Tuesday was a momentous day for me, my organisation and the indigenous people of Sylhet Division – http://www.ecdo-bd.org was launched.
This is the new website of my NGO, which details all the work we do, our aims, and also features unique information and resources about the indigenous peoples of the region, the very latest academic research and analysis on their situation and future.
It also hosts photos of our work and the area we work in.
Our website makes me proud for several reasons – firstly, I hope it can serve as a new bridge between the indigenous people of Sylhet and the rest of the world, sharing information and highlighting their problems. In creating access for development professionals, international donors and academics, we are creating awareness, and opportunity for change.
Secondly, I believe our website is an ideal portal to show the world the real Bangladesh; both the people who live here and the work that is being done to try and help them develop. This is a million miles away from the corruption, violence and arguing perpetrated by a few thousand people who give Bangladesh a bad name, and taint the world’s opinion. Our website I hope can be part of a new Bangladesh, accessible to the world, and communicating with the world through technology.
And lastly, to produce the website, I needed the expert technical assistance of Mikey Leung, who did all the design and coding. Mikey came up for three days from VSO Bangladesh’s office in Dhaka, where he is volunteering as an IT specialist. Our small office in Sylhet, equipped with one dilapidated old PC was suddenly full of thousands of pounds worth of equipment and Mikey’s invaluable knowledge and enthusiasm.
His visit coincided with meetings of various village elders who had come in to the town, and may well have never even seen a website before.
It struck me that this was what VSO can do, and was all about: being able to send highly skilled professionals from one field and one culture, to work with people from another, and accomplish together an otherwise unachievable aim.
ECDO’s beneficiaries live on less than one US Dollar a day, they could never, ever afford to produce a website highlighting their struggle and bringing their lives out of their village, and into the world. Indeed, relatively few Bangladeshi organisations and companies have websites, regardless of how rich they are. So this really is a step forward for the indigenous people, and for Bangladesh I believe, and I’m really pleased that through VSO, I’ve been able to make this happen.
I realise though that the website is far from perfect! Please make any comments/suggestions on how it could be improved below: