Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB, pronounced VaaB – meaning “idea” or “feeling” in Bengali) aims at empowering poor children of rural Bangladesh to have a brighter future. VAB helps them gain quality high school education and vocational skills training.

Since its establishment in 1998, VAB has helped more than 50,000 young men and women and their families in rural areas of Bangladesh to overcome poverty. VAB’s mission is now moving forward with greater strength and higher hopes.

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VAB Establishes a Fund Honoring Dr. Abdus Samad, A Victim of Recent Atrocity on Mosques in New Zealand

It is with sadness imbued with unbreakable solidarity that VAB announces the establishment of the Dr. Abdus Samad Legacy Fund, a Library and Scholarship Fund, honoring the legacy of the Late Dr. Abdus Samad, who fell victim to a killer filled with hate. He was a volunteer at Al Noor Mosque, one of the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, attacked by the killer.

Dr. Samad was an alumnus of Nageshwari D M Academy of Nageshwari upazila of Kurigram district, a school with which VAB has been partnering since 2009. He taught at Bangladesh Agricultural University. He later pursued a Ph.D. degree and migrated to New Zealand in 2013. He was a Professor at Christchurch University.

As was Dr. Samad’s mission in his life, the Fund will help the needy. Please donate generously, standing in solidarity with Dr. Samad and the other victims, so that VAB can continue his mission, providing books and scholarships for quality education of rural children in Bangladesh. You can donate through PayPal or write a check to VAB and send it to VAB, P.O. Box 234, Irvington, NY 10533. If you wish, you can donate in BD taka – please write a check to VAB Trust and send it to VAB, House #806, Road #3, Baitul Aman Housing Society, Adabor, Dhaka – 1207. While donating, please indicate “Dr. Abdus Samad Legacy Fund. We thank you.

Conclusion of the “Engineers ’66 Employable Computer Skill Development Program” for Trainers

Engineers 66 Foundation under its philanthropic program through Engineers 66 Trust Fund entered into an agreement with VAB to fund this project at four High Schools in rural Bangladesh. The program will train dropout SSC students and the unemployed youth of the locality at four locations with fifteen students each, to develop computer skills for job employment or self-employment.

The scope of the program will be to develop skills in data base, photo shop and publication, in addition to word, excel, power point, internet and email.

The first part of the program, 5 – day training of the Trainers conclude on March 15, 2019 at VAB Training Center, Dhaka. The training was conducted by Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, VAB Master Trainer for computer applications. The Trainees were computer teachers from high schools.

Dr. Haroonur Rashid, Chairman of VAB Trust opened the training session. The opening session was attended by the distinguished members of the Engineers 66 Trust Fund - Engr. Afzal H. Choudhury, Engr. Abdul Mannan, Engr. Ataur Rahman and Engineer Eklimur Reza. Professor Dara Shamsuddin, Board member of VAB, attended both the opening and closing events.

The country director, Professor Jasimuz Zaman, awarded completion certificates to ten successful participants.

 VAB Completes Successfully An Unprecedented Series of Five English Camps

VAB just completed a series of five English Camps for students and teachers of rural schools, one each in Satkhira, Nilphamari and Bhangura and two in the VAB Training Center in Dhaka. The series aimed at training teachers of rural schools in teaching English and at teaching students of rural schools how to learn English well, spanned the period January 11-February 16, 2019.

Forty three teachers and 140 students took part in the Training camps from 43 schools in Satkhira, Nilphamari and Bhangura. In addition, sixteen more teachers received training at Dhaka that included eleven additional schools from other parts of Bangladesh. Nine teachers received training as Trainers of teachers; they will train and retrain other teachers in their localities. A total of fifty four schools got the benefit of the training in camps.

Linguist Aminur Rahman, a NRB in Australia, conceived, developed and executed the series. He also mobilized funds from his Rotary Club of Wheelers Hii, Victoria  in Melbourne. VAB supported him with staff, finances, organization and logistics. VAB enjoyed exceptional cooperation from the rural schools, their teachers, students and communities.

The series is unprecedented in Bangladesh. In its mission for quality secondary education in rural Bangladesh, VAB is implementing a program on competence in English. VAB’s initiative in this area is intended to address the severe problem of English education in the country. VAB hopes to take the movement for quality English teaching-learning to all corners of the country.

Ponchopukur is the Girls' High School National Cricket Champion

 Ponchopukur Girls High School at Nilphamari Sadar Upazila is the National  Champion in Girls Cricket for High Schools.

Three cheers for the players, the mentors, the school, the parents and guardians and the whole community at large. It is an outstanding achievement for the rural school.

The team went with a winning streak at the sub-district, district and divisional levels and reached the National Level of High School Cricket Competition. And on January 25, it became National Champion.

The mission of VAB is to help underprivileged rural boys and girls get quality high school education. VAB’s measures for quality education build upon a combination of improved classroom education and students’ self-education by utilizing their intrinsic potentials. As one tool of self-education, students’ clubs – in debating, sports and volunteering, for example – are playing a big role.

As a specially disadvantaged school, Ponchopukur Girls' High School started partnering with VAB in 2012. Since then, the school has been making steady progress in both academic and co-curricular programs. The laurel achieved now will boost the zeal and enthusiasm of Ponchopukur together with other schools in the region."

Workshop on Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR)

On January 25, 2019, VAB organized a day-long Workshop on CPAR at the VAB Training Center at Adabor, Dhaka. The focus of Participatory Action Research is on collective inquiry and search drawing upon experience and social history. VAB’s innovative measures for quality education in rural Bangladesh can benefit immensely from PAR. The workshop was thus directed to 20 Headmasters and Teachers from partner rural high schools of VAB from different parts of Bangladesh.

Professor Anisur Rahman, a celebrated economist of Bangladesh and a pioneer in PAR, addressed the workshop. He emphasized the importance of casting aside the distinction between the “researchers” and the “researched”, and of collaborative research among them. In this context, he introduced two words of African origin: “uakana” (build one another) and “uglolana” (sharpen one another). Dr. Meghna Guhathakurta, Executive Director of RIB (Research Initiatives, Bangladesh) narrated some of the work of RIB to explain how PAR can be applied in practice. Professor M. M. Akash of Dhaka University pointed out the need for focus on avoiding dependence and keeping the sustainability issue at the forefront. Mr. Amin Rahman, an engineer and a linguist explained how the principles of PAR can be introduced in a teaching-learning environment in high schools.

Professor Jasimuz Zaman, Country Director of VAB, welcomed the honored guests and explained how VAB pursues its quality education program with inclusivity of all the stakeholders for schools – students, teachers, management, parents, community leaders and education officials. The Headmasters briefly narrated the recent attainments of the schools in association with VAB. 

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