Monday, June 30, 2008


1. Lending to individuals via a self-forming group of 6 - not related

2. Preference given to groups with business start-ups

3. 1,000-10,000Tk loans, 12-18 month duration; 12% annual interest

4. Payments are made weekly by each individual

5. 2nd, 3rd, etc... loans given after 1st, 2nd, etc… month’s successful repayment

6. If payment is not received, further payments to the group are suspended


Long time no write! Well, to get you up to date… I am currently, organizing the EK teacher’s textbooks and teaching aids, (still!) organizing the library, giving lessons to future English teachers and adults from outside of Dhaka as well as planning a teacher’s day a week into term. Don’t worry, I’ve still had time to enjoy the nice weather we’re having at the moment :)

I want the teacher’s day to have a big impact – there’s a lot of things that need to be changed. For example; lessons will be extended to 1 hour to give enough time for the teachers to develop ideas; ‘extra-curricular’ activities such as art or drama will now be incorporated into class time; the school will get proper discipline and reward structures and I.T classes are being started. However, the most important part will be a continuation of Elizabeth’s class a few weeks ago – a more active approach to teaching and concentrating on improving techniques. So, I’ll be looking at teaching aids and important teaching processes. As I’ve said before – EK school has the potential to churn out one excellent student after another, it just needs a little time and effort.

Otherwise, there has been some excellent news concerning a couple of my adult students – they’ve got jobs in Dubai! (This is in addition to Nurul a few weeks ago). I can’t claim much credit for their employment (interviews organized by Kate!) but I hope me teaching them “I am honest, reliable, hard-working and I want to improve my English… etc… etc” helped. Undoubtedly this will completely change their lives. A lesson today on the internet looking up photos of Dubai gave them something to look forward to….


A picture says a thousand words!

What can we learn from this photo of Rokeya's house???

You will be surprised to know that Rokeya, her husband and 3 children spend the long nights in a 'room' where the floor size is smaller than that of modern toilets.

The landlord calls it a 'room' with just enough shade so that rain water doesn't come through and to dump all her necessary things.

I think many of us won't believe in the fact that if we walk 300 meters from The Dhaka Project Office we will be able to see muddy houses with tin shades. But it’s true. The rain water moves up to the surface and makes it really muddy inside the house.

Rokeya has three children; Sujon and Sumon studying in Grade 4 and Grade 1 respectively in TDP School and Mustakim a nursery student also under TDP. Her husband is suffering from bone problems and currently doesn't have a job.

And as this family didn’t have enough money to pay the house rent they had to sell their beds and furniture. She has even borrowed money over interest to carry out the household expenses.
Their previous landlord kicked them out without any notice and they had spent a whole night at the station with these three kids. Rokeya then moved to her 'new' house, as you can see in the photo above, paying a rent of 700 TK (~37.5 AED, 10.25 USD, ~7 EUR) for it.

Our team member Jewel had to walk through a knee level water to visit Rokeya’s house, and he checked how they are living in so poor conditions.

Now she needs money to feed her children because she has no income.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Al-Amin’s dream of becoming a pilot is in danger.
Al-Amin appealed us to give his mother a job in The Dhaka Project.
This student of class 6 of the TDP might have a bright future but it all depends on how The Dhaka Project can resolve his problems.
His family came from Chandpur to Gawair for a better life. Unfortunately they ended up in a sorrowful living. His father, Md. Hossain, is suffering from diabetics disease and his mother, Shefali Begum, is a housewife.

Al-Amin and his mother

They have to bear the expenses of his elder sister, Sweety, who is currently studying in a different school. They live in a low-land area where during the rainy season the waterlogging problem makes them stuck in their house whose rent is 1700 TK, (91 AED, 25 USD, 16 EUR) per month and it is due only for a few months.
The landlord behaves very rudely with the family members and threatens frequently to make them leave the house. His parents run the family by borrowing money from the relatives and neighbours.

The Dhaka Project authority gave Al-Amin’s mother a job as a cleaner in TDP Office and is planning to enroll her in the Adult Development Programme. In order to develop the family conditions here The Dhaka Project is trying to raise 13070 TK (700 dirham ($183 USD) per year to help providing skills and support to Al-Amin's parents.

This is not the first time that TDP resolved a family’s problem made possible thanks to all who support us in different ways!!!

But there are many more families waiting for The Dhaka Project to help them !


Thank you to the hard working volunteers in Dubai at the end of a hard day...
  • André that has come over to my house at one minute notice to take 7 huge suitcases to the CBC for crew and pilots to take to Dhaka in next days.
  • Solange Barros for driving around Dubai looking for second hand book shops trying to find a buyer for donated books not suitable for Dhaka, and also for trying to find a shop in low areas of Dubai to buy us the 100 cabin bags donated yesterday...
  • Marcelo Taborda for sparing a room in his house to store the cabin bags and other donated items.
  • Turiya Todhunter and Samar Jodha for packing 15 suitcases, for driving yesterday to the other side of the town towards the CBC pilots airport check in and for labelling suitcases to be dispached to Dhaka, under a big heat...
  • Raquel for creating awareness about the project therefore getting us the donation from JBEXTREME on 27th June.
  • Dr Nomy for taking time out of his day off to meet me and discuss ways of getting me back to my old self...



Well, I am not one to usually write a blog off the top of my head, but it has been a while since I last blogged. I have just had the most frustrating meeting since arriving here and need to share it with The Dhaka Project family.

We have been asking for discount from Glasko Smith Kline (GSK) for a great deal of vaccinations that we have given our kids and staff within the last few months. Our current bill totalls 450,000tk and the team have been asking for a small discount for the vaccinations we are providing the ultra-poor.

Because of our request I was visited by the snr area manager of GSK to discuss our issues about paying the total costs of the bill. I took this as a chance to challenge this drug company for their wonderful morals and also lack of any form of social responsibility.

Whilst I listened to his case about how this monopolistic multinational is giving so much to the poor and disadvantaged people of this country. My response was to ask him what constituted the costs of providing a vaccination. Whilst not really thinking, he started to rattle off costs of a typhoid vaccination:
- $2USD (140tk) to make the vaccine – “no more than 150tk” he was quoted to say to us.
- 150tk to keep the vaccine chilled and delivered to the intended destination

To me that was much less than his 450tk that GSK wanted to initially charge us (this is the cheap price they reserve for the poor within their pricing plan). So on questioning whether GSK is making a 50% profit on all immunisations they sell to the poor he started to rattle off more overhead fees that mean that we are paying “cost price”:
- 8% for Admin/Staff/Service
- 2.5% VAT
- 2.25 Tax

With my calculations these costs totalled up to 338.5tk. Still not the 361.6tk that GSK were currently asking from us. (I should also note that these overheads seemed to be a quick backtrack by our GSK friend.)

