Humaira Islam, PhD
The idea for Shakti Foundation first crossed my mind while researching on women’s empowerment for my Ph.D. thesis. At that time, I was also working on similar projects with Grameen Bank and Bangladesh Rural Development Board to help poor women improve their standards of living. It made me realize that Bangladesh was in need of change. A change that would eliminate the existing gender discrimination, and reduce poverty all over the country. Shakti Foundation was thus built to pursue this very cause. Our aim was to implement the basic rights of food, health, work, and education for disadvantaged women across Bangladesh.
The success of the Shakti Foundation would not have been possible without the collective power of the beliefs of our founders. I have had the privilege of knowing these wonderful and prestigious figures of society who have been with us from the start. It is their continued support and encouragement over the past two decades that worked as our key inspirations. Their efforts cannot be measured by any unit: they are the reason behind Shakti Foundation’s being.
I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to another committed group of people whose contribution played a huge role in the Shakti Foundation’s establishment. They are the young changemakers who dedicated long working hours and incredible passion to help the organization grow from its roots. Their selfless devotion has now earned them respectable positions in the top tiers of the organization.
Shakti Foundation, therefore, does not owe its distinguished recognition as a nonprofit to any single entity or firm. The undivided support and shared common dream of bringing equality in the still-developing country of Bangladesh are what had instead given rise to this promising foundation. We still dream of the day when all the women of Bangladesh will learn to cross the lines that have been imposed upon them. For us, it has always been a collaborative struggle to fight against poverty and gender rights till our women learn to earn for themselves and prove that their social status can indeed be equal to that of men.