With Purpose – Projects in Bangladesh
International Needs History
The work of International Needs around the world originated in Bangladesh in 1974, where Ray Harrison, a New Zealander, was visiting his friend, Reverend Smith Adhikary. Moved by the human suffering they witnessed during a natural disaster, Ray and Smith rented a house to help six children who had been orphaned in the 1971 War of Independence. Ray returned to New Zealand to expand his vision of hope, supported by Smith in Bangladesh. And the work of International Needs was born. Today, that work includes:
Naogoan Integrated Project
Located in the north of Bangladesh an area dominated by rice paddies, The Naogoan Integrated Project is designed to transform a school of 400 students into a more modern, multi-purpose learning environment. A 3-storey building will be completed in three phases: a ground floor classrooms for current students as well expansion plans for a high school; a second floor of classrooms; and a multi-purpose space for a church, students’ chapel and gymnasium, as well as dormitories for students from outlying areas.
Savar Children’s Village, a girls’ boarding school located about one hour outside Dhaka also serves as a slum school for local boys and girls. Savar also operates a medical clinic serving the local community as well as adult training in sewing and computer skills to increase employability.
Jessore Children’s Village
In the South West of Bangladesh, Jessore Children’s Village operates a small Kindergarten for wealthy children. Proceeds from this venture finance Kindergarten as well as grades 1, 2, and 3 for children from very poor families. Jessore also includes a computer, sewing and work skills training program for adults. Products from the training—embroidery, pottery and other handicrafts— are sold to a large retail outlet in Dhaka that caters to ex-patriots and other visitors to Bangladesh.
Bethany Children’s Village
Located in Western Bangladesh, Bethany Children’s Village is a boys’ boarding school which also houses a slum school for both boys and girls. The property has a large pond where the boys are learning to farm fish. The fish provide food for the boys and are sold to subsidize the costs of running the boarding school. Sewing and computer classes help adults to develop marketable skills.
The head office of International Needs Bangladesh is located in Dhaka, in a 5-storey structure which also houses a paying day school, a slum school subsidized by the day school and a drop in centre for street kids and children working in the garment industry.
“A small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead (1901-1978)