| July 19th, 2013

A day at the Adhunika Women’s Center in Dhaka

In Janurary 2013 long time Friends of Adhunika Muna Shams & Imran Hassan made a trip Adhunika Women’s Center which is supported by Adhunika Foundation & managed by Sajida Foundation, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is a blog entry on their visit to the center for the first time. Enjoy

During our last trip to Bangladesh, we had the opportunity to spend some time at the Adhunika Women’s Center located in Azimpur. We were pleasantly delighted to find the Center located in a n easily accessible area of the city and very close to all the women’s colleges such as Eden Girl’s College, Home Economics College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Girls’ College in Dhaka. I (Muna) was also excited to see other women-run enterprises in this building, such as a ladies salon and a clothing boutique.

Muna Shams with staff at Adhunika Women's Center. Photo taken by Imran Hassan

Muna Shams with staff at Adhunika Women’s Center. Photo taken by Imran Hassan

The staff, including a representative from Sajeda Foundation, was extremely welcoming and very eager to update us on the progress that had been made over the past 6 months. The dedication of the administrators and teachers was inspiring and bodes well with the mission of this organization. While we were conversing with the administrators, a graphics course was wrapping up. In addition to basic computer courses, the Center now provides students with career oriented skills such as graphic design and plans to introduce education and career counseling. The Center also offers access to complimentary medical consultation and guidance on healthy lifestyle choices, including sessions on reproductive health topics. These are conducted by a qualified female doctor and a public health specialist.

Muna Shams with students of AWC & staff of Sajida Foundation, at Adhunika Women's Center, Photo by Imran Hassan

Muna Shams with students of AWC & staff of Sajida Foundation, at Adhunika Women’s Center, Photo by Imran Hassan

 

The Center recently opened a cyber café where students can avail internet browsing, e-mail, Skype conversations etc. A photocopy and printing service is also onsite. These amenities allow the students to utilize their computer skills in areas outside of education.

We also had a chance to interact with the students and instructor. They remain grateful to Adhunika for its noble initiative. But despite the successes, the girls shared with us some challenges. A few years ago, generous donors and dedicated volunteers gifted a generator to the Center so that classes could continue in the event of a power failure. The generator, although much appreciated, is not powerful enough to support multiple machines. At times, during power cuts, 20 or more students in a class need to huddle around one computer being operated by the instructor. The Center is in need of an IPS to ensure uninterrupted power supply. In addition, many of the computers need to be upgraded, which we all know comes at a cost.

Students at Cyber Cafe at Adhunika Women's Center, Photo by Imran Hassan

Students at Cyber Cafe at Adhunika Women’s Center, Photo by Imran Hassan

We hope our experience has given you a glimpse into the progress that has been made by Adhunika and the challenges we need to overcome to empower these women to achieve a better future. Thus, urging readers, friends and supporters to pledge a small amount TODAY to make a BIG difference.

Muna Shams & Imran Hassan  

January 2013

 

 

 

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Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more

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