In 2015 it will probably become apparent that the Millennium Development Goals of halving global poverty agreed at UN level in 2000 have fallen far short of target.
We suspect that this is not necessarily due to a lack of money, but rather to the wrong interventions. In order to keep the effort low, investments are made in projects that are too large and have a dubious effect. Those affected, ie the poor, are not included enough, do not really participate, and corrupt political elites often stand in the way of real development.
In November 2009, together with Peter Haas and Bettina Mühlen-Haas from the Bridge
With the initiativ of Peter Hass the founder of Stiftung Brücke Emmendingen, Germany, the first idea to install a MDG Village with Mati Bangladesh.
He and his founder member wife Bettina Hass visit the among many other village in Bangladesch in 2009, and decided together with Mati Bangladesh to develop the idea of MDG with the first five goal of MDG in harguzirpar.
To implement the first five goal at Harguzirpar. The project was then financed through the Stiftung Brücke Emmendingen Germany for many years.
The aim is to use a village with exemplary measures decided “from below” to show what really self-defined development within the framework of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could look like.
We chose Harguzipara because no NGO works directly in this village and almost 70% of the approximately 300 households are poor or extremely poor. In initial talks with the entire village population, we explained our project, dashed hopes of a big windfall, and expressed our expectation of people’s active help and the equal participation of men and women. When we were still welcome afterwards, the real work could begin.
The villagers have identified the improvement of the sanitary facilities, access to education for the children and the creation of income opportunities for the women as priorities. So far, the children only go to school up to the 5th grade. While the men are mainly employed as day laborers in construction in Mymensingh or Dhaka, there are hardly any job opportunities for women. Since almost no one owns their own land and the living conditions are very cramped, the typical female employment opportunities such as keeping animals or planting a vegetable garden are no longer available.
As a first step, a community center was built, which will serve as a room for meetings, as a classroom for a preschool, night school and tutoring ring, as well as a training room for sewing training. The land for the center was donated by a villager, and many families helped build it.
The teacher for the pre-school and the trainer for the sewing course are also women from the village. The women who complete the course are allowed to take the sewing machine home with them afterwards and also receive a loan as start-up capital for their own tailoring. The interest in training is very high.
Five savings groups for women have been founded, which are initially looked after by MATI, but with the aim of operating independently within the next 5 years. The women save together in a pot from which they grant loans to the group members. Here, women are still very skeptical and only time will tell if the concept will work.
In the next few months, 25 simple toilets and three community water pumps are to be installed. There is also a health fund for the villagers to tackle treatable diseases, especially to improve the health of young mothers, pregnant women and newborns.
Right at the beginning we analyzed the situation in the village by means of a detailed household survey. In this way we have gained a broad database that gives us insights into the poverty structure, the level of education and health, and the working and income conditions. This makes it possible for us to clearly and transparently document the progress and possible regression of the village. So far, all measures have been financed by the Bridge Foundation.
Meanwhile the success of MDG Village was shown nationally and international development.
The idea to start a SDG village was then discussed with Stiftung Brücke Emmendingen Germany and in 2018 the Borobiler Par was the second village for SDG