• Grameen Blog

    In January 2010 I visited Bangladesh to do the Grameen Bank basic training course. This blog is the story of that journey.

And what is Ijtema?

Mr Forhad is tilting his head and gently brushing one hand with the other. He’s worried. I’m not, I have [...]

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Foucault and Yunus

A man reaches into a tin of condensed milk and scoops a gooey dose into a small glass cup of [...]

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Rewind: Centre 21 – Wednesday Jan 13

In a small tin shed at Khorkhiri, Rajshahi, the women are wearing heavier shawls today as I watch them do [...]

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Wandering in Gulshan – Fri 22 Jan

I need a walk and head for Gulshan, round the lake, past the local man suckling his cows, training an [...]

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The End of Basic Training

I’m saying goodbyes, my work here is done. The 26 questions of the training course and my endless rounds of [...]

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Images of Bangladesh

For a few of the hundreds of images gathered over the last wee while, visit here.

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Sign your name

Signatures are disappearing. We are now our passwords. Yet most Grameen women when they join the bank cannot sign their [...]

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Fast Forward – Alone in Dhaka – Fri 15 Jan

The muezzin, dogs and chickens wake me at my hotel and I try to catch yesterday before the tide of [...]

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Are you liking the Bee Gees? Mon 11 Jan

A duck sits in the middle of a pond.  A drake approaches the duck and slides a little clumsily into [...]

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Sunday with Grameen – Jan 10

Sunday is a day of rest.  Not in Rajshahi.  Here it is the first day of the working week.  We [...]

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The Centre Chief’s Workshop

We’re in the Zonal Manager’s ‘jeep’, a Nissan Patrol, heading 80kms cross country to Nattore district for a centre chief’s [...]

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The silence of Abdullatif

Abdullah’s (the second manager) father is visiting from his town not so far away in Rajshahi division.  He wears a [...]

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The Thane of Rajshahi

Or ‘The Return of Mr Salam’ … The word goes out that the ‘zonal manager’ is coming. Again! Only 2 [...]

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Centre 17 – Rajshahi – Thurs 7 Jan

Our van is here. Yunus and I finish our breakfast of instant coffee (was I ever happy to see Nescafe?), [...]

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Visiting Centre 25 – Rajshahi – Wed 6 Jan

A man appears on a bike, with a wooden tray on the back, which here is called a ‘van’. The [...]

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Muslim Chinese

When was the last time you discussed whether there was somewhere to pray in a Chinese restaurant? Yunus, my translator [...]

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Hello from Rajshahi

I am in Rajshahi right now at a tiny internet cafe at the university. It is an ancient old thing, [...]

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Food Chain

In Rajshahi, you can see everything you eat, breakfast lunch and dinner. The rice, the potatoes, the chicken, the cauliflower, [...]

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Grameen and Time

There is a sense of mission about Grameen workers that mocks the claims to motivated and inspired businesses elsewhere. Yet [...]

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Day Two – Village Day Trip

The dogs beat the muezzin to wake me early. It’s freezing. Not the mild 24 degrees advertised Bangla winter. The [...]

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  • Photograph of Aknorm: click for her story
    Aknorm, duck eggs and microfinance, Siem Reap, 2008.