Caretaker in Bangladesh
My name is William Munford. I grew up in the hills of the Pohingna valley in the Manawatu district in New Zealand. I left New Zealand just after my 20th birthday to go travel India and South East Asia. I moved to Bangladesh four and a half years ago after receiving a job offer to teach English. I was a volunteer English teacher in a small village High school in Jhalokati. I stayed there for 6 months teaching a range of students. After leaving I went a worked in a Buddhist orphanage in the hill tracks of Chittagong division. This area is under a lot of military scrutiny, which made it a difficult place to stay. After six months, it was on to another teaching job this time based in Kushtia. While teaching in Kushtia, I was staying at a shelter home, a project of the Jyoti Development Foundation.
I slowly took over the managing of this project, as I saw there was room for improvement, alongside my English Teaching. I became the Manager of the Jyoti Shelter Home. During this time I increased the quality of care, living, food and the number of children we were helping. I found small scale funding for this project, which up until this point there had been none. The children were able to gain education, housing, nutrition and care that would have received little or none of before coming to the foundation. Living in dangerous circumstances often from slums, these children would have otherwise been among the many street children in Bangladesh.
This experience taught me a lot about the local culture, language, religion and politics. I’m looking forward to applying the skills I have learnt at my previous organization to develop the Shapla Foundation in Noahkhali. I see Shapla Foundation's ability to extend its reach and to effect peoples' lives in a positive manner. I look forward to being part of the Shapla Foundation in achieving this, expanding on the great things the foundation has already achieved.