Godol grew up in a poor community in Bangladesh where he saw a lot of suffering. Inspired to do something to help his village flourish, he started a community garden project and began to train up young leaders.
Godol, 26, describes growing up in a small village as both a joyful and sad time. Although his parents weren’t highly educated, they encouraged and inspired him in spite of the many problems the area faced. These included gambling, alcoholism and extreme poverty.
He had always dreamt of working with people from different cultures and communities, and Tearfund’s volunteering programme provided the perfect opportunity. Volunteers from the UK and Bangladesh worked together on leadership training and social action projects.
Over the course of ten weeks, not only did Godol learn how to communicate across different cultures, but he gained new skills in leadership, gardening, social business, computing, project planning, advocacy and even litter awareness. These new experiences gave him more confidence, which equipped him to go back to his community and do what he could to help tackle some of the long-lasting social problems.
Seeing the utter devastation that poverty brought to his village, Godol knew he had to tackle the issue face on. He was particularly concerned about the lack of a balanced, nutritious diet. After consulting with other people living locally, he decided to begin a community gardening project. He chose 15 young participants to be involved because he wanted to teach them about leadership and running a social business as well as how to grow different types of crops.