Over the past several months I feel as though I have lived and breathed The Advocacy Project, BERDO, and Bangladesh. Yet when people ask me questions about what Bangladesh is like or what specifically my position with entail, I often have to give them somewhat halting or convoluted answers. More than anything, I am just not quite sure what to expect – and I’m both elated and terrified by the prospect!
After all, how well can you really get to know a country without being there? Even after obsessively reading every news article I can get my hands on and perusing more history books than I care to remember, I can’t come close to scratching the surface of Bangladesh. I can tell you that the country gained independence from India in 1947 and from Pakistan in 1971, or try to count the number of times that the government has been dismantled and put back together again, but I don’t think my reading can ever fully prepare me to live in that historically-informed context.
Nor can I imagine the hurdles faced by those who are blind or visually impaired. In Bangladesh there are about 750,000 adult and 40,000 blind children, with a woefully inadequate support system that is ill equipped to prevent and address the causes and effects of blindness.
Once again I find myself jumping off a cliff into the relative unknown. But to be honest, I couldn’t be happier or more excited to immerse my self in work with BERDO, to begin to know the culture and people they serve, and to do my part to accomplish real strides towards change in the name of social justice and human rights.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Posted By Caitlin Burnett
Posted May 31st, 2007