Shuvo Jonno Din ba Happy Birthday to Nari Jibon Project! Three years ago on 1 March 2005, the Nari Jibon Project (women's lives) opened to provide alternative skills to disadvantaged urban women in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Three Fulbright fellows and Bangladeshi staff provided low cost classes in Bangla, tailoring, English, and computers in a cramped one flat space (for our herstory, see the Nari Jibon website). Nari Jibon has now expanded to three flats and more offerings such as three levels of English, more computer classes with broadband access (including repair-graphics-photography-video), and also a website, nari only cyber cafe, tailoring shop, and research cell. Since June 2007 and thanks to a small grant from Global-Rising Voices, Nari Jibon also has two blogs in English and Bangla, which have been read by over 13,000 readers. You can read a Rezwan's recent overview of the blogs and spring in Bangladesh.
Many of our students have gone on to develop their own businesses, improve their salaries from literacy in Bangla and skills, jobs in offices and NGOs, and pursue their higher education with computer and improved skills in English and Bangla speaking, writing, and reading. To learn more about our students and their lives, photographs, and videos, please scroll through the Nari Jibon blog and website.
My thanks go out to the Nari Jibon Project staff and thousands of students who have passed through our doors for various studies. May they have learned many different skills that they have used in their lives, families, income generation, and continued education. Thanks to all our donors and supporters for your time and generosity.
Alas, we still need your support for Nari Jibon's continued success and programme. If you are interesting in donating time or funds, please contact me and/or go to Narijibonusa.org where you can learn what your donation can provide, more success stories and download a donation form for cheque donations to Give2Asia and/or contribute by credit card Give2Asia Foundation for the Nari Jibon Project (tax deductible in USA and Canada permitted by law).
If you are in the Carbondale, IL, USA area, you can attend a Women's History month performance by The Composters, the wonderful feminist oral-media performance duo on 21 March 2008, 8 pm, LongBranch Coffeehouse, West Jackson Street. Donations will go to Nari Jibon Project.
You can follow the pithy advice & adventures of avid Composters Glenda Greenhouse & Mary Mercury as they perform sustainably in their Compostthis! blog. They have also been featured in Spring 2008, Bitch Magazine.
You can also hear me discuss Nari Jibon and blogging on WDBX Radio, 91.1, "Native Voices" radio programme, on Sunday, 2 March, 1:00-1:30pm (central standard time) streaming url, http://wdbx.scientistsuperstar
or the "Big Muddy Media" radio programme, which will be broadcast on the same station/streaming url from 9-9:30am (central standard) on Wednesday, 5 March. On the Rising Voices blogsite, you can hear me discuss the benefits of blogging for Bangladeshi women via an interview segment on mp3.
I hope that all will have some misti (sweets) in honor of Nari Jibon's birthday as well as some fair trade chocolate-tea-coffee on International Women's Day, 8 March 2008.