Kakoli Mazumder, an adult group member tells her 'Most Significant Change' story, resulting from access to adult literacy for herself, and pre-school learning for her son.
My name is Kakoli. I am 26 years old. We are a Hindu family. My husband and I live in Gazi Nagar village with our young son. I have no paying job and our small family are very poor. Because I couldn't read or write, I was very shy about making any contribution to village community life. It felt like I had nothing to offer the community and they did not value me. I was of no more importance than the a sparrow pecking in the dust.
I watched and waited as other women joined the TCDC project literacy group. They learned to read and write and calculate. I saw how they all grew in confidence. They changed and were now able to make valuable contributions in their family's decision making and village life.
I really wanted to join so I could become like them, but was told that it was bad to educate women. But I could not see anything bad, only good things. Finally I joined the adult literacy group. Now like the other woman I too can read, write my own name and calculate. With this new knowledge, I can be confident making better decisions for my family, like deciding to send my young son to the TCDC pre-school. I now make valuable contributions to the village community. I know that I too am of value.
The Chandpur Total Community Development Centres (TCDC) project operates in 12 villages in Bangladesh with a multi-dimensional in approach to poverty alleviation. The first objective is 'Education & Literacy', which includes pre-school education and homework assistance for kids, and an 8 month adult literacy course for adults. Education, literacy and learning skills provide access to knowledge, lifeskills and resources. They are the cornerstone of development with life-long benefits leading to participation, empowerment, social mobility and freedom to choose; and key for livelihood skills, employment and entrepreneurialship.