I’ve been in Bangladesh for more than two months now, working with CARE Bangladesh on their programming to help rural farmers improve their agricultural practices – and incomes.
- Burkina Faso
- Central Asia
- East Africa
- Kyrgyz Republic
I found Jesca Ciahcabi sitting beneath the shade of a crispy, brown banana tree. I reached for a handshake, but instead she hugged me. We were in Ndiruni, a small village roughly three hours northeast of Nairobi.
Laura Fortin – a native of Montreal – was an International Youth Fellow in 2015-16. She was placed in Uganda for eight months to support Aga Khan Foundation’s education programming in the region, and still lives there today.
I began my formal education with expulsion from preschool.
I redeemed myself by succeeding in primary school, phew. While primary school graduation is essentially a universal achievement in Canada, some Bangladeshi children face many barriers to reaching even this level of education.
It was a straightforward story of exploitation. The people of the fragile Tana Delta, still recovering from tribal violence that claimed over 100 lives in September, were facing an assault on their treasured land by big business – in this case, a Canadian corporation planning a massive biofuel plantation in the region.
When most of your workdays are spent in front of a computer, it’s easy to forget where the food on your plate comes from. I marvel at the mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables at the market arranged like rainbows, but I overlook the time, dedication, and energy of harvesting crops from the field, especially in an environment that dictates what and how much you will eat.
On February 22 of this year, I woke up like every other day. I had a coffee, took a shower, and ate breakfast. Except that day I drove five hours to a small rural town in Tanzania called Kilwa to see how Canadians are improving the quality of education for children in East Africa.