth in East Khejuriya village, using their land to grow as much vegetables for the family’s use, but often had to rely on expensive additional produce from the local market.

In 2013 Jharna was invited to join the “Building Capacity and Empowering Communities” (BCEC) project and trained in Permaculture Design. Since then, she started her own organic garden and vermiculture, in addition to cultivating fish and raising poultry. Today she provides her family with enough food all year round, and even sells her produce to the local community. This has both improved her personal finances and also contributed positively to the local economy. Jharna was determined not to stop there and went on to join the Training of Trainers programme in order to train other women and strengthen the ripple effect of the BCEC programme in the area.

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Jharna is now eager to give the best education for her children and saves money for their future by selling organic vegetables, vermicompost and composting worms in the local market. She is today a true inspiration to the local community. Her activities kicked off a process culminating with the birth of the very first ecovillage in Bangladesh. Jharna aims to support the whole of East Khejuria community to become self-relient through the production and distribution of organic vegetables, fish and other livestock.

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Building Capacity and Empowering Communities (BCEC) project is supported by the Scottish Government and is conducted by Gaia Education, CIFAL Scotland, Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD).