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I began work as a Community Development Organiser (CDO) with Baptist Aid-BBF Total Community Development Centres (TCDC) in September 2003. That was in their Mymensingh project. Mymensingh is in the north of Bangladesh.

I and my wife worked there as a couple. Our role was to motivate and help people from the village so that they come and join our programme. When I started working there, I found a readymade field as the people there already knew about the project and a few groups were already running. So it was easy for us to work there and run our activities as the field was prepared beforehand.

Then, the opportunity to work in Chandpur TCDC project came in 2008. We were transferred from Mymensingh to Chandpur in November 2008 and received training on the goals, objectives and activities of this project. Among the 10 CDO couples who joined on October, I and my wife and another couple had previous experience in Baptist Aid projects. But still, when our trainers were explaining to us the background, goals and objectives of the project, I was interested because this project seemed much more methodical and professional to me.

After the training, I went to my assigned village, Char Amanullah (Dasherhatpara) and started work. This was nothing like going to my first village in Mymensingh. I neither got any ready made field nor were any groups already formed here. Though I knew that a survey had already been done among these people, it still seemed to me that they were hesitant about us. It was challenging for me to do my best and create interest among the village people for our programmes.

I started talking with them and sharing our programme objectives and our dream for the community. I tried to explain how they will benefit if they become members of our activities and be able to improve their lives. I also tried to show them the differences of our programme comparing the work of other organisations. Gradually they became interested in our activities. Now, I have one pre-school, one tutorial, two AFL and two Savings groups running successfully in my centre and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the changes in their lives and enjoying broad smiles in these needy people’s faces after couple of months.

I believe we can make a difference and we will do so.

Bipul Das
Community Development Organiser for Char Amanullah (Dasherhatpara)

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