Bangladesh is a small but heavily populated country with roughly half of the people living below the poverty line. Most people are Muslim. Only 0.3% is Christian. Oblates minister to the Christian communities, but provide primary and secondary education to all young people regardless of their religion. Oblates also actively promote Inter-religious dialogue.
Climate Change is expected to affect Bangladesh severely. Its low-lying delta region is particularly vulnerable to flooding from typhoons and hurricanes. Oblates have responded to recent deadly storms by sponsoring the building of typhoon-proof housing for flood victims.
Bangladeshi Oblates work with the Garo and Khasi indigenous peoples in the Greater Sylhet region of northeastern Bangladesh. Like many indigenous peoples around the world, these matrilineal societies have lost much of their ancestral lands, and continue to be threatened by the construction of a national Eco-Park. Illegal logging is another threat to their survival, depending as they do, on the forest for their livelihood. Oblates are actively supporting the efforts of Bangladeshi indigenous peoples to secure title to their ancestral lands and reduce illegal logging on these lands. We are also supporting a small Fair Trade project for indigenous handicraft workers.
Protection of Khasi Villages Overturned by Court Order
Protest the Attack on Bangladeshi Indigenous Peoples’ Advocate and Oblate Friend: Sanjeeb Drong
Victory after Long Fight to Save Bangladeshi Indigenous Villages and Forest
In Low-Lying Bangladesh, The Sea Takes Human Toll, Yale Environment 360, posted 2 February 2010
Bangladesh Faces the Challenge on Climate Change