Introduction of Kohinoor Akter
Last year, the members of the Rotary Club of Picton sponsored a young lady in Bangladesh to help teach children in that country who otherwise would never have an opportunity to learn basic reading and writing skills. This is a letter from Kohinoor.
Introduction of Kohinoor Akter
Kader Sardar Para
Khulna, Bangladesh
Dear Members of the Rotary Club of Picton,
My name is Kohinoor Akter.  In my community I am known as 'Kohinoor'. In Bengali the word ‘Kohinoor’ means the expensive Diamond. Richest people keep the stones with a ring to represent their wealthiest status. I am very happy to get such a good name although I have no similarities with “Diamond” in my life. We live in a slum named ‘Kader Sardar Para’, a slum in Khulna which is the 3rd biggest city of Bangladesh. Many slums exist in this city. Kader Sardar Para is one of them. 185 families are living here. The livelihoods of the slum people depend on day-to-day income and roadside petty business. Many women work as housemaids, tailoring work, sewing and a few others. 
I was born in a poor family in February 2000. In my childhood I did not get any learning opportunities. My parents arranged my marriage when I was only 15. My father-in-law lives with us and he helps us. My husband Mintu Hawlader sews the old jute bags into small shopping bags for the daily bazaar. Every day he can make 150 bags and earns about 400 Taka (CAD-6). He has no formal education but can read simple words. I want to teach him more. He feels shy about learning from me. Close to our community there is a dockyard and a labor market. Working people want to live in this area as it is close to the city market area and a walking distance. We can see busy people coming and going in the morning and afternoon. I like reading newspapers and storybooks. I always like to make friends with new people and as an Amarok Mother I am teaching 5 children. The word mother-teacher makes me happy and encourages me. We lead a low-cost life but I want to live with dignity, respect and love. This is why I’m learning in Mothers’ School and teaching little children. Teaching to young children is fun to me and I enjoy it.  My teaching children are; 
Strength/good at/progress
Own child
Good at cocurricular activities
NH child
Can make sentence and god at singing
NH child
Good at mathematics, teach little children math
Supports 2 liitle children in learning
NH child
Good progress, able to make sentence, short stories
We are Muslim and most families living in our slum are Muslims too. Amarok mothers maintain a good relationship with our neighbors. Every mother in our school teaches 5 children. I attend Amarok Mother School for two hours daily except on the weekends. We study here to develop our reading, writing and mathematical skills and how to teach little children joyfully. We do social work and take good initiatives for our community. Our main goal is to educate ourselves to make us capable of teaching our own & neighborhood children. 
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to develop my learning skills and teaching to children. 
With respect,
New letter from Kohinoor - July 2023
July 2023
Kohinoor Akter
Khulna, Bangladesh
Dear Members of the Rotary Club of Picton, 
It is my pleasure to tell you about my life, community work, goodwill initiatives and the children who study in my micro-school. We are enjoying our lessons in school. Today I want to tell you a little more about my micro-school. I enjoy my teaching to the little children. I am doing this as a volunteer mother. Actually, this is a home-base teaching learning activity for own and neighborhood children. In our slum 25 micro-schools are operated for 125 children by the Amarok mothers. 
You know my 5 teaching children are Misty, Nusrat, Ruhul, Al-Amin and Shaim. Many parents aren’t capable of teaching or appointing tutors for their children. Sometimes they send their children to school but become dropouts soon because they could not pass a grade as the teaching learning in the formal schools are boring too, just memorization without any understanding. We want to educate all children of our slum and want no child to be excluded. What I learn from my mothers’ school, I teach them following the same method and process. 5 children from my little school are in grade-3 level and 2 are beginners. So, I have to consider 2 levels while teaching. I attend school for 5 days a week. I make a plan on how I can teach the lessons to them. In our school we learn language through songs and stories. In our mother school we have an MP3 and sound box. Last week Amarok's teacher taught us the song “5 little Eggplants”. Now I am teaching them how to make new sentences with the words of the song. Last week I taught them English names of vegetables for the beginners and the seniors to help them with writing and speaking. Among them Misty is brilliant, she is 8 years old. I am teaching her how to make long sentences by using different conjunctions. Yesterday she made a long sentence, “We have no eggplants in our kitchen but have some potatoes”. Listening to her sentence, my happy tears came out and I felt proud of her. I strongly doubt that students of grade-6 in our government school can make such long sentences in English! My goal is to prepare her as a child-teacher for her neighbor children. In 2 years, I might see her become one of the best child-teachers of our slum. We need many more child teachers for our children. You will be happy to know that every year about 20 children are graduating from 25 micro-schools and many of them are developing themselves as child-teachers. They are teaching their siblings and neighbors. Some are teaching their parents and grandparents.  
I will be happy if you come to our slum, visit our houses in the morning or evening. You can see, children are studying at their home. Mother is sitting with her child or a group of children, which makes me happy and gives us hope for a better future. 
Thank you for your kind support to my education and to our mother-school.                                    
With love and respect,
Kohinoor's Students
Kohinoor with women in neighbourhood