In 2003, CTI volunteers Nancy and Steve Laible started a program in Bangladesh to help village children gain access to primary school. When they met some of the children they were helping, they were inspired to do something proactive about the nutrition of the village children. In 2005, they introduced CTI’s grinder to the village and helped a group of women launch a successful peanut butter enterprise that’s still going strong.
The picture of little girls having lunch on a bench was taken in Bangladesh in 2003. The girl on the left is Martina and on the right is Ponina. Nancy and Steve have met with these two girls every year since 2003. Today, Martina and Ponina are in grade level 8. They speak both Bangla (their first language) and English fluently. They act as ‘translators’ for Nancy and Steve when they walk the villages of northwest Bangladesh. Steve, jokes: “If you have trouble learning a second language, just raise your own translators. It only takes 9 years.” Martina and Ponina are healthy and happy young ladies who are determined to continue their education. Their progress in life has been helped in large part by the programs and projects of CTI and collaborative groups in Bangladesh.
The CTI volunteer work of Nancy and Steve in Bangladesh has now expanded to include the development of a Education and Technology (EAT) Center, a four classroom building with a model food preparation area for continuing research on post-harvest technology. They are actively seeking collaborators and sponsors for further EAT Center development.