The border between India and northern Bangladesh is home to the Garos tribal people, an ethnic minority who call themselves ‘Achik Mande’ (literally, ’hill people’). Of the two million Garos, the majority are Christian, although some still follow the traditional animist beliefs.
Tearfund’s partner, the Garo Baptist Convention (GBC) has been working in the area since 1890 and now has 154 churches in Bangladesh alone. GBC has a particular focus on supporting the development of ethnic minorities and has a long history of running schools and hospitals in the region.
GBC started a new project designed to build the disaster resilience of 147 villages in the Bangladesh districts of Mymensingh and Netrakona. With the region prone to flash flooding, the project is setting up and training 40 Disaster Management Committees to reduce the communities’ vulnerability to disasters. The goal is to work closely with local churches by training a selection of church members from 57 GBC churches in the area to serve on the committees and train other members to help in the community.