UTi and DBL Build a New School in Rural Bangladesh

Shadupar School is located in a rural Bangladesh community whose members emigrated from Mongolia centuries ago but have never been accepted into the larger society and receive little government support. Children were schooled by a local church in a rundown building unsuitable for education. Thanks to the UTi charitable foundation, Delivering Better Lives, and the UTi Bangladesh team, a new school building recently was constructed and now is in use for classes.

The four-room school for children ages four to 12 serves about 100 families in a minority ethnic community who live in a forest outside Dhaka. They support themselves through small farming ventures and live in near-isolation. Their previous school was in disrepair and dangerous for the children. The local church continues to provide volunteer teachers for the school, which opened in December.

Wonderful feeling
"When we visited the community, we were overcome by their humble approach to life and their absolute commitment to one another in the face of extraordinary challenges. Classes were held in rundown old buildings where it is absolutely impossible to provide an adequate, let alone a good education," says DBL Executive Director Glenn Mills. "It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to give these friendly, humble people a chance to improve themselves and their community. The smiles on their faces when they saw the new school and what it meant for them was very rewarding."

Sales Manager Sakhawat Hossain was one of several UTi Bangladesh team members who attended the handover ceremony. "In my childhood, I had some social work experience working as a volunteer for a medical clinic as well as in flood-affected areas providing food, clothes and medicine," he says. "But this is really a new experience for me. I feel proud to be a part of this wonderful work and proud to be part of the UTi family."

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