TThe People's Health Center (known as GK) will undertake three projects with help from the Bangladesh Relief Fund. One is a micro-lending program, but instead of lending money it lends cows.
The cows are being loaned to women in Gaibanda, in the northeast of the country, alongside the Jamuna River. This river and other smaller rivers that run through Gaibanda carry huge loads of silt and sand. Every year, silt and sand islands (known as chars) build up in the river bed. People who settle on the chars cultivate soil that is relatively poor because of its high sand content. They also live very insecure lives. Their small homesteads are regularly flooded out. For these and other reasons, most people who live on the chars are extremely poor, and stay poor. They settle on the chars because they have no other land to cultivate, and no other skills than farming.
Although the people living on the chars are desperately poor, the women are determined to get ahead by borrowing cows, which will produce milk for sale. When calves are born, the women will raise and then sell them.