Family Ties In Rural Bangladesh

By Bankers without Borders® Volunteer Aaron Katzman

In December 2010, I was fortunate to be able to visit Bangladesh with my wife and 'adventure partner' Kate. The two of us coordinated a brief Bankers without Borders volunteer assignment through the Grameen Foundation. We met several of the Grameen Shikkha scholarship award recipients in their local villages. Kate helped with the interviews while I took photo and video of the scholars to document their stories of tremendous achievement and accomplishment. In the face of adversity, these kids (young adults, really) have flourished academically and in their communities. They have grown up under the oppressive hand of abject poverty and yet have been able to thrive thanks to their modest scholarship awards. I was struck by the intense focus each scholar exhibited towards making the most of their educational opportunity. Without fail, each scholar was outgoing, extremely bright and well-mannered. In short, they were the kind of children my wife and I hope to raise one day.

After returning to the US, I provided the unedited video to my father, who helped assemble the final, shiny promotional video for Grameen Foundation (Link: He too enjoyed the creative process, as well as learning about the scholars and the impact the program has made in their lives. My father, my wife and I all sincerely appreciated the opportunity to help promote the scholarship program to prospective donors, and hope our efforts lead to the continued growth of this exceptional, sustainable form of social philanthropy.

Disclaimer: The views represented here are solely those of the volunteer and do not necessarily represent the views of Bankers without Borders, Grameen Foundation, our sponsors, the microfinance institutions, or the volunteer’s employer