Symbiosis International is a registered Australian charity helping to transform the lives of Bangladesh’s poorest people for over 20 years.
Despite significant improvements over this time, over 21 million Bangladeshis continue to live in extreme poverty.
We believe that with the right tools and support the most impoverished and marginalised people of Bangladesh can be empowered to overcome poverty by working together.
Empowered to work together for good – Shahara’s story
“When I first joined the Symbiosis group, my husband and son thought it was a waste of time to learn to read, write and handle money.” Over time their attitude changed.
“With the first loan from my savings, I started a convenience store from my house and once I had repaid that loan, I bought a cow. My son now runs the shop and cares for the cow.” She beams “My family now trust my opinion more than their own.”
Her fellow group members feel the same and Shahara was elected to be President when the Padma Commmunity Organisation was being formed by a network of local Symbiosis savings groups.
As President, Shahara uses her voice to advocate for better services and to resolve conflict within groups, encouraging the women to continue working together. “Together we are able to do so much more than on our own”.
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What We Do
Symbiosis works within communities with those who are illiterate and landless, mainly women in rural areas, and other disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
These people are empowered through initiatives that:
Connect and equip them within local savings groups
Provide training in income generation and vocational skills
Grow community organisations to address local issues
Ensure access to clean water, health-care and education
For over 20 years, Symbiosis has developed a significant presence within Bangladesh with staff delivering 23 projects in 13 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts – directly impacting over 30,000 of the country’s poorest families.
Check out what we achieved together with your help over the last year in our latest annual report.
Subscribe to our newsletter to hear regular stories of hope and resilience from Symbiosis’ work in Bangladesh.