Bangladesh Rural Advancement
Over the half century from 1970 it is possible to study the greatest economic miracle ever - over a billion continental Asians ended extreme rural poverty - BRA-Collabs became the platforms where world aid experiments/partnerships were transformed; the last quarter of 20th century saw grasroots networking of this transformation across the tropics particularly Bangladeh and China where both nation's advance was only possible with women empowerment
Economistwomen.com from year 2 of BRA-C the organisation's overarching purpose was livelihood skills education for all ages of student and for teachers -ABEDmooc related references 4.1 5.1
DOUNDERS STORY - FAZLE ABED BRA-C
fazle abed's through 1960's Abed had become Shell Oil Company's leading Asian Engineer under 35 -potentially his biggest mistake: moved by his homelands triple crisis (1970 cyclone, 1971 war of independence, famine - each killing million people)
... he spent his life savings -building metavillage of 15000 homes for 100000 people.
His mistake failing to anticipate total lack of resources and livelihoods - he found mothers and infant dying in the village pathways every week - essentially the question why didnt I start with more manageable number of people in both skilling up villagers and designing local business for life saving needs. Abed turned this into entrepreneurial advantage - the 100000 person meta-village became his first platform for partners- promising them a COLLAB - test a microfranchise concept and its scaling within parts of 100000 before potentially replicating across 1970s 90% rural Bangladesh. This became 1.1 a total transformation of trickle-down aid and or charitable relied (typically separated from skills development)
BIRTH OF NATION 1971- poorest, 8th most populous; least land per person of any many rural nation; almost zero infrastructure after 2 colonisations and war of independence
it is important to understand the demographics of bangladesh rural families - while an average one room home might have 7 or more occupants- cluster of 7 homes would probably pooled human resources in sharing daily tasks
whilst a typical home would have 1 mother 1 father 1 grandparent 2 infants 1 under 11 and 1 teenager
the father mainly work outside the village during the day- anyhow the mother would be the homemaker and historically not permitted to leave the village; if the teenager was a girl by age 14 she would likely be sold off/dowry as a young teenage bride; some teenage males would become teenage grooms; others might soon be sent to the capital or abroad to remit earnings far beyond that any villager of 1970s could imagine (even as we enter 2020s one third of forming currency earnings of the nation come from remittances)
of course no home was exactly average ; as many as half of mothers in 1972 might be expected to have 8 or more children - in poorest villages as many as half of infants under 5 would die of dehydration or eventually of malnutrition ; vicious circle- every family's goal was ro bring up one or two health men; until infants stopped dying mothers would be expected to breed children -the idea of village businesswomen didnt really exist from history -and indeed breeding and bringing up the children was so much work that village women did not have the energy to run a business too; and schooling barely existed for women - perhaps half of males and three quarrters of females were illiterate in brac's metavilage
by deigning micrpfranchises for women to make positive income- folal points needed to prioritise the busienss being a life saving service - eg mush more efficient vilage rice production was forst way to end starvation - but ultimatley the colaboration interactions of all 100000 people needed cultural "re-education"
abed designed brac around the values of brazilian paulo freire - ie educator as servant leader - who acrion learns with the poor rather than assuming he knows everything - or thet the education curriculum is known; the vast majority of all brac staff (over 50 yeras rising to over 100000 plus) are village skills coaches
all other education colaboration solutions of brac build with this - for example between 1985-1995 brac became the world's larget non-government schoosl operatpor- about 40000 one room primary schools (monetssorri style) - the teachers tejmselves had emerged from the first 14 years of brac - where the first metavilage had been where almost all brac solutions were forst concept tested but became models that all across bangladesh 100000 metavilage clusters benchmarked as how to develpp what had begun as 90% rural nation and 100% poorest in the world with 8th largest population
when we talk about asian women empowerment and vilagers being their own agent of poverty mitigation over the last 50 yeras - the two paralel cases are bangadesh whose population dynamic we have just tried to describe - or china's situtaion which was diametrically opposite in the sense of the one child policy but also demanded women rise in productivity - the cultural revolution was about women lifting up half the sky, viages supporting 100% employment; generations becoing dependent on their young adults; spaced 20 yeras apart - half of all families would be dependent on their 20 yera old female as potentially many times smarter or more connected than her parents
so while culture and finacial sourecs were different - the reality os chiense and bangladeh vilage motehrs needed ti swap solutions while vilages were defined by lack of access to electricity , and when tech partners started coming to vilages in solar and mobile forms - the scxeond half of the greatest economic mirace of billion girls ending extreme povery was ready for millennium goals liftoff...
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