So I asked him if he was proud to know that he was making at least 23.1tk profit off every lifesaving vaccination that GSK sell to us here at The Dhaka Project – all I got was a chuckle! I was not sure if that meant he was proud of it or just awkward about the whole situation.

But now I had put him in an awkward situation, the discounts for us here at The Dhaka Project kept on flying – I felt now that he wanted to shut me up and buy me out of making him feel bad for taking profit off some of the poorest people in the world.

I refused a discount for our bill – I didn’t just want shut up money for The Dhaka Project vaccinations, I wanted to change things on a large scale. I want all the 40% of people below the poverty line not to get ‘screwed’ (as I eloquently put it) by multinationals like GSK. Why should they look to make profit off the poorest of the poor? I don’t care how much they are charging us in Australia, The Emirates, Europe or the States… but I do care about is how much profit they are taking from sales to the poor.

So I offered GSK that I will pay the outstanding bill only if they detail the costs of how much it costs to manufacture their vaccinations (of which I informed him that I of course will publicise). Speaking very passionately now, I told him that I had no issues with the current bill. I just want GSK to realise what difference they can make in this country – “screw who ever you want, just don’t screw your own people here in Bangladesh who are at the bottom of the pile - who often don’t even know where their next meal is coming from. It is these people who are dying from immunisable diseases and you want to make a profit off them rather than save their lives.”

I detailed the potential benefits they as a company could make to this nation – it felt quite surreal to be teaching a Bangladeshi on the difference he can make to his own country.

Whilst no resolution was really made, I felt proud as a human to stand up to a drug company the size of GSK, and give them a lecture in their responsibilities to society. Forty percent of Bangladesh (60 million people) lives under $1 a day. These are the people that die everyday of immunisable diseases – and here sits GSK not want to saves lives, rather make profit!

So what started with the possibility of each typhoid injection costing 450tk each, GSK left the office this afternoon offering us 330tk per injection. Of which I have not accepted, rather I want to either see the manufacturing cost breakdown of each injection or to have a meeting with a senior executive in the Bangladesh office to discuss their responsibility to Bangladesh more. To me this point is not on behalf of our 650 kids, rather 60 million of the poorest people of the world.

Please stay tuned for my next episodes with GSK.

And Finally a quote from the CSR section of GSK's website "In 2007 we supplied 1.1 billion vaccine doses. Of these 78 per cent were shipped for use in developing countries."
It is such a pity that a company that recorded a profit of 7.5 billion Pounds last year are selling the vaccines for profit here!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Maria's dream of opening a Dhaka Project Girls Hostel has finally come to fruition.
The Hostel opened on 26th of June and now provides accommodation for 28 girls, aged between 12-14 years, from our Dhaka Project schools. The girls will be cared for by two Dhaka Project grandmothers who will also be provided with food and accommodation as part of the project. It has also provided employment for a father of four of our Dhaka Project children as a security guard for the building.

On Thursday afternoon, the girls all arrived at The Dhaka Project school with their bags packed for one last briefing by our Project Officer, Nayan.

They then received a very warm welcome to the Hostel from many of our Dhaka Project staff and were able to see for the first time their rooms and to mix with their new room mates.

The initial work started on the Girls Hostel in late May. After securing a lease on the building, there was a lot of work which needed to be done to produce a safe and fun environment for the girls.

Nayan has worked tirelessly on this project with the help of two long time Dhaka Project supporters, Ruth and Luiz and the three flats now look fantastic!

The Dhaka Project's Girls Hostel will relieve the financial pressure on the families of these 28 girls, provide the girls with a safe and happy environment in which to grow up and learn and will help to protect them from threats such as illegal underage marriages. The girls are overjoyed with the opportunity to be part of this project and all seem to be settling in very well.

A big thank you to all who have helped on the project especially Nayan, Ruth & Luiz.



Our volunteers and friends of The Dhaka Project are highly active in Dubai...

Yesterday, Samar Jodha and Turiya Todhunter organized a garage sale, helped by Merlyn at later stages, with the consequent fundraising of a very nice sum of 2010 Dirhams. Added to this Samar and Turiya carried loads of baggage to fill up the seventeen empty suitcases arrived from Dhaka in the afternoon.

Captain Alex kindly volunteered to take eleven suitcases full of clothes, toys, stationary, food, shoes... to Dhaka and brought them back empty, as well as other six empty suitcases awaiting in Dhaka to be brought back.

While all this labour was going on we received a call from Bexta Terney from JBEXTREME who offered us 100 cabin bags, clothes, stattionary... all brand new !!! We needed some folks to collect all these donations from the difficult to load cars area of Al Quoz. Like a 'squadron', our amazing team of Brazilian volunteers rapidly drove to JBEXTREME's warehouse in Al Quoz. Marcelo Taborda and Família Barros drove back and fro to collect all these donations in a proccess that lasted for 5 hours causing all to have lunch very late... in the afternoon .

And as to make this day yet more rewarding Marcelo Taborda donated 700 Dirhams to sponsor a child and became our customer for a moment he bought items worth of 100 Dirhams in our garage sale :) Família Barros donated 100 Dirhams and a friend who prefers to stay anonymous donated another 100 Dirhams.

Amazing!!! These same volunteers involved in all these activities yesterday and some others have recently fundraised tenths of thousand Dirhams in garage sales!

There are no words enough to express gratitude for all this hard work and the gift from Bexta Terney at JBEXTREME.

On behalf of The Dhaka Project children,... THANK YOU to all !

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Unfortunately we had a terrible loss among our kids.

Our community is now praying for Jobier and his family as his life was so sadly cut short yesterday.

Our team is making sure they do whatever is possible for his family - the Project Director's say is "treat the TDP family as you would treat your own", providing support and assistance to all whom are deeply affected by this tragedy.

He went to the village with his mother for the wedding ceremony of one of his relatives and as he prepared to wash in the river, he slipped down and drowned.

