News From Bhola

I'm late writing this month... for many reasons but the most important one being, I wanted to be able to pass on accurate and honest news from Bhola.  Things have been difficult; they are emerging into a new chapter of strength and positivity - and most importantly the children are thriving!  I'm posting Dinah, our Chief Trustee's, letter in full; it's long, it's shocking, but please read to the end... and hopefully, stay with Bhola's Children...  *******Dear friends,I know many of you have wondered at the lack of any report following my visit with Freda in February.   Now, after a worrying time, I can send you our official report on the situation in Bhola.  We are immensely proud of how much we have achieved with your help for the children of Bhola, an island of two million people where poverty and lack of proper hospital facilities led to high rates of disability...
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Independence Day

Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragmentsBy narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake  Bangladesh Flag  ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿Independence Day in the People's Republic of Bangladesh commemorates the country's declaration of independence, achieved on 26th March, 1971.  Formerly East Pakistan, the Bangladesh War of Liberation lasted nine months in which thousands of civilians died (the Bangladeshi Authorities say it was 3 million), there was an exodus of 10 million refugees into this new country, and 30 million others were left displaced.  Somewhere...
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Definitely Not Fifty Shades of Grey

At this time of year I'm longing to see a bit more colour, a lot more light; daffodils, crocuses, the sun rising just that bit earlier and setting later.It extends to my reading too.  Most of this is still either (a) related to my (now in the fast lane for a quick finish) PhD or (b) by Julia Donaldson, Mick Inkpen or Roald Dahl.  So, when I can chose something for an hour's blissful and inspiring entertainment, I don't want any shade of grey within a hundred miles of me.  I want a colourful explosion of well-written stories!I'm lucky enough to have a very talented group of friends and colleagues whose first novels have been published in the last few days and weeks, and it's these I'd like to share with you now.  Some are available only as ebooks, which is a choice more and more small publishers are making, others in hard copy too.  Either way, do...
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A Letter For Bhola

Dinah, the Chief Trustee, of Bhola's Children, is off on her travels again.  She and Freda, fellow member of the Board are in Dhaka as I write, awaiting the evening launch to the island.  As supporters will know, Ali, founder, and mainstay of the home for so many years, has been out of action recently. We've been working hard to find a replacement director who will maintain and develop Ali's - and our - dreams whilst leaving Ali himself in more of an advisory and consultancy role.  Zakir is currently doing a wonderful job and we all hope he will stay long term.Below, I'm publishing intact Dinah's letter to donors.  Yes, it is unashamedly a begging letter! But more than that - we're well aware that finances are tight the world over - it's a request for ideas, for advice, for unique suggestions about new ways of fundraising.  Whether you personally can offer...
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'A Bonde Bengali Wife' revisited

There was a little flurry of interest in A Blonde Bengali Wife over December and January - a bit like the Edinburgh snow in fact: the endless quiet, grey skies suddenly fill with snow, it falls, keeps us busy for a day or two but normal service resumes pretty quickly.A handful of people, some I know well, others I don't, wanted signed copies for Christmas.  A couple more wrote to say they had downloaded it to their Kindle to read over the holiday period.  It's always a little thrill to know that someone, somewhere might be reading it... but even if they buy it and use it as a doorstop or wasp-basher, it still means an extra handful of rice for the children in Bhola.  Win-win!I usually keep a few copies at home but suddenly realised I'd sent out the last one, and so I decided to go on to Amazon and buy one or two...
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