Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Breathe. Just breathe.

Over the last few weeks the picture here at work has been becoming clearer and clearer. Over the last few days it’s become crystal clear.

I wasn’t expecting a perfect organisation. Obviously. There is a reason I’m here, aside from my badeshi entertainment value. VSO are very good at explaining all the obstacles and limitations that will be faced.


I had to take myself for a breather at lunch. To remove my ‘developed world’ attitude and adopt my ‘under-developed world’ attitude. And stop myself from making the Executive Director cry.

I know I’m pushing too hard, too fast. But it’s hard to put the brakes on. So much needs fixing, and I just want to get it DONE. And our lovely ED is totally with me in theory, but totally out of his depth (he only joined in Jan and has never run an organisation before). There is a core group (internal and external) who are committed to the success of this organisation, but we have also have some very basic issues here. Like staff not turning up, resigning by just walking out, general inertia. But who can blame them, it’s been effectively plan-less and management-less here for years. So they’ve had a looong time of just doing what ever they want. Left to your own devises, you probably would too.

To prevent myself attributing further to the staff turnover by making the ED resign in a flood of tears, I must back off. But I care. This is new ground for me. I don’t think I’ve ever really actually ever cared about any organisation I’ve worked for before. I might have cared if I made the next promotion, or cared how if I would have to work the weekend to fix things, or cared if people thought I was good at what I did. But I’ve never cared about the survival of an organisation (my salary payment aside). But this one I care about. The future of many disadvantaged and destitute children would be bleak without it. 

It’s a fine line to walk.


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