Faces of Climate Change: Sahena’s story

Food & climate change article written on the 22 Nov 2010

Sahena Begum is a force of nature in herself. She is an inspiring community leader from Bangladesh and the feature of this week’s Faces of Climate Change short film. Similar to the recent films from Ursula in the Pacific and Martina in Uganda, Sahena’s community is already facing the impacts of climate change. Watch Sahena’s story above.

Sahena is spearheading efforts to support her local community – particularly women – to cope with changing weather patterns. In her village, Kunderpara, the annual monsoon rains are getting heavier and more unpredictable, but through Sahena’s efforts and support from local NGOs, her community is now better prepared for when the floods come. They have warning systems in place and strategies to ensure that the floods won’t wipe out food supplies.

While essential work, becoming a community leader on climate change hasn’t been an easy path for Sahena, “At the beginning many people in my family did not support me.” Undeterred, she refused to remain silent, and now ensures that women make time to discuss issues that affect them, and have a voice in community decisions.

Put simply, Sahena inspires me. She has shown incredible determination and initiative to overcome challenges and become a leader in her community. But in Sahena’s words, what she is most proud of is something that I know parents all over the world can relate to, “I’m proud because I’m a mother who can teach her children how to survive a disaster.”

In the face of dangerous climatic change Sahena is one force of nature we can all feel inspired about.

Read more about climate change in Bangladesh.

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