The innocent Jobier was born on 14th June, 2004, (4 years and 10 days) and he was son of Akbor Ali (Export Labour) and Khokeja Begum (one of our ex-Sewing Trainees). He was the only son his parents had. He had two sisters, one of them adopted by her uncle and another living with the family. His father lives in Kuwait.

Jobier attended The Dhaka Project nursery, he was a bright and hopeful boy with a gift for English (even at an early age) and a love of singing. He had a rare ability to be alone and to enjoy his own thoughts, yet he was also friendly and well liked by all within the nursery. Jobier's dream was to be a Pilot one day and showed great interest in all things Aero-related.

We wish to express our condolences to his family for their beloved child's sorrowful loss.


The Dhaka Project's Micro-Credit programme gave its first loan to Shafiqul Islam (on the left) and his wife today. He didn't like to work hard earlier :) but he had some brilliant ideas in his mind.

Shafiqul came to The Dhaka Project where he had a meeting with Babu (Manager, Micro-Credit), and suggested his idea of running a carpentry shop. Babu went through the whole plan and after checking its feasibility The Dhaka Project gave him a shop and 5,000 TK in cash at 1% monthly interest to run the shop.

The Dhaka Project will also bear the shop rent for the next three months for Shafiqul so that he can settle down with the newly started business. This family belongs to the group of the families supported by The Dhaka Project.

Let's hope that Shafiqul can make his dream come true.


Shah Alam is a student of Class-IV at The Dhaka Project. He has two brothers and one sister.
Previously his elder brother was studying in a local school but it seemed that his education had a very thin chance to continue because his father is suffering from physical problems like paralysis due to a tumour in one of his legs.
When his father works for 4 days then he will have to rest for the next three days because he can’t bear the pressure for longer, so he couldn’t pay the tuition fees for Shah's elder brother and as a result he had problems in passing the final exams.
His mother took loans from many people to run their house which made their life miserable as time went on.
Shah Alam’s Family
The common problem of house renting is also adding a trauma to their life. Ultimately his mother had to come down to fight for a job; this small kid of class-IV asked The Dhaka Project team if they can provide a job to his mother so they can at least have the basic needs. The team gave her a post as a cleaner at the Community Clinic and she is starting tomorrow. She will have training on hygiene, which will be provided by the The Dhaka Project.
It’s not the first time we help families and will continue until all families become independent.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Two weeks ago I arrived from Australia not quite knowing what to expect from The Dhaka Project. What I arrived to find was an amazing organization full of inspiration people! I think the thing that strikes you first is just how far Maria and her team have brought this project in less than three years!

I plan to spend four months working within The Dhaka Project. During my time, I will be predominantly involved in the Adult Development Programme. My work in this Programme has many strings to it. For example, currently, I am involved implementing a microcredit initiative aimed at ensuring that the parents of our children have every chance to improve their life by giving them the small amount of capital required to start their own business.

To date, I have also been involved in setting up a project aimed at assisting our families to cope with the pressing issue of rising food price in this country. Like elsewhere in the world, food prices in Bangladesh have risen dramatically in recent months and, by providing some subsidized staples to The Dhaka Project families, it is hoped that the 'Food for Thought' programme will ensure that our children will be provided with nutritious meals every day. As part of this programme we are just about to open a Dhaka Project grocery store!

In my short time here, I have also been fortunate enough to visit some rural villages in Pubna, an area the north of the country. The amazing reception I received and hospitality offered at every stop throughout the day is something that will stay with me for a very long time to come.

Although I have only been here for two short weeks, I can honestly say that I already feel a strong bond with this country and it's incredible people and I very much look forward to the adventures of my next four months !!


It all started on 3rd June...

Nayan, Jewel and Lois made the initial steps in setting up a new clothes shop in Gawair - it is expected to be open in a few days. Nayan especially worked hard and faced many problems like bad weather conditions that he had to overcome to complete his job.

We've had a lot of volunteers come in and help us as well -
Kristy, Kate, Rufus and Richard have worked very hard to make this happen.

As you can see the interior is a funky blue and within you can find sections for babies and adults of both genders (and a few designer clothes for good measure!).

Now Babu is interviewing applicants to appoint a salesman.

We've been working as hard as possible to get it open asap and add a new income to the project towards sustainability.

Thank you to all who have dedicated their efforts to set it up!!


Greg Lyons, an official working for Save the Children, Australia, came to run a workshop for the team. The focus of the workshop was improving the team's management skills.

The workshop was amazing and all the team members ended the workshop promising a team spirit.

We had a great lunch shared by fourteen people (the entire team) which was cooked for only five people. It was not the food, but the sense of sharing awarded everyone with pure satisfaction.
Everyone promised to change something in their professional practice from the next day.

We hanged the posters used in the workshop in the office so that it reminds us everyday what we have to do to work as a team. It really did some magic on the team spirit.
Thanks to Greg Lyons and Richard for arranging such a great workshop.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


During the last month back we, fortunately have had the kindness from a lot of friends who consistently have helped with donations towards our children at The Dhaka Project giving us a tremendous boost to achieve our goals.

So, here is a list of not yet referred donours who presented us with their kind donations:
  • Tareq - 500 Dirhams.
  • Nicolau and Raquel - from Dubai - donated 500 Dirhams.
  • Renata Vonkouh - from Dubai - donated 100 Dirhams.
  • Manoel Piñeiro - from Dubai - donated 100 Dirhams.
  • David Donohue - donated 2,500 Dollars.
  • Rene D'Sousa - from Dubai - 4957 Dirhams- thanks also to volunteer Ruth who collected this donation.
  • Derek Sheeler - 20,000 Dirhams, in last May.
  • Graciosa - from Tondela, Portugal - 100 Euros, in last May.
In a place like Dhaka where every little bit still represents a lot, these donations will greatly contribute to relieve our stress, enabling us to have resources and keep the project running and our kids safe and studying.

