On a muggy morning in Char Joknala, Bangladesh, I sat down to talk with 12-year- old Sadia Khushi and her mother, Joyob Begum. Out of a week of interviews with hardworking, inspiring Bangladeshi farmers and their families, this one struck me the most.
Every time Joynob Begum talked about her daughter, she turned to look at her with pride in her eyes. Out of the family’s three children, Sadia is the youngest, and the only one who has the opportunity to finish school.
According to Joynob Begum, “Before Heifer came to this area, about 50 percent of girls weren’t going to school. After the project, in this community, 98 or 99 percent of girls are going to school.
Sadia, an avid student, said she likes English class the most. “It is easy to read for me,” she said. “And if I learn English, it’s easy to know about the world. It’s better for conversations with foreigners, and it’s easier to get a job.”
When I asked her what she wants for Sadia’s future, Joynob Begum said, “My plan for her is to work as a schoolteacher when she grows up.” But when Sadia quickly chimed in with “Police officer!” her mother smiled and said, “I want my daughter to be a police officer, because that’s what she wants to be.”