Abu Bakar Siddique Rubel
Mr. Motiur Rahman is a leading community philanthropist. He came from Kishoreganj to attend the Annual Conference on March 28, 2018 and shared his story with 130 philanthropists from across the country:
“After receiving the leadership training on community philanthropy, I went back to my community. I learned that 100 acres of land of 115 marginalized farmers was useless. The land was underwater for months. A neighbor, Mr. Kebadur Rahman, created the problem because he raises the surface level by filling-up his land with mud. With my fellow animators of the community, we decided to intervene. We sat with both parties and listened to them. Finally, we went to Mr. Kebadur and showed him how the community would benefit if we can convert these 100 acres of land into production. Mr. Kebadur agreed to release some part of his land to dig a canal for water release. Other villagers volunteered to dig the canal. This year (2017) we were able to produce 250 tones of rice from that land. We all have invested our money, labor and time to solve this long standing community problem.”
Motiur’s story was echoed in other philanthropists’ voices. Mr. Santosh Datta from Tangail shared the story of getting electricity services to 9 disadvantages families. Ms Anju Anwara Moina from Tangail shared the story of livelihood support to poor women by giving them goats as his donation. Ms. Papia Rani Barman from Kishoreganj shared how she successfully negotiated with the government to include 15 vulnerable poor people into different social government safety-net schemes. Mr. Mozammel Haque of Meherpur shared how he raised one million taka through community philanthropy initiatives for the well-being of his fellow community members.
These groundbreaking stories were the highlight of the conference at Gonosashthaya Kendra – our Dhaka storytellers reunion. One hundred and thirty community philanthropists from seven districts attended the conference. The Hunger Project’s country director Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, the Aga Khan Foundation’s representative Ms. Tania Sharmin and other dignitaries attended the conference to join these storytellers.
One hundred and fifty community philanthropists have mobilized a total of BDT 3,797,695 from their communities to support the wellbeing of the most deprived in the community. In 2017, they have supported 16,764 people. In addition, these philanthropy leaders connected 347 deprived people with government safety-net schemes. The conference concluded with high expectations to achieve more in the coming days.