A make-shift corner shop just outside our compound in rural Bangladesh became the setting for this image. I headed off expecting to get one shot and walked away with 'Potential'.
I didn't expect to see this young boy sitting beside a small desk surrounded by cigarettes and chips. I guess something for the kids and something for the grownups. All bases covered. It made me reflect on my childhood growing up in Broken Hill, New South Wales not wanting for much.
Since first arriving in Bangladesh, I have been struck by the difference in living standards from Australia. Based on GDP per Capita, Bangladesh is the 34th poorest country in the world, 18th percentile (out of 184 countries). Australia is at 175 out of 184, 95th percentile.
On the flip side of that information is that Bangladesh has good potential for growth, being the 36th largest economy in the world. The growth potential of the economy has led to Bangladesh's inclusion in the Next Eleven (N-11) of Goldman Sachs and the Global Growth Generators countries.
The people, like all people in the world, are very friendly, generous, happy and a pleasure to work beside.
While the shop the boy is in may seem primitive to us, relative to others I have seen it is very good. Some owners sell goods off a mat on the ground. Again it's all relative.
Since working in Bangladesh it has also stuck me the importance of a good education. It's the way to get a good job and to have choices. I would like to think this young boy uses this desk to do his home work, giving himself a chance at having choices when he gets older.
Hopefully you can understand why I have co-named the image 'Potential'. There is much potential in the boy as an individual. As part of the 160 million strong population of Bangladesh, this country also has great potential.