A while ago we have already introduced you to Fahad Bin Husne Ali, who is the location manager of the first Seats2meet location in Bangladesh.
Here we would like to share his blog with you to get to know the story of the first coworking in a rural area of Bangladesh in more details.
Fahad Bin Husne Ali: “I have set up our Seats2meet location in my village which is one of the most remote villages in the world. In our village, less than 1 per cent of people know how to use computers. Students are learning ICT and tech just in books with no practical knowledge at all.
I got in touch with the founder of Seats2meet Mr Ronald van Den Hoff, who helped me to find ways to start solving the problems of our village. It was very challenging for me at the beginning since I have never experienced social entrepreneurship before. However, I worked as an initiator of a movement called permanent future lab where we used to share knowledge and the newest technological innovations with each other. So that helped me a lot in setting up a coworking space with a social purpose behind. Ronald advised me to start teaching computer science to villagers, to initiate social movements to make people aware of new world eco-system and everything that will help society to evolve and develop.
So I finally decide to start the action. First of all, finding a suitable space for a coworking was not easy. Since we do not have any office spaces in our village we literally had to create one ourselves. We found an old storehouse of bricks, cleaned it, coloured it, bought a table and some chairs, projectors, two computers and a floor mat. It took us 7 days of hard work to turn it into a nice-looking office-like space.
After setting up the location we started running campaigns in schools to get people aware of our movement.
We fixed a date for our grand opening and started preparations. I knew it would not be easy to get people for our opening party because most of our villagers were uneducated and unaware of the global trends such as coworking.
Nevertheless, we still did our best. We wrote letters to officials and villagers, teachers and students and delivered each of them personally by going door to door. We rented out a big hall room for the day. And the most impressive part of it was that the chairman of our Union didn’t ask any money for it! It was a great sign of support for us.
We prepared food and water for those who will visit us.
More than 200 people came to our opening! We could not even think of such a success! Almost all the officials were there: Education officer, Social development officer, Police Inspector, politician… and of course many villagers were there to attend the program.
I took the floor and explained our goals behind the opening of a coworking location, about the idea of “growing together by helping each other”. People loved it because they knew that was going to be something our village needed so much.”