1996, 24 min

Director, Editor: Michael Sheridan
Narrator: Susan Stamberg
Produced for: Oxfam America
Distributor: Bullfrog Films

Bahanur Begum and Habibur Rahman, a young Bangladeshi couple, work with their fellow villagers to overcome violence and religious and cultural resistance to transform themselves from beggars to business people. The process of organizing and creating small businesses dramatically changes the roles and relationships of men and women.

Gold Telly, 30th Anniversary Telly Awards
Silver Apple, National Educational Media Network

“…powerful and inspiring…a marvelous tape, technically and educationally,” Library Journal, September 15, 1996.

Excerpt from Library Journal
September 15, 1996
by James Dudley

This brief but powerful and inspiring film demonstrates how economic and social development can be successful on the local level with a minimum of financial input. Over a decade ago, seed money from Oxfam America created in the Bangladeshi village of Satkhira an organization called “Uttaran” or upliftment It loaned small amounts of money to the poorest villagers to stimulate local enterprise. As a result, local rice mills, fish farms, and die factories were established, which enabled local women and men to help themselves earn money to repay their loans and obtain more food, better shelter, and an education. The film does an excellent job of illustrating how the process equalized relationships between the sexes and produced relative prosperity. This is a marvelous tape, technically and educationally. And at $15, the price is right. Highly recommended for young adult and adult audiences.

Coleman McCarthy
October, 1996
Columnist for the Washington Post
Founder and Director for the Center for Teaching Peace

As both a journalist and teacher, I found the Community video to be factual and inspirational. In my high school and college courses on Social Justice I try to help students to become solution-oriented citizens and not just problem-describers. And that is clearly what this video is about: solutions.

Excerpt from Video Librarian
March/April, 1996

In the Satkhira region of Bangladesh, a father brushes his daughter’s hair to ready her for school. To the American mind, this hardly seems like a revolutionary act. But this gesture is a symbol of the social and economic transformation taking place in Bangladesh, according to Community. In the past, Islamic fundamentalism dictated that wives submit entirely to their husbands – requiring them to ask permission to leave the house or eat (and to solely care for children). But a loan and training program called Uttaran (funded by Oxfam America) enabled women to form work cooperatives that mill rice or mold roof tiles, putting money in their pockets for the first time. Male protests naturally ensued; but then the men were encouraged to form co-op businesses too. Now husband and wife share workloads, which has led to increased income and higher standards of living. …The video gives swift and upbeat treatment to a case study in global gender and economic equity.