Shilpi Akter, 25, is a young woman of Maisadi village in Bangladesh. Her father, Abdul Halim Bapari, is a jute mill worker by profession. Overcoming all obstacles, she passed higher secondary school, but could not proceed for higher education as she was forced to marry. Despite this, she educated herself, taking lessons from society and her experience.
A spirit of philanthropy awoke in her during The Hunger Project’s animator training. The leadership section of the animator training and the three-day special women’s training changed her thinking and ideas. Women-related issues that were raised in her training courses also greatly shifted her mindset. She found herself a different woman and took an oath to serve the community.
Shilpi realized that without education, it is not possible for people to overcome their socio-economic problems, so she started a non-formal education center where about 50 men and women enrolled. They can now read. She arranged many courtyard meetings bringing the men and women together to discuss gender-related issues. As a result, family disputes have decreased greatly among the participants. She also arranged to send 30 children to school by convincing their parents of the benefit of education. Shilpi formed an organization of animators called Ever Green and collected savings. Through this organization, her dream is to build her village as a model village for all others.
October 18, 2008