Nijera Kori through the eyes of Canadian interns

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 The Bahadurpur women's landless group created 30 years ago with the help of Nijera Kori.Credit: Inès Sanchez

Between 2012 and 2016 Inter Pares collaborated with a former colleague, Dominique Caouette, presently Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Montreal, who arranged for some of his students to do internships with some of our counterparts. These internships were funded by the students and the University of Montreal and constituted part of their coursework.

Inter Pares facilitated introductions with the counterparts, provided some orientation for the students before they traveled and met with them after they returned to Canada. The students all learned a great deal from their internships – about the country they were in, about the social justice work of the organization they interned with and the experience has influenced their plans for the future.

In the case of Nijera Kori, our counterpart in Bangladesh, there were four students between 2012 and 2016: Amira Beghdadi (2012), Émilie Rochon Gruselle (2013), Abel Cazenave (2016), Inès Sanchez (2016). Each student studied a particular aspect of the work of Nijera Kori and wrote a report afterwards. They also made short videos about the issues.

Amira looked at the question of the Right to Information Law in Bangladesh and how the landless groups of Nijera Kori have been able to make use of it in their work. The landless groups of Nijera Kori make use of the law to get information about things like local employment programs and bursaries for students at the local schools. They use the information they obtain to hold local authorities accountable and combat corruption. Although not a professional film-maker, Amira completed a short video that outlines some of the issues and the experience of the groups with right to information.

Emilie looked at the question of gender in the southwestern region of the country where Nijera Kori works and produced a paper entitled “Women and Livelihood in Rural Bangladesh: Gender Specific Vulnerabilities in Coastal Noakhali”. She also participated in making a video that, while not about Nijera Kori, examines the issue of people moving due to climate change (14:42 minutes)

Abel and Inès created a series of short case studies that illustrate the work of Nijera Kori and the landless groups, and also what they have been able to accomplish in the long-term. In the end they produced four case studies; here they are:

At this time there are no plans to send more interns to Nijera Kori. 

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