What appeals to the hearts of the physicians of Bangladesh Medical Association of North America (BMANA)? For those of us who assume that heath is their only concern, you may be a bit surprised.
During the Diaspora Gives Bangladesh team’s two-day visit with the attendees of the 37th Annual BMANA Convention in Orlando, Florida, we were greatly inspired by the vigor with which the attendees talked about Bangladesh. We had the pleasure to meet BMANA members, physicians and their families all united through their ties to Bangladesh. We had conversations that lasted longer and were more enlightening than we ever could have hoped. It was their passion that invigorated us and we left the convention with a renewed sense of urgency — to help these members of the Bangladeshi diaspora give back.
Physicians from across the United States, from Texas to New York to North Carolina, surprised us by their answers to one specific question: “What issues in Bangladesh need the most support in your opinion?” While most of our conversation partners highlighted more than one issue area, the most common by a mile was “Quality Education”, otherwise known as the 4th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals. We were a bit surprised — we fully expected that a group of hundreds of doctors would pick “Good Health and Well-being” (Goal 3). One of the attendees, quickly summarized the reasoning: “staying alive is important, yes, but you can only improve your situation through education”.
In addition to Education and Health, the physicians and their families expressed their interest to support initiatives related to Gender Equality (Goal 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), and Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions (Goal 16).
We were pleased to see such a diversity of interests at BMANA, which is why the organizations featured on diagives.org cover a wide array of activities that can help Bangladeshis of all ages not only survive, but thrive. From providing basic needs to offering access to quality education to fighting climate change, the organizations on diagives.org are all dedicated to improving the future of all Bangladeshis. As this program progresses, we hope that you, the Bangladeshi diaspora, recommend new organizations for us to be featured on the site.
Thank you, again, to the members of BMANA and we hope we can continue to learn from you.