My name is Eva Kebadile (maiden Dambe). I am a wife, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, daughter in law, sister in law….friend, mentor, student…um all that. Well in early 2017 I decided I don’t want to be ordinary…i want to do something different for myself. I decided to carry out an internship in Dhaka.
Everyone was against the idea of going to a country where you are not sure to return. By the way I am an optimistic person. I just had to come to Dhaka. Man, the waiting was just too much, the Visa arrived 30 mins before my flight departs, 35km away from the airport… I just cudn’t miss my flight. Emirates was waiting….
Through this blog, by the way um a first timer… please bear with me…. I will write about my journey in Dhaka and my new self as I venture into social entrepreneurship in the midst of Climate Change and attaining sustainable development…
I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a student. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a daughter. I am a niece. I am an entrepreneur. I am a friend. I am a mentor. I am a cousin. I am a Social Worker.
It takes grace and a very loving and committed husband for me to get through everyday. The desires of my heart are met because we strive to succeed amidst challenges. He is my one who God sent to me Himself. These multiple hats I can put on because he is there when I need him and God’s grace is sufficient for me.
Its been a while, but hey I am back. This journey has just begun on home ground.
I found myself an academic mentor and a policy maker who will guide me through this journey. Like they say local is lekker…..
I was reading this book The magic of thinking Big by D Schwartz today on my way to work. It really got me thinking. Most of the time majority of the brilliant people fail in life. They do not have anything to show for it apart from their A* achievement. In this book I learnt that your intelligence needs guidance….from your thought patterns. Nb: “…the thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have…” this expression really!. Intelligence cannot override the basic principles of success. It’s just a matter of having the right thoughts and attitude.
Do you want to copy other people’s ideas and fill them in your head or do you want to create your own ideas and have success? Well, I just decided from this moment on the right attitude even when it looks tough!
Turn challenges to opportunities!
Learn how to make use of other people stories to turn your life around!
Have a positive attitude.
Think of how you can be successful and be innovative!
Leaving work after a productive day…thats my ride When I first decided to pursue an internship in Dhaka, Bangladesh for my Masters in Development Practice at Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) I had no idea how much this experience would change my life. I did not anticipate the welcoming, hospitable families in Dhaka nor the professional and inspiring leaders at PKSF. By being open minded and resilient my first 3 weeks have been nothing but a reverie of excitement, learning, questioning and introspecting.
Bangladesh is a South Asian country that gained independence in 1971. Bangladesh, remains the most densely populated country in the world (165 million – population). Natural disasters in Bangladesh are rooted in the nature of its terrain, the physical geographic features, its long coastline and the tropical climate. Security, livelihoods and household vulnerability are intertwined with these adverse natural phenomena coupled with a volatile political system. Despite the challenges, the former East Pakistan’s economy is doing really well in reducing income poverty through micro financing and employment generation.
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) an apex development organization for poverty alleviation through employment creation is implementing an IFAD financed project called Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE). This is the project that I am attached with. The project provides financial services for microenterprises, makes value chain interventions in potential economic subsectors and gives technological support to the entrepreneurs. The PACE project management intends to find out the effectiveness of the supports provided to its beneficiaries under its value chain development, technology and product adaptation components. My role is to carry out a survey to assess the effectiveness of the supports given to the beneficiaries through value chain interventions. The findings and recommendations will indicate the impact of the activities in reducing poverty.
My vision is to see my beloved Botswana, reduce poverty through employment generation and implementing sustainable Income Generating Activities that ensure sustainable livelihoods. All these I believe can be achieved through a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach such as the one being implemented by PKSF. As an aspiring development practitioner, being in Dhaka, PKSF every moment is precious as I am forever learning.
Hospitality is top notch. I am glad I chose this place for my internship. Dhaka is overwhelming for a mere village girl like myself. Everyone mind their own business. You do not exchange greetings with strangers. Keep to yourself. The rickshaw and CNG are the modes of transport to move around quickly, but all in the same lane as the bus and private vehicles, it is survival of the strongest driver! Passengers are always calm apart from myself in a rickshaw, I always hold on for dear life!
I am a foreigner and my hair style is quite interesting. Twist singles! The Bengali people always stare at my head, don’t mind the skin color I look like them if I put on the head wrap. Imagine riding a rickshaw and all eyes are on you. Feeling like miss universe, I wave and smile.
The Bengali cuisine has a fiery hot taste. Their meals always with a fiery paste, rice (staple food), vegetables and meat (fish, mutton, chicken rarely beef- tastes different). I love their cuisine, but not the spicy tastes, paratha, sabzi, maach bhuna, fried egg plant, dal (lentils) and singara (samosa) are my favorite. But my African taste buds just want the usual! Traditional home cooked without spices just salt and water in a 3-legged pot! How I wish for a mealie meal with seswaa! The fruits, mostly imported from Vietnam, Pakistan, China and Australia. They have seasonal fruits. Currently in summer only hard big fruits, amra, guava (big size), papaya and coconut among others. Adaptation is my language now!
I struggle with the dress code, ALL has to be covered! Coming from a country where “I wear what I want” has put me at a disadvantage. However, adaptability is the norm, all is covered with the Bengali dresses for women, sharee or salwar kameez! Quite an adjustment. I find the language easy to learn and pronounce. Being a quick learner really helps! But, I fear wandering around the city alone…foreigner tendencies! I am glad my host is always willing to move around with me.
I am hoping to visit some of the Universities, NGOs, private sector and exchange ideas as well as establish productive networking relationships. I look forward to a productive internship and upon returning to my home country, a ground breaking journey will begin.
This internship was made possible by IFAD, and BIHL Thomas Tlou Scholarship.
Eva Kebadile, a final year Master’s in Development Practice student from the University of Botswana left the comfort of her country to participate in a 3 months internship in Bangladesh, Dhaka. Crossing international boarders for the first time to pursue her vision of achieving “poverty reduction through employment creation” in her country, a landlocked nation with a population of approximately 2.25 million, high Gini coefficient (about .63) and GDP per capita of about US$ 6,788.04 Eva went to Bangladesh. An extremely populated country with 163 million people, a low resource base, a vulnerable economy to natural disasters, and sociopolitical instability but a world wide known success in poverty reduction through employment generation and other universal freedoms. Fortunate enough she went to Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) an apex development organization established by the Government of Bangladesh to carry out sustainable poverty reduction and socio-economic progress through sustainable employment generation and people’s capability development. My journey in Dhaka starts here…