Godol, 26, grew up in a small village in Bangladesh which he describes as both a joyful and sad time. Although his parents weren’t highly educated they encouraged and inspired him in spite of the many problems the area faced like gambling, alcoholism and extreme poverty.
He’d always dreamt of working with people from different cultures and communities; and Tearfund’s volunteering programme provided the perfect opportunity. Volunteers from the UK and Bangladesh worked together on leadership training and social action projects.
Over the course of ten weeks not only did Godol learn how to communicate across different cultures but he gained new skills in leadership, gardening, social business, computing, project planning, advocacy and even litter awareness. These new experiences gave him more confidence which equipped him to go back to his community and do what he could to help tackle some of the long-lasting, social problems.
Seeing the utter devastation that poverty brought to his village, Godol knew he had to tackle the issue face on. He was particularly concerned about the lack of a balanced, nutritious diet. After consulting with other people living locally he decided to begin a community gardening project. He chose 15 young participants to be involved because he wanted to teach them about leadership, running a social business as well as how to grow different types of crops.
Godol says: ‘I wanted to help these young people become good gardeners, good business people and good leaders’.
They collected some money together from within the group then planted lots of different types of crops including beans, onions and potatoes. Godol explains that the project was particularly effective because it helped address people’s nutritional needs and also their financial concerns. His hope is that the village will become more resilient and self-sufficient in the future which will cause a massive reduction in many of the other difficulties they have.
Godol is passionate about leadership and creating greater unity in his community; he wants to use his skills to raise up more young people.
‘There is a crisis of good leaders in my community so I want to develop these skills in young people so that they become the great leaders of the future.’
This passionate and determined man isn’t going to stop doing what he can to inspire and equip others, to ensure that everyone in his village can flourish: ‘We are young. We have the power to change our community.’
Find out more about three month placements in Bangladesh. Image of Bangladesh by Andrew Phillip for Tearfund.
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