This is some graduate program! I mean, NKU’s MPA program has literally taken what I’ve read in text books about NGOs to actually meeting with the Executive Director of Padakhep, Iqbal Ahammed in person in Bangladesh! What other programs can do that?
Padakhep, established in 1986 with the mission of “creating self-financed, self-employed and self-empowered communities with increased capabilities by providing need-based services and supports like microfinance, agriculture, health, sanitation, education, HIV/AIDS prevention, gender, environment, social security, marketing, technology, etc.”
We met with the ED for about two hours discussing their model of microfinance, which mirrored greatly the Grameen model. However, the rate of repayment was lower than Grameen’s 98 percent at only 80 percent. Additionally, the NGO’s interest rates were not fixed (based on type of loan) like Grameen. Padakhep charged an application processing fee to their borrowers. Despite these differences, the overall results of the program were similar. We met with borrowers whose success was great and dreams for their children even greater.
Later we went to a center that was operated by the NGO that was like a drop-in center for the abandoned children for the slums area in Bangladesh. The center operated daily, with a capacity of 40 per day from ages 5-18 learning daily living skills and even vocational training. At night, 25 of the children slept there. It was one of six centers that are run by this NGO. The kids were cute and performed for us…they seemed so happy and they were so cute. Hard to imagine they were just discarded by their parents. But they have each other and a caring staff/role model. Hug your children tonight people…