Peterborough charity to build new education facility to bring computer literacy to rural villages in Bangladesh

A Peterborough charity is to build a new educational facility in Bangladesh to help bring computer literacy to rural areas in the country.

Zi Foundation founder Zillur Hussain MBE.
Zi Foundation founder Zillur Hussain MBE.

The ambitious project is being embarked upon the the Zi Foundation and is being led by Tania Tasmin.

The Zi Foundation was set up six years ago by Zillur Hussain MBE and has become well-known for its host of charitable acts in the city, both during lockdown and beyond, be it delivering free meals or helping out vulnerable members of the community when they need it most.

Mr Hussain was in fact awarded an MBE in the most recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the community in Peterborough during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the brand new school buildings built by the Zi Foundation.

The charity’s work extends well beyond Peterborough though. Over the last year, the charity has provided funding for three schools to be built in rural villages in Zillur’s family homeland, Bangladesh and a fourth in neighbouring Nepal.

This is given over 1000 children, in a country that suffers from poor adult literacy rates, a chance at education that they may not have previously had. Now though, the charity are committed to continuing to provide opportunities in rural villages, where people often suffer from lack of access to vital facilities and money making opportunities being so cut-off from the country’s main cities.

The charity is funding a new college, which will have space for 500 computers, to teach adults how to use to the internet and other basic computer skills.

Mr Hussain said: “It’s so important that we give these people the opportunity to learn basic computer skills. In the modern world, it is so important to be able to know how to use them but we are talking about people who have never used them in their lives.

Pupils and staff at one of the Zi Foundation's new schools.

“Giving them this education will open so many doors for them. In the rural areas, there are only so many job opportunities available to people and without computer skills they become trapped there. If you go to the big cities, such as Dhaka, almost all of the jobs they might want to apply for will require them to either know how to use a computer or smartphone, be it at the most basic level of using a word document or doing a google search. So many more options will become available to them with this chance.

“It will also benefit them in so many other ways, learning how to do a google search opens them up to a whole range of information, it can help them access all kinds of vital resources, such as medical support and advice and many more. That is why Tania and I and everyone at the Zi Foundation is so passionate about this.”

Mr Hussain is collecting donations of old computers to ship out to Asia and has asked any individuals or businesses who are willing to donate any old computer equipment, being it however basic, to get in touch at [email protected]