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Bangladeshi aid worker arrives in NZ today

Bangladeshi aid worker arrives in NZ today

Bangladeshi David Haider, who has hosted well over 500 New Zealanders visiting his country, is about to receive some Kiwi hospitality when he arrives in New Zealand today. But this tireless worker for the poor won't be here on holiday.

Mr Haider, who has worked for World Vision Bangladesh for 30 years, since its inception in 1973, will travel around New Zealand speaking at public meetings and to the media about the work of World Vision in Bangladesh.

Looking back over the changes he has seen among the people of Bangladesh during his years of development work, he says the most noticeable is the effect of education on the attitudes of the people. "People are now very proud and they have a new sense of dignity. The literacy rate among the people where World Vision has been working is now high," he said.

He notes a complete change from relief mentality to self sufficiency in his country. "The people want to work hard, but they need encouragement and support where it's required, and that's something World Vision keeps providing."

He said it's thrilling to see former sponsored children now working for World Vision Bangladesh and other NGOs (non Government Organisations) to help their own people in their communities "with the same values they got from World Vision Bangladesh."

Working for the needy is a desire that's been with David Haider since he was a teenager. "I was always dreaming from my high school that I would try my best to help the poor and needy people ? doesn't matter who, where, how ? as long as they are in crisis. My work with World Vision Bangladesh has helped me to fulfill my dream. People have many needs, but love and care are the biggest, I feel. It is the relationships we build with each other that are important."

Surely after 30 years of helping the poor and needy, he would get tired?

"In my dictionary the word 'TIRED' is not found. Rather I enjoy the work, any time, anywhere, at any circumstances because it is my responsibility, devotion and commitment. How can you keep silent where there are people in need and asking for help?"

David will be in Auckland today and tomorrow (8 May) and available for media interviews. Please phone Liz MacIntyre on 09 356 0718 or 021 643 619

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