A dedicated Boys’ Brigade (BB) officer has travelled to South Asia to see first hand how charitable donations help communities.
Craig Lowe, from East Dunbartonshire, joined Kalesha Mayne, from 8th Paisley BB, on the trip to Bangladesh organised in partnership with the Church of Scotland and the World Mission Fund.
The main reason for the trip was to visit the Climate Change Total Village (CCTV) programme, aimed at helping farmers in the villages of Thanabaird and Idilpur to cope with the prolonged dry season caused by global warming.
American experts have volunteered to give advice on growing bananas, pineapples and mushrooms and have implemented a drip irrigation system to help farmers be more efficient with the water they have available.
A 14 hour bus trip to Jessore then followed to a trade school which helps young boys become trained in skills including mechanics, welding and computing.
Unfortunately Craig contracted severe food poisoning and had to be rushed to hospital, but he recovered before visiting a primary school in Khulna where around 600 girls are educated.
Previously parents tended to only send their sons to school but recent changes to education mean that free education is now available for girls.
The trip has had a huge impact on Craig, who returned home recently.
He explained: “It is so important that those better off are able to help those not as lucky.
“I found the trip a very humbling experience, seeing it in person is so different to seeing it on television.
“Today in the UK so many people, young and old, take so much for granted, myself included, and experiences like this are good to bring young people back to base.
“The work being done in Bangladesh is only a small project in two villages but if successful the changes implemented will spread as other farmers see the rewards being generated.”
He added: “I would like to thank my family, friends, 1st Kirkintilloch Boys’ Brigade, St Columba’s Church and the Co-op in Millerneuk for helping me to raise money to help cover cost of vaccinations, be able to buy gifts for children we visited in Bangladesh and for the World Mission Fund, who we will be making a donation of about £1,300 to.”