To these kind donators we wish to express our gratitude for having come forward to help us, on behalf of our poor children and their families.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Emirates pilot, First Officer Manoel and his wife Solange , together with their army of volunteers...
Nicolau , Raquel, Malika-Mad Piñeiro, Laco, Fernanda Laco, Maria Lucia, Diego Ribas, Katia Piragibe, Luiz Ogg, Marcelo, Solange Fortuna, Edna Haime, Natália, Beza (Mad Degow), Renata Vonkouh, Deyse Correia and Patricia Quartin have been staunch volunteers of The Dhaka Project.
They have selflessly put aside their free time to support and help out in so many different and physically taxing ways. Here are some of the things the volunteers above have done for The Dhaka Project:
  • physically run around Dubai to collect donated used clothes, books, toys etc from donors in Dubai.
  • spending numerous hours packing donated items into suitcase lots and cartons for dispatch to Dhaka.
  • organised regular garage sales of donated items to raise funds for The Dhaka Project.
  • distributed advertising leaflets to residences publicising garage sale events.
  • regular visits to the bank to deposit money raised from garage sales.
  • mobilised help from other like-minded volunteers as and when needed.
  • personal financial donations towards the project.
  • driving backforwards to the airport to despach donations to Dhaka.
All of the above activities initiated by First Officer Luiz Ogg strenuous and extremely time-consuming as they were, were followed through from start to finish thus freeing me to focus on my flying job.

The support and presence of Luiz Ogg and Solange have demonstrated a level of volunteerism way beyond my expectations, and giving me the liberty and peace of mind to concentrate on my Emirates .
Last month, the above volunteers have fundraised almost 20000 dirhams for The Dhaka Project through garage sales of donated items under 42 degrees heat. The money collected will be used to defray the high cost of food in Dhaka. Food prices have recently spiralled astronomically and feeding 700 children has added challenges of unexpected proportions that I have had to confront.
Thank you all for your golden heart!

Maria Conceicao
Founder, The Dhaka Project


The Adult Development is growing big in operation at the moment in The Dhaka Project. It’s open to the whole community. Anyone who wants to learn English or computing can sign in and start learning. The Emirates Airline Foundation School is kept open at night where the community members, largely from the parents can come and learn English and computer skills.

The staff members are given English classes on a regular basis.
The staff members of the organization are given English classes every day.
They are progressing every day and impressively they have started a club called, ‘‘English Language Club”, where they come in the evening and learn by interacting within themselves. The brilliant students help the weak ones to learn. This gives them the ownership of learning and they take pride in the fact they are helping in developing each other.
The cleaners, rickshaw pullers, cooks and the security guards, everyone take part in the class enthusiastically.


I have now been here for 2 months. I originally came here as a volunteer to work and give my best to The Dhaka Project and Bangladesh. I never had any plans to end up running the Dhaka operations, rather I was totally focused on just giving back to Bangladesh (after achieving nothing in my 12 months with the Bangladesh Govt) and finally returning to my management consulting role in Sydney.

Within The Dhaka Project I see so much promise - the project is really changing the community, and most importantly the kid's lives forever.

Being totally transparent we want to publish this here to let all our followers and supporters know what internal transformation is currently taking place.

(Email Below)

Dear all,

Whilst there is all of this talk of downsizing, I just want to provide a critique on the organisation and pass on my thoughts for the future.

I have now been here for 2 months and feel like I have witnessed enough to determine what is needed here for the long-term success of this organisation. I really would like you all to consider what I have said and provide feedback on the ideas.

These can be broken down into the usual people, processes and communications.
At first you may think that these people are incompetent, but the longer you work with them the more you realise that they can do great work when they want to. The problem is just inspiring and coaching them to do it. This is also actually consistent with my other managing experiences here in Bangladesh as well as stories other foreigners tell. The staff here at TDP also really scared of leadership, and are therefore reactive rather than proactive – which leads to nothing getting done and no proactive behaviour to solve the issues before them. Also a part of being Bangladeshi is that they are afraid of failure, it is better to do nothing than to try something and potentially fail.
Staff also struggle to look into the future (development experts say that people in developing countries struggle to see past their next meal) and they also struggle to look at things from other people's perspective.

Processes: Fast initial growth was aided by our unstructured processes and our "let's just do it attitude", unfortunately this lack of structure which is now the causing complications for the size of the organisation. My experience and observation is that the team have always been reliant on the organisation head for the leadership; that person is the centre point of contact, the holder of all information and the person that has got the team moving. There is no information sharing within the team, information has always passed and held by the head. There is no leadership within the team, which has always come from the head and only the head. This is of no fault of the heads, this problem is really really common in NGOs like TDP throughout the world, it has always comes down to the head to drive the organisation from day 1. Without the driver the organisation looks lost.
Also, now the organisation is over 100 people, the head cannot manage to manage all staff- and unfortunately there is neither the structure nor the processes in place to ensure that all of the staff will get their job done without the head of the organisation yelling at them. (I used the term 'head' not to refer to Maria, as in Maria's absence the team still fall into these problems with her replacement and it is not a fault of hers)

Communications: One of the biggest hindrances, as I mentioned before – the head is used to be the centre point of all information (which initially is not a problem as that is what happens when a young company grows). But now this is just not physically possible for one person to be privy to all information whilst also trying to manage all staff and direction of the organisation. Communication channels need to be opened at a horizontal level (staff talking to staff, staff talking to teachers) without the need to go vertical (manager and staff communications). Communication channels also need to be opened up between external stakeholders and the organisation – children and org, parents and org, donors and org (remember communications is a 2 way process too).
Staff also believe in not communicating if it means that they might have to do more work or they could get in trouble – even if that non communication might lead to more problems later.

People: We need to find their motivations. One thing that has found them to be motivated by is money, and deducting from their salaries is a way to get them to act. Whilst this is effective, it is also a negative management method, it leaves staff even more afraid of being seen to try things and possibly fail as they will think that they could lose money. I propose that we set half of their salaries as a base salary, and then detail with each staff what they and the organisation has to do to get a 100% bonus (like a structure bonus that is commonly used in corporate world) and each month or quarter conduct a review of their performance as to whether they have carried out their responsibilities and get their structured bonus. You can also set organisation goals within the bonus structure (10% of the org performance will be on their pay) so if the org doesn't achieve its goals for that quarter, staff will only get 90% of total pay.
The team also need some career planning – i.e. ask them what their dreams are and help to show them how to get there. And then help them get there.

