Real lives: Meet Shabana in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is already feeling the impacts of climate change, including severe storms and rising sea levels. For the past decade, Oxfam has been working with national and local organisations in Bangladesh to build community resilience to climate change and help people, like Shabana, to earn a reliable income and gain leadership skills.
Shabana, from Kurigram district in Bangladesh, was married at just 14 years old and had a baby within the year. She and her husband experienced extreme poverty and both Shabana and her baby were malnourished.
But this never stopped Shabana from dreaming of a better future. Her family owned a tiny piece of land in front of their house, which Shabana always wanted to cultivate.
After seeing other women in her community becoming involved with Oxfam’s REECALL project, Shabana was keen to join too. She became a member of the Karigor community-based organisation, one of 35 such organisations developed by Oxfam’s partner, GUK.
Joining the program changed Shabana’s life. She trained in eco-friendly and climate adaptive agriculture and received a compost house. The program supplied 13 kinds of seeds, a pheromone trap, a net to protect her vegetables, agro-consultation, and cash for cultivation, irrigation and fencing.
Shabana started her own business – an eco-friendly and climate adaptive vegetable garden – and is now producing organic vegetables that are popular in local markets.
Today, Shabana is contributing to her family’s income. From her climate-smart garden, she earns BDT 8,000 (AUD $110) every month, giving her family a more stable lifestyle.
About the project
In Bangladesh, Oxfam’s project Rural Resilience through Economic Empowerment, Climate Adaptation, Leadership and Learning (REECALL) ran for 10 years and strengthened community resilience in 13 of the most climate-vulnerable districts of the country.
Our local partners
This project was delivered with support from our local partners, including Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha, Dak Diye Jai, Gana Unnayan Kendra, Jago Nari, Manob Mukti Sanghtha, National Development Program, People’s Oriented Program Implementation, Pollisree, Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Services, Sancred Welfare Foundation, Shushilan, Society for Development Initiatives, Somaj Kallan Sanghstha, and Unnayan Sanghstha.
REECALL is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
Highlights at the conclusion of this project
The project concluded in 2022, having supported more than 280,000 people and increased the monthly average income of participating households by 75%.