Connect2 Bangladesh: A new arrival in Kainmari

Our parish charity, CAFOD’s Connect 2 Bangladesh, has raised over £5,500 so far [July 2011].

The money will go to help local people like Pobitra.

When he’s not working on his shrimp farm, he’s serving drinks to locals at his tea shop, or tending his vegetable garden. But his shrimp farm and crops were badly damaged by Cyclone Aila in 2009. He lives in a small house belonging to his sister, with his wife, Mollika.

“Cyclone Aila was more destructive than Cyclone Sidr in some ways. Sea water came right up to our house. My shrimp farm was damaged and our crops too.

“I got training from Caritas Bangladesh in how to grow vegetables in soil affected by sea water. I learned how to preserve seeds, how to make a raised bed so the crops are less affected by salt and how to help the vegetables thrive organically.

“If there’s enough rain and no cyclones I’m hoping our vegetable garden will recover and we can grow as many vegetables as we did before the cyclone.

“I believe there’s opportunity here if you go out and look for it. A few years ago I only had my tea shop. I worked early in the morning and in the evening – but I didn’t have anything else to do for the whole day. Now I have lots of ways of earning money.”

UPDATE Pobitra and his wife Mollika have had a baby boy! The baby, who was born at home on 1st May, is the couple’s first child, after five years of marriage. A thrilled Pobitra describes him as “a gift from God”. Both mother and baby are happy and in good health.