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Inspiring Integral Country Collaboration

Integral Members in Bangladesh have been meeting in country for over ten years. They have a Terms of Reference, and each organisation takes a turn in chairing the group on an annual basis. They have a monthly prayer meeting and a quarterly Members meeting, where after an opening devotion, they share organisational updates and a best practice topic or special learning issue (e.g. Localisation/Decolonisation, Core Humanitarian Standard, Creation Care, DRR). Here we hear from the current Chair of the group Samaresh Nayak, Country Director for Food for the Hungry in Bangladesh …

Samaresh Nayak, Country Director for Food for the Hungry in Bangladesh, and current Chair of the Integral Bangladesh Country Group

Who makes up the Integral Bangladesh country group?

In Bangladesh five Integral Members form the group – Food for the Hungry, Tearfund, Transform Aid, World Concern and World Renew.

What is your personal experience of the group?
Although it is a small group, I would say, it is impactful. It helps us with business connections, getting industry information and understanding different perspectives. It also inspires creative thinking. As well as all that, a key support that we receive from each other is prayer and fellowship.  

Can you tell us about anything that has happened because of the group, or activities that have particularly encouraged you?
For me (Food for the Hungry) this collaboration has encouraged me to pursue working with Partners. The fact that three out of the five group Members work through Partners has helped me learn a lot about the pros and cons of working in partnership. Also, it has led me to sign a pre-teaming agreement with Tearfund. In the future, I’m looking forward to working more in collaboration with my fellow Integral Members. 

What for you is the main value of Integral?
As mentioned above the key values for me are cross learning, spiritual encouragement and prayer support. 

Do you have any advice for other Integral country groups?
I would say that this kind of country group collaboration needs seriousness and consistency in meeting together. 

Do you have a goal for 2024?
I have three goals for 2024 – 1) Learning through best practice sharing, 2) Look jointly for opportunities to work in collaboration (consortia) and 3) Regular prayer support and spiritual encouragement.

Do you have any spiritual encouragement for us in 2024?
We need to constantly remind ourselves that –For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink of one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” 1 Cor. 12:12-14

Is there anything else you would like to say?
We need to be together in our work to be more fruitful and impactful!