Posted by Ken Germain on Mar 02, 2020
Dear Rotary Club of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue and Hinton,
We hope you all are well in Canada. We are fine and our school is going well. The children we are teaching are also well in good health. Their education is going well. This is our pleasure to share with you about our progress and initiatives. We het inspiration from our school to improve our life and develop our livelihood. We dream for a better future for our children and for the neighborhood children we teach.
We learn in our school and do many things joyful to our life. Early of this month we celebrated marriage ceremony of one of our friends in school. We presented a flower bunch to her and a pen. Another mother of our school brought the flowers from her own flower tub. She enjoyed the day and expressed that nobody wishes her in marriage ceremony even not by her husband. But we did and she loved the event. Actually mothers of our school are now friends of each other and help each other in crisis and share our problems to get support and encouragement to overcome.
Our Library is running well and transection of books and readers have increased. We get newspaper in library from reading newspaper could know about the news of our country and abroad. In our country newspapers are full of bad news, sad news, news about corruptions but also some good and inspirational news covered. Beginning of the year we have decided to collect good news are motivational from the newspaper and share with each other in school and in community. Negative thinking and sharing of bad news demotivate people but good features motivate others to do good and we are doing that now. ‘Shirin’ is a mother of our school who is also responsible to operate the library. People take books before and after school time. She has a very bad news which is a common in the life of many poor women living in slum. Her husband has married another woman and taken her as 2nd wife at a time. There is an inequality in our religion norm that a man entitled by religion to take 3 wives together. Last few months the information was hidden but it came out suddenly. After listening the news Shirin was broken down thinking about her children. All mothers of our school encouraged her to be strong and not to bob down. We will help her if needs to live alone, involve in works that she can educate her children and maintain her livelihood on her own. 4 mothers of our school visited her housed and talked to her husband and wanted to know why she has taken such bad decision. The man is a thoughtless personality and said “sorry” to us and we could not continue our argument.
We have good news too; Rabbi is our friend study in Mother School. She is poor and struggles to maintain her livelihood with her daughter as her husband is died few years before. She works as housemaid and maintains her livelihood. A bad person lives next to our slum advised to marry off her daughter in early age but she was not convinced and shared with us in school. She wants to educate her daughter and marry her at legal age. Rabbi knows very well about the demerits of early marriage. Sometimes she sends her daughter to our teacher for higher level of math and she is doing very well.
In our Mother School our teacher gives us current news and information. She listens from us if anyone gets, reads anything interesting. She has shared with us about a VIRUS name ‘Corona Virus’ originated in China and mostly affected in a place of China. It is a dangerous Virus difficult to know about the infection but once could know about possibly will die. Major symptoms are cough, fever and spread through breathing and by physical touch. We also know as protections,
  • To live in cleanliness
  • Wash hand with boiled water and soaps
  • To cover mouth & nose with clothes or tissue paper during cough
  • Do not touch sick birds
  • Fish and meat to boil well during cooking
Our teacher also shared with us there are 20 countries in the world potentially at the risk of Corona Virus but our country is not in the list. However, our neighbor country India is on the possible list which is a worry for us. In our community few people work as labor in Singapore and Thailand. They are worried about their relatives. We share in our community to live safely, not to affected by cold and cough. When mothers of our school visit our community and share such information people look at us respectfully.
You will be happy to know that our slum is now cleaner than before. We clean our place, put garbage in a pot that the city corporation staff can take it easily. More importantly people do not through the dirty things here & there and that is the best achievement that people’s behavior has been changed positively to live in a clean environment. Mothers of our school teach the children about health and hygiene and share in community.
In this month we celebrated 21st February ‘International Language Day” in our school with the children mothers teach and with some other women of our community. This is a National Day of our country and very important for the independence of our country. Once upon a time we were ruled by Pakistan. At this day in 1952 Pakistani Military Government declared ‘Urdu’ as our national language neglecting our mother tongue ‘Bengali’. All people came out in street to protest against the decision especially the students of that time came in front as a wall against it. 21st February in 1952 Pakistani Military fired guns towards students and some students were killed by bullet. Finally, the decision of changing the state language from Bengali to Urdu was stopped but the seeds for freedom was seeded in this soil and later on 16th December 1971 we got freedom from Pakistan and a new country “Bangladesh” was born. We wanted to share the history of our country. In the day we did the following events…
  • Discussion session
  • Sing songs on patriotism
  • Poems
  • And at the end little snacks for the children.
    We enjoyed the day and learned a lot.
    With love and respect,
    Rubi, Halima, Shirin, Parveen and Morsheda
    (Mothers of Combined Rotary Women’s School, Dhaka, Bangladesh)