Processes: This is one of the hardest problems to answer as you don't want to bring overheads into the organisation's processes as a the ad-hoc process have been a great positive for ensuring that things just get done here without the great deal of approvals needed – and this is one thing that shouldn't change. But the one thing that is needed is to bring a structure to getting things done quickly. We have already covered this by giving people more defined roles and responsibilities… I believe a rule like "do things with your heart" will help them when they require direction and as long as you do it with your heart and show that you have thought it through with your head there should not be a problem.
One thing that would make this "heart" process better would be a well publicised mission and values statement for the organisation.
Lastly, with the defined roles and responsibilities, it is important that we evaluate each team member and how well they have met their responsibilities; this forms a learning and feedback session important for the individual and also the team.
The final ingredient for good processes is to trust the processes and the people owning them once they are in place!

Communications: We have a desperate need for people to talk in this organisation – kids have problems, and if the teacher doesn't know what to do or who to pass the information to the kid goes uncared for. Staff need other staff to do things for them, Families come to the counsellor, things do not make it to the team, parents have issues with staff – things just build up until parents want to start throwing rocks at us! What is needed are communication channels to manage information flows within the team. I have set up daily 15 minute meetings and weekly 1hour meetings. They are starting to get my team moving. There is also the use of email for communication and also the encouragement of horizontal information flows – All of these saving previously wasted times. The most important thing to create here is 2-way communication (not just top down communication) – let subordinates question a manager's decision (in appropriate way), allow for clarifications, allow for questions, allow for feedback. These are things that you wont see overnight, however create the right environment for the staff to feel comfortable doing this they will start within 6 months.

Thoughts for the Future:
Yes, we are correct to look at ensuring that we have the right team to go forward in this organisation. But we still must look to the sky and dream – know where our eventual goal is. When I do strategy consulting back in Australia, we set that distant goal for our clients and then work back from that goal to where they are today – defining what they need to achieve for each step back. Much like we do here with our kids in making them dream.
Whilst consolidation is an important first step for us to take, we should still set large goals as to where we want to be in the future (like ask the kid what is their dream) and communicate these goals (like the hand prints we have put on the wall).

All I was trying to do before was open dialogue in people sharing those large goals to us here in Dhaka. I am not going to apologise neither for being proactive… nor for dreaming for the kids of Bangladesh…

I believe I am preparing a team to not only go to the World Cup, but win the world cup.

I want to hear everyone's thoughts on what I have written here – we are all major stakeholders within these children's future.

Kind Regards,
Richard Fleming

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Daniel Jhoolun is a young man of 9 who lives in Dubai and recently celebrated his anniversary.
Such as his family, Daniel already feels touched by solidarity spite of being so young.
In fact, Alain Jhoolun, his father, who is a Captain with Emirates, got in touch to tell us about his son's decision; instead of receiving his anniversary presents and having the pleasure of unwrapping them, he asked his friends to donate some money on behalf of The Dhaka Project!

Daniel in his birthday party with his friends.
Yet about his family, they are usual donours of items' donations, who regularly leave them at our drop-off point in Sheikh Zaed Road-Blue Building.
Daniel has collected a sum of 860 Dirhams feeling now anxious to hand it over towards the project's children...

Daniel Jhoolun.
We would like to express our gratitude to Daniel and his family for their kindness, on behalf of our children and their families at The Dhaka Project.
Thank you very much !!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Once again JESS Schools (Jumeirah English Speaking Schools) in Dubai, has recently offered us a precious donation; a load of uniforms to our schools.
It's not the first time we and our kids have felt this kindness from our friends at Jess Schools.
They have donated us a lot of uniforms, all them already sent and delivered in Dhaka in April and May, that have made the wonders of our students in their new uniforms, as you can see in this picture.
Students in EK College dressing uniforms donated by JESS Schools
We feel grateful to JESS Schools for being our kids' friends, for supporting The Dhaka Project and remembering of us.
And also we wish to show our gratitude to Sharon De Sousa who has driven from side to side in the city, dedicating her time and expenses to collect these uniforms for us.
Thank you very much to all!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Sponsoring Shohag and making a donation...
This strong feeling of solidarity comes from Jo Perret.
Jo has been managing to come along to stay for a few days as a volunteer in Dhaka, but it isn't possible due to personal problems.
So she decided to donate her flight tickets' money on behalf of the kids of The Dhaka Project. This wonderful donation will be a helpful gift that is going straight to medicine.
But there is more...
Also It's Jo Perret who is going to sponsor Shohag, the boy who has got alone after his brother-in-law's death in a recent accident, and who we pleaded for a sponsor to, in the first days of June. This represents a valuable gift, that relieves the Project and from it Shohag learns that spite of having no local family helping him to be whatever it be, there is a good hearted human being from the overseas who cares and feels keen on keeping him studying fully concentrated towards his goal.
We wish this to be a much rewarding relationship along the time.
Thanks a lot to Jo Perret on behalf of The Dhaka Project Kids and Shohag in particular, with our best wishes.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Concerning to keeping children out of trouble so that they can study without anything upsetting them, The Dhaka Project looks after some handicaped families or, some parents who unexpectedly get in danger due to a sudden fall in their health condition.

In this context, we helped one more element of a family, one of our EK College student's father, Lal Miah.

After going to see the doctor, Lal Miah has been diagnosed the existence of a tumour under his left armpit, having the doctor said that he should have a surgery...

So, Lal Miah have fell in the usual dilemma of a day labour worker; he couldn't afford such an operation, whose cost would be 7,000 Taka (approx. 102 USD).

And as a result, The Dhaka Project had to decide either paying his treatment or letting him to his own luck!

Of course there could be only one decision - not letting him die because of the lack of money. We paid the total amount for his surgery and treatment.

Lal Miah is one more Bangladeshi feeling in deep gratitude to The Dhaka Project and to all who help us.

Thank you !

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Today I was invited to join my Bangladeshi friends in a charity 5-a-side soccer competition. It was organised by a local club in Dhaka, the Amazon club, and was open to any male team. My friends had entered us to represent us, The Dhaka Project.

There were 8 teams divided into two pools. We, The Dhaka Project, were unfortunate to draw 3 teams of extremely high quality. We were only able to manage one draw (against the eventual runner ups) and lost the other two games in close score lines.

It was an absolutely fantastic day, and the eventual winners of the competition were representing Amader Pathshala, a newly formed school in Mirpur that was schooling kids of the slums, much like we at The Dhaka Project are. Whilst the winners took away prize money of 25,000tk and 15,000tk respectively, our The Dhaka Project team won 10,000tk prize randomly drawn for all non prize-winning teams.

