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Getting ready

So many days without writing, we know it’s a shame for you who are following us but we have been caught by so many things.
The major one has been the opening of the new school. It happened 2 days ago. 450 new kids to admit, put them by class with a new teacher. It seems easy in any organized environment but here, it is not. Some of them come from the local schools and some of them have never been to school at all. We have decided to follow the Cambridge curriculum but in order to do it, we need to level the children first. So, for the next 4 months, all the kids will follow a fast track learning process in order to be ready in July to join the normal school calendar. Fast Track means they will have special classes where the teachers will be able to evaluate their individual abilities, they will also learn English. Then, per age and level, they will be assigned to the class accordingly.
If you could see the difference between the kids who are already in our project and the new ones, it will amaze you. The new ones are not groomed, are wild without any discipline or proper behavior. We know it’s a hard time for the new teachers but when we tell them that the TDP students who are so polished now were even worse than those ones, they keep faith.

We have an amazing team of dedicated people. The majority of them come from very good schools. It’s a challenge for them to come and teach in this part of the city. That’s why also it’s so hard to find people.
Getting good people is not the only objective as it is not enough to work with us. They need to understand the mission and the vision of the Project and sometimes it’s even harder for Bangladeshi people. Our objective is to raise the people from the slums to show them to way to get a better life. But they have always been treated as untouchables and given the most difficult and less rewarded jobs, when they get one. Inside our own organization we are training the ladies more educated to treat properly the ladies from the slums. It’s hard sometimes because in their culture, as soon as they can, they get a servant who is doing the dirty work. We had a big time in the nursery as the educated ladies did not want to change the diapers of the babies and were asking the slum ones to do it. But I think the team has found the best way to change it. Firoz and Shimul, both very educated men went there to talk to them and finally took the babies and changed the diapers themselves. What a shock for the ladies. A man doing that?
This example reinforces the fact that doing things with them will help to change the mentality. Maria and I are always treated like if we should not do any dirty job. No way! That’s not how we have been raised and that’s definitely not the spirit of the project.

The biggest example was 2 days ago when we needed to have the new school ready for opening and also the visit of potential sponsors. They announced their visit 24 hours earlier so we needed to put and emergency plan together ;-). Maria is really excellent in that. She called all the team members from the teachers to the nursery staff including the administration team to the new school.


Then she divided the team per floor and with loud dancing music everybody started to swipe, wash, clean the windows, put the chairs and teacher desk per class etc. How amazing! I think we have learned about the team members in 3 hours more than in 3 weeks. No need here to send people to motivational seminars and team building. We have done it, all in one!

Some ladies after 1 hour were sitting telling me that the broom was hurting their hands. Some were swiping the floor like if it was the most disgusting thing they have been doing in their lives. Some others started to dance together while washing the floors or laughing to watch the men doing it. Amazing time. Really!

A little apple pause before going back to the hard work ;-)

05:40 Posted in Daily Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

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