When I arrived in BANGLADESH, although I already knew about the extreme poverty in the country, I was amazed by its dimension. Any western observer tends to get discouraged in front of such density of poor. As far as I am concerned, after seeing the results obtained by poor women through GB, I share the idea that coming out of poverty is really possible and that the target of a dignified life can be achieved in a few years time, through unity, discipline and hard work (your passwords).
During my stay (9-20 November 1997), I could appreciate your work and the devotion of your employees to the bank, at all levels. I was moved at the sight of so many illiterate women writing their names, participate so actively in the meetings and be able to receive the loans. I visited their homes, I interviewed some of them and could personally see the deep changes GB has brought about in their lives.
Considering that as compared to ten years ago, the number of families involved to day is practically ten times what it was, one cannot help but wonder how such great achievement has been possible. As far as I am concerned, my target was one of studying and observing the poor people's bank at work. Thanks to the material collected and, above all, thanks to what I saw and shared, I have now available many elements in order to further extend your experience. I intend to share it at various levels with large number of people, so that poverty may really be defeated and also secure concrete help for your precious organization, though I know it is not easy to overcome the barriers of egoism and indifference that rule in Western countries. I do not have any academic ambition, I only wish to promote peace and union among people and hope I am able to make a small contribution in that direction.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live amongst you and wish also to thank all the women and children in Bangladesh who gave me such enchanting smiles which are so rare here now.