I would like to extend my congratulations out to the Amader Pathshala team who were the most deserving victors and also to my team for choosing to represent The Dhaka Project.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


A great thank you to London School of Commerce (LSC).
We are extremely grateful to LSC for having spent such a quality time with the children at The
Dhaka Project and for having done an effort to update our Dhaka Project video.

This video will present to the whole world what we are doing to improve the lives of underprivileged children in Dhaka.
Donours and volunteers will also be very inspired by this video.

Thank you very much !

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Nurul Islam, father of Pranto who is one of our students at The Dhaka Project had a severe Brain Hemorrhage and has been admitted in a private hospital.
The right side of his body was totally paralyzed. He wasn't able to walk or even able to speak.
The doctor prescribed him the needed medication but this and hospital costs were so expensive that his family couldn't afford all the huge expenses [to have an idea, you should keep in mind that 3,000 TK (~43 USD) per month is a good salary in Dhaka]; and the total cost to cure Nurul was 37.000 TK (537 USD), a sum completely out of reach for poor slums' dwellers.

So the chance was asking for help from The Dhaka Project who payed the hospital fees and provided the necessary medication.
Nurul Islam is much grateful to The Dhaka Project, and we would like to address this gratitude to all who really form The Dhaka Project providing us the means to help; donours, volunteers in Dhaka or any other place of the world, friends who help us in anyway; THANK YOU !!!


Bilkis, a young girl only 13 years old has been forced to be married by her parents (as we explained in a recent post).
She was told by her parents that they were going to a village to visit their relatives. The poor girl broke in tears as she was telling what she had been through.
Her father simply left her back in the village with her husband, where she has been tortured by her mother in law and her husband's sister.Monir Hossain, her husband, who is also her cousin, works in a shoe factory.
He is not educated; naturally he does not really appreciate the value of education.
And the girl was sinking in frustration because all her dreams, developed in her mind while she was attending the school at The Dhaka Project, were dying.
The team had to toil a lot to trace her whereabouts and to convince her husband to allow her to go back to school.
She used to be the best student in her class. But the poor girl has gone through an unbearable mental trauma, and this has shattered her confidence.
Now she feels she has lost everything. The teachers are trying their best to comfort and help her to regain the confidence.
We don't want any of our young girls to suffer the same fate.
We opened a girls hostel where the teenage girls will be accommodated and will have their own space to study and grow up with all their potential materialized. But the available accommodation doesn't have room for all the young girls.
There are many applicants in the queue for a place in hostels.
We need help to open new hostels.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Nurul Islam, who is an Office Assistant of The Dhaka Project, is going to Dubai within 3 weeks.
He will work there for Emirates Airline as an Office Assistant, earning a handsome salary with free accommodation.
But 2 years ago his life was not so smooth. He lives with his wife Hamida ( who works as a beautician at The Dhaka Project ) in a slum area named Korail, in Dhaka-Bangladesh, and used to sell fish or to work as a carpenter for his survival. And many times they had to pick grains of rice, one by one, at the local market.
Their life was so miserable! Both of them didn't know how to read or how to write.
Maria took them to The Dhaka Project, provided them a house, English classes, trained Hamida as a beautician and Nurul as a skilled car driver and also as an office assistant.
On 04-06-08, Scott Williams from Emirates HR took his interview at The Dhaka Project and confirmed his job in Dubai.
Without you nothing would have been achieved!
Thanks to all who help The Dhaka Project !!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The Dhaka Project's role concerning to families has been called on once again!
Mohammad Ali, father of a girl who is one of our students at EK College, after doing an X-ray, has been told by the doctor that he had a stone in his gallbladder, and advising him to do a surgery to remove it.
A surgery?! Afforded by a poor man recently rescued from the slums of Dhaka? How would it be possible?
So the chance was coming to The Dhaka Project and ask for help, that sent him to a private hospital to do the operation.
The operation took place on 5th June and its cost was 30,000 Taka (435 USD). And it was a successful surgery.
Mohammad is very grateful to The Dhaka Project,... i.e., to those who help the Project with their donations, volunteer work, to the team and staff,... who make this mission possible.
He is very GRATEFUL TO YOU !!!


Dear North South University Social Services Club,

We here at The Dhaka Project want to thank you all so much for 29 of your members coming out and seeing our operations at The Dhaka Project. I am sorry that we had closed down for a holiday today, but I hope that you nether-the-less enjoyed seeing what has been achieved here within less than 3 years.
We want to thank you for the change you want to make in your country, this country needs selfless leaders like yourselves - people who want to stand up and help the large majority of people living below the poverty line. It was so refreshing to see such a large devoted group of people like yourselves.
We will be in touch soon with more ways that you as individuals can come and assist, we hope that this is just the start of a wonderfully successful relationship between The Dhaka Project and your club.

Thanks and Regards,
Richard Fleming


... these people who have already been volunteers in Bangladesh for The Dhaka Project and are regular donators towards our children!
Pat Shaw
from Dubai for this donation of 5,000 AED.
Laura Konrad from Dubai donated us 1400 AED.
Dr. Nomy from Dubai offered more 2100 AED.
Anonymous donour who left 100 AED in Maria's mailbox.
Most of these donours are old friends of The Dhaka Project. Yet it may happen the unknown donour to be an old friend; it's not the first time we get anonymous donations in Maria's mailbox !!!
For all, there is no need to say that their donations will make a huge difference for the kids; all are conscious about where they are donating to.
Thank you to all once again for helping us achieving our goals; every Dirahm is precious for our cause to be won !!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


A new initiative to help us has turned up from Marcelo Taborda from Dubai.
He invited the members/families of a Yahoo Group of which he is a member too, ( to take part in a barbecue at his home in Jumeirah - (Dubai); a home prepared barbecue!!!
This social event represents an important means to people meeting and partying together reinforcing their friendship ties and creating others and above all is a nice and kind way for all participants to help The Dhaka Project, come from good willing people, who feel social responsibility relatively to the poorest, once all the remaining funds raised after paying expenses, will be sent to help the Project.
What would happen if this world had millions of people keen on doing these special events on behalf of the poor?

Thank you to Marcelo and to his closer friends who have this in mind; people like them are stars who though having a regular life don't forget those who live in appalling poverty, instead live concerned about them.
Folks at the Project feel grateful for this gesture.


