Rahfin is a sophomore President’s Scholar and member of the University Honors Program who is majoring in economics, political science and public policy in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, with minors in religious studies and Arabic. He was named an SMU Maguire and Irby Family Public Service Intern for summer 2012. He is interning at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, a Nobel Laureate organization that has pioneered microfinance for the poor. He plans to work on the administrative and financial side of microfinance and also visit rural banks in an effort to understand microfinance from a grassroots level.
A woman picks tea at the Findlay Tea Plantation. There are acres upon acres of tea fields in Syhlet, a western district of Bangladesh. Each day thousands of women wake up at dawn and work until dusk picking tea. Their families have been living the same life for more than 200 years. Brought from Assam, India, to work the Bengali tea fields by the British, these workers make a "living" wage — .5 taka per kilogram of tea harvest. .5 taka is half a penny. Think about that for a second. I have purchased a kilogram of tea for $10 before. These women might work a fortnight and not make that amount of money. Willem Van Schendel in [...]