Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This week has seen The Dhaka Project blow out 3 candles on the cake. Whilst it has been a week for us to celebrate, it has also been a week for us to reflect upon what we have achieved and look forward to the future as how best to proceed.

In the recent weeks the project has experienced some turbulent times: from asking some of our staff to leave because rice was left to go to waste (yes, as we saw rice prices doubling throughout the world and our families struggling to feed themselves); seeing more female students tried to be married off at early ages; a large drop in student attendance after the summer break; and recently an upset parent population not grateful with everything that The Dhaka Project had already given them and their kids.

So upon reflection, I found that we (including myself) have somehow lost the focus on what The Dhaka Project is trying to achieve and we were getting too focussed on growth and change that we lost our priority of ensuring these kids will reach their dreams. I realised that before we continued to expand further, we need to consolidate the great work we have already established.

Due to things changing so quickly here at The Dhaka Project, I forget that it was only 6 months ago that I arrived here at The Dhaka Project to see a plain brick building with no windows, no internal walls, no sign of the life – just the sad skeleton of a garment factory! This building is now the wonderful Emirates Foundation School – our ladder allowing our children to climb even closer to their dreams!

All the amazing feats we have achieved over the last 3 years have happened at warp speed. To ensure the continuation of this great work we are now at a stage where we need to consolidate; we need to make sure that we have the team to make it to the next step; we need to make sure that we are running our current operations as efficient as possible; we need to make sure that we learn from our last steps, allowing us to take our next steps more effectively.

But most importantly we need to make sure that our focus at all times remain on the children – the future leaders of Bangladesh, the businessmen that will pull their compatriots out of poverty, the doctors that will ensure that their parents will live past the age of 60, the honest politicians that will remove the smear of corruption from this country's name.

So as I sit here and reflect on the wonderful years that our 3 year old baby has lived –
I am proud of what has been achieved.
I am excited by the potential.
and I know that it won’t be easy.

BUT to continue the wonderful sucess that The Dhaka Project has already achieved we must focus on creating tomorrow’s leaders of Bangladesh, not getting distracted by all the little things that try to take our attention away from these little gems.

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