Thank you to Canadian High Commission at Gulshan - Dhaka.
They donated 2 cardboard boxes of paper to our schools.
This much appreciated contribution will help our kids having more means to develop their learning.
Every bit of generosity counts and will help to make a huge difference in the lives of our kids and all community.


It was a chance meeting in February 2008 with Maria Conceicao, whose advertisement regarding the Dhaka project my husband saw on the net. It was regarding a volunteer who could manage her accounts in the Dhaka project.
Upon meeting her, she appeared a very young lady and how one sentence which touched my heart that she had a very big heart for the underprivileged children. She was very impressed with my husband CV as he was a retired UN official having more than 26yrs experience with the organisation. When they met, they decided then and there that he would take the accounts and manage it for her. After she had finished talking with him, she asked me what I was doing. When I told her I was a dentist and had been doing a lot of counselling for patients in Africa and India, there was a glitter in her eyes. She asked me if I could be of any help to the project. It had been my long cherished dream to help the underprivileged and orphans.

On 14th of May, we embarked on our trip to Dhaka fully prepared for the outcome we were to face there. We were met at the airport by the volunteer manager who took us to an apartment which was well furnished and we were made comfortable. The next day at 9 am, we were taken to see the office premises of the Dhaka project. In the same building there was a stitching section where women were shown how to cut and stitch and become good seamstress to earn a living. Also embroidery were done on the clothes to make women self sufficient. There was also a beauty saloon.

Next we were taken to my area of interest i.e. the dental and medical section on the 2nd floor of the building. I met both the doctors concerned there and was pleasantly surprised to see a good dental chair and equipment.

Next we were taken to see the nursery and the day-care centre and EK foundation school. To see the underprivileged children having the best education from the Dhaka end was really surprising and hats off to Maria who as a foreigner wanted to help the underprivileged in a different country. During our twelve day stay there, I did a lot of counselling for different families. It was a plight to see the children being married off by the age of 12 years as that was the easiest thing for the parents to do as there were so many children. My next venture was the dental section. During my stay there, I did all quality treatment including difficult impactions, minor surgeries, showing the dentist to handle the different stages of the children dentition. Also I realised some things were missing. Upon meeting with Maria and discussing the issues, she gave me the go ahead to order all the things required for the dental unit. I also requested her to have air conditioners put in the dental and medical unit as the machinery was becoming extremely hot in the local weather and many patients suffering from dehydration and vomiting were kept cool by the air conditioning. There was a vaccination camp held where all the children were immunised for all vaccines including hepatitis. On 23rd of May being the founder’s birthday, children were segregated according to the professions they wanted to be. There were some who wanted to become a pilot. Louis from Emirates airlines gave a lecture on how to become a pilot. Then there were some who wanted to become a doctor, so I gave lectures to guide them.

To summarise it all, it had been a wonderful experience being associated with the Dhaka project and helping the underprivileged children in our own very small way. We have assured Maria that at any time our services are required, we would gladly and willingly do it.

Hats off to Maria for keeping the project alive and kicking against all odds.

Keep it up Maria.


Friday, June 6, 2008


More donations have been confirmed recently.
One of them came from an anonymous donour who donated us 945 USD.
Another donation arrived from The Aviation Club in Dubai who transferred an amount of 698 USD to us.
And yet another donation whose origin is not known; 18,552 TK.
To all our big gratitude you for these gestures towards our kids at The Dhaka Project and their families, and also for the boost they represent to us and our hard work in the field.
Thank you very much!!


Recently we have been graciously offered a kind and impressive donation.

It came from Rashid School for Boys in Dubai.

This donation, more than 15,000 AED, will cause a huge difference in the life of our children at The Dhaka Project, who were slum dwellers in past years.

Our gratefulness to Rashid School for Boys on behalf of the kids and their families in our comunity as well of our staff members who work round-the-clock to achieving our goals!

Also our thanks to Donal who have been commited to organizing the details of this donation and some events in which he has been involved in.

Thank you very much!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Dear Trevor,

With the arrival of the hot Summer season and the need to maintain personal hygiene even more so at this time because of perspiration, the soaps that you donated for the children at The Dhaka Project have come at such an appropriate moment.
Every child in our care received a timely reminder, through your donated gift, of the importance to keep themselves clean through proper washing with soap.
Thank you for the part you've played in helping to educate our kids in hygiene and personal cleanliness and the donated soaps are really appreciated.



Dear Tony,

Thank you for visiting us in Dhaka and for taking the trouble and making the effort to update our Dhaka Project video.

It is through the videos you've done for us that we have successfully been able to convey to the world our mission, what we stand for and what we're doing to improve the lives of little children in Dhaka.
Donors and volunteers have been inspired by the videos you have done and I am truly grateful.
The results have been significant; wide awareness of The Dhaka Project; donations from various organisations and individuals; sponsorships by overseas sponsors and an array of volunteers visiting Dhaka to share their skills and experience for the benefit of the kids under our care.
Please, accept my deep thanks and gratitude.



Dear Munawar and Murad,

The birthday cake you sent me was such a beautiful one.
I was delighted to receive it and all those at The Dhaka Project who tasted it enjoyed every bit of it.
Thank you for your kind thoughts. It made my birthday celebration a special one and I shall always remember it.
I'd like to also thank Rahimafrooz for the birthday gift of a new sign board for our new school. It will always remind us of where that signboard came from and it will be treasured.
Once again, thank you very much.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The traditional method of teaching causes trouble in the classroom in many ways. Children are often not involved in learning, bored in the class but still participate since there is no option. As a result Kids do not grow intellectually.

Elizabeth acting while...

Elizabeth, an international trainer from Canada conducted a day long workshop for the teachers.
This workshop was called "Creative activities in the class room", showing how dramatic arts, games an other activities cab be incorporated in a class to help on teaching.

... teaching new methods to the teachers.

All these issues have been very well addressed in the workshop.
Teachers are practicing them in the class now, at The Dhaka Project.
Thank you Elizabeth !!!


Fortunately, with happiness we can announce that Sarmin has got a sponsor !!!

Thanks to the kindness of an Australian Family who live in Perth, Western Australia, from where Erin Law and her father Peter Law wrote announcing their sponsorship available.

Deeply in our heart, we feel grateful to Erin Law and her father Peter Law for their kind gesture, hoping that in a near future sponsored and sponsors feel and enjoy a very rewarding relationship.

