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The Value of Partnership in Bangladesh

Integral Members World Concern and Tearfund New Zealand are partnering in Bangladesh as part of the Integral response to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis …

World Concern and Tearfund New Zealand have recently started a youth programme for 14-18 year olds, which includes running a sewing centre and sports activities. The aim of the sewing centre project is to give young women skills, life training and opportunities for a future livelihood. 

Photo: Helen Manson, Tearfund New Zealand, 2018
From left to right: World Concern Country Director Prodip, Field Worker Kysar, Field Worker Salim,  Mahindi Sewing Team Leader, Emergency Relief Coordinator/Security Coordinator Andrew Pendleton

Andrew Pendleton, World Concern’s Emergency Relief Coordinator/Security Coordinator, talks to us about the value of Integral partnership in this crisis response …

What is the benefit to you of working through Integral?
One of the big benefits for us is the wonderful partnership that we’ve formed with Tearfund New Zealand and the funding that comes from that. This is the life blood of our existence in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh right now. Not only that, but the constant back and forth finessing that we’ve done with Andrew Robinson, Tearfund New Zealand’s Humanitarian Specialist, has been so helpful. Also, to have their CEO Ian McInnes and Helen Manson, their Field Communications Officer, join us on the ground was another wonderful benefit.  This isn’t just about funding, this is very different. This is professionals working together, hitting the ground and rolling up their shirt sleeves in partnership. A real partnership goes two ways. It understands what each other is doing and suggests ways of improving it. It’s very different from a traditional institutional funding model.

What difference has being part of Integral made?
When World Renew, Food for the Hungry, Medical Teams International, Tearfund (UK), World Concern and Medair first came to Cox’s Bazar there was a lot of information sharing on best places to set up, safety, security, and visas which was very helpful. Most importantly though, a joint assessment of the camp was undertaken on all sectors. With that assessment complete on everything from WASH to mental health we were able to step forward, present our findings and put ourselves in unique areas. We then each found our niche and the funding to go along with that. In addition, the formation of two different partnerships between Medical Teams International and Food for the Hungry, and Medair and World Concern have been pivotal.

What is your hope for the future with this coordinated way of working together?
We should be doing MORE together. Case studies like our partnership with Tearfund New Zealand are a prime example of how we have so much to offer as the Integral Alliance from both the institutional donor and the implementing partners side.  

Some NGO’s are becoming increasingly competitive with one another. Traditionally, it’s not normal to work together like this! At Integral my hope for the future is that we can stay focused on our shared Christian faith and then naturally join hands to work side by side.  

See here for a short film of the Sewing Centre in Bangladesh by Ian McInnes, Tearfund New Zealand’s CEO.