Volume 5 Issue 33| November 19, 2011|


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British Volunteers in Sylhet

In September 2011, British volunteers flew to Bangladesh to join hands with Bangladeshi volunteers and renovate a high School in Sylhet. It was an interesting and inspiring venture for the locales as well as for the British volunteers. The children of the school found the international collaboration highly motivational.

Iqbal Siddiquee

A group of 15 British volunteers visited Bangladesh to paint the walls, varnish the benches and perform other jobs like cleaning the premises for a high school in Sylhet. The school children gathered around for the unique experience to see English citizens working towards renovating their school. The UK volunteers were in the country to implement project 'Maya' through development work in the Haji Shafique High School of Sylhet's Tulkitor area with funds worth taka 30 lacs given by the UK Conservative Party. The interest in such work arose from the area being underprivileged and backward.

British Member of Parliament with the volunteers

The school was opened with a ceremony on 21 September 2011 attended by one of the British Ministers along with the Conservative Party leader Sayeeda Warsi. The handing over of the school back to its committee was part of the event. At the event, Warsi said that relation between the UK and Bangladesh would be strengthened further through working on a number of common issues. She also added, saying that such an initiative was initiated on humanitarian grounds, and such teams from her party were also sent to other countries with similar projects. Warsi is proud of being part of such community service, and is hopeful that such projects would be expanded in Bangladesh and the region in the near future.

Sayeeda Warsi
Discussing the renovation process
Volunteers hard at work

Amongst others present to speak at the function were: Tobas Ellwood MP, Islamic Relief, Bangladesh's Acting Country Representative Zabed Amer and the school's Managing Committee Chairman Md. Shahjahan. Ellwood in his address thanked the school committee, the students and the Islamic Relief for all their cooperation in being able to implement the project successfully. Amongst others attending the programme were the British Lawmakers: Nicky Morgan, Andrew Stephenson, and Anne Main. They exchanged their views with the school teachers, students and others present at the event. School Committee Chairman and Sylhet City Corporation Ward Councilor said that the whole project was a tremendous experience for all the students. He thanked the British volunteers for their contribution through their week-long visit at the school.


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