Thank you on behalf of Sarmin and the kids of The Dhaka Project!!!
Erin and her dad Peter - the new sponsors of Sarmin


We have nearly 700 students at The Dhaka Project.
But unfortunately only about 400 students are regular.
According to the survey of our social welfare department, the fact is that the rest of them (around 300 students) either play or go to work during the school hours.

Volunteer Ruth distributing rice to the students

Then the Dhaka Project took an initiative to back them school... by just distributed 1 kg of rice, potato and pulse among the 400 students who used to come regularly to school.

We got immediate feedback from the students and most of them are regular students now.

This has been done thanks to the sponsorship provided by Matt Patton, in a repetitive kind gesture from him to our kids.

Thank you !


After having a proper treatment in the Burn Unit at The Dhaka Medical College, Shikha has come back home last night. (2-Jun-08)
The doctor said that to be completely cured she needs at least one or two more years.

Shikha after after three skin surgeries

We are providing her every thing according to doctor's prescription and are also following a balanced diet for her health.

She is not quite well, but we are sure she is much better than she would be without the help from The Dhaka Project..., i.e., the help come from all who have sponsored all her treatment.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Shohag is attending school in STD-III at the Emirates Airline Foundation College at The Dhaka Project. He is a brilliant student.

His father left the family when he was only 7 years of age. His mother lives away from Dhaka in a village.

He was living with his brother-in-law in Dhaka, the only earning member of the family. Unfortunately Shohag's brother-in-law died in a road accident 3 days ago (01-06-08). Shohag is now one more student in a terrible situation.

He wants to be a pilot in the future. The Dhaka Project has assumed all responsibility for him; he now needs a sponsor very urgently to continue his studies and survive.

If you wish to sponsor Shohag please contact

SPONSORED !!! By Jo Perret as in a more recent post!
Thank you!


We have written a lot about all kind of vaccination sessions to the students and staff.

A few days ago, The Dhaka Project has been lucky for having a dentist in the field, Dr. Sabrina who volunteered for some time in Dhaka with her husband Mr. Naim.

She did all kind of dental treatment/surgey for the students and staff.

Kids showing the vitamins complex just provided

And she realised that some kids have vitamins B & C deficiency so advising us to provide those vitamins to the children, what we have done to achieving a better dental health and permitting the kids to show their white pearls .

Thanks to Dr. Sabrina for the amazing work done !


Rawsonara is a Bangladeshi lady, 25 years old, and got burnt by an electric shock.

She has been admitted in The Dhaka Medical College - Burnt Unit, 2 months ago.
The doctor said that without surgery there wouldn't be any hope for her life, but her husband and her family are so poor that they couldn't afford the expenses with an operation and the necessary medication after the operation, so she was still waiting...

On 26th May, Maria went to visit Shikha ( the girl who was severely burnt in a cooking fire that hit her sari, and whoose expenses have been paid by The Dhaka Project as well as all assistance given to her, i.e. food, company...) and Rawsonara's mother told her about the tragic story of her daughter . Maria, immediately donated 10,000 Taka (145 USD) so that she could have medical assistance.

On 2nd June she had a successful operation.

Thanks to The Dhaka Project! Thanks to all who help us !

Monday, June 2, 2008


Usually we have been trying to write about the donations, the fundraisings and some volunteers involved specially in Dhaka, but the truth is that we miss many, many of the worth references to an endless number of  volunteers who work tirelessely in their space during their spare time (and some times in their own job's environment) on behalf of The Dhaka Project.

This time we talk about Shahela Rajiv Rammani, a heroin who works behind the scenes, and who has been a great help to Elaine O'Driscoll, another heroin, by selling products to help The Dhaka Project... and last month they raised a very pleasant amount to help our community.

Our big THANK YOU to looooong time volunteers Elaine and Shahela for the hard work done on behalf of us towards The Project.

A Thought Piece from Richard - Can Education be Sustainable?

When I first saw The Dhaka Project, I was amazed by what I saw (and to be honest I still am today). But I couldn’t help but think how is this all sustainable? This worrying thought is what led me to eventually offer the team, and more importantly the kids, my time and services here.

The smiles on the kid’s faces, the thirst and desire that they have to learn is not what dragged me back to Bangladesh, rather it was the thought of these kids losing these benefits and liberties granted through education with The Dhaka Project; benefits and liberties that we in the developed world take for granted. I was afraid that if one large sponsor pulled out of The Dhaka Project these kids would be forced back into the unfortunate circumstances of child marriages, garment work, rickshaw pulling, day labouring or begging.

The more I thought about it, the more it got to me. How can we make education sustainable? You cannot give kids loans, nor can you exploit them to do work to pay for their education. It really began to annoy me – Why isn’t the government doing more? Should corporations be more responsible, if so how do we make them? Why don’t the rich Bangladeshis care? I even read a book on how the US has spent $3 Billion on the wars in the Middle East – thinking “that could school 2 million Bangladeshis for their entire schooling.”

Instead of getting caught up in who was responsible, I began thinking about how and why I got a free education in Australia. My parents (and now I) pay taxes to provide benefits to our community – with an educated society obviously being one of those benefits. So therefore, as a part of belonging to that community and paying taxes, I got a free education. With the belief that an investment into my education would be recouped by the community once I was educated, through both financial means (taxes) and social means.

Now I don’t need to waste more blog space saying what I think about the Bangladesh Government, but it was clear who I think is the major contributor to 56 million kids under the age of 15 not receiving a reasonable education here. But again, I have to look past who is to blame and try and work out how education can become sustainable in this unfortunate environment. Even if the government would be capable of organizing schooling for that many children, who would pay for 2/5ths of their population to be schooled? The other 3/5ths are definitely not earning enough to support schooling 56 million through taxes.

That’s where it hit me – and I finally worked out how The Dhaka Project is sustainable.

We are all part of a wider global community, just because boundaries and governments divide us into groups, we are still part of a global community. Donating to a cause like The Dhaka Project is just like paying an optional global tax; it is a payment to make a better and more prosperous global community.

In my view there is no need to focus on making this project sustainable today, nor is there any problem that it is run purely on charitable donations. Education should be a right, just because developing countries’ governments are corrupt and unable to give these kids an education doesn’t mean that we in the developed countries should give up on these kids.

Whilst we will not see distinct and obvious sustainable benefits straight away – they will happen. We have to be comfortable knowing that we are investing in tomorrows change.