on Thursday, 02 November 2017. Posted in Bangladesh

By Belinda Uppill


As a woman and mother living in Australia, I am privileged. I have the privilege of a healthcare system that is accessible to all. I have the privilege of being supported to maintain health during pregnancy by midwives and doctors. I have the privilege of safe birthing tools and practices for a healthy baby and healthy Mummy.

This year I have journeyed through another pregnancy and recently our family welcomed a new addition into our home and world. A little baby girl, a daughter, a sister for us all to love!

Over the course of my pregnancy it became clearer that due to the size of our baby there were potential risks to consider around the birth and that intervention would be necessary. During this decision making process I was supported to make an informed, empowered choice with access to an incredible healthcare system to support us. I had the privilege of Choice. I was Empowered. I had the privilege of access to Health care.

What would you pay for a safe birth?

Written by Steve Blacket on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Posted in Bangladesh

What would you pay for a safe birth?

I took this photo a couple of years ago at a little café near an intersection in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. When I say “café”, I mean a bamboo shelter where you could get a cup of tea, some bananas and rice before heading on the next section of the journey. And when I say “intersection”, I mean the place where the track meets the walking trail that is the main route to Boga Lake, Mount Keokradong, Sunsawng Para and numerous other villages.

Boga Lake is set into a crater. There is no river flowing in or out, but it holds a consistent water level throughout the year. We fished from the bank using the most simple of equipment - a hook on about two metres of line attached to a reed. The fish we caught were small, but the size of the fish scales on the grass indicated there were some monsters out deeper. It didn’t matter. The natural beauty and peaceful sounds of birds and frogs were reward enough.

The small town on the edge of the lake was similar to other villages in the hill districts in the south east of Bangladesh. Buildings made of wood and bamboo, some with iron roofs, informally scattered around a network of dirt paths. A collection of chooks and dogs, a few pigs. The sounds of children laughing. At the end of town was a corrugated iron building – they were fortunate to have a primary school. A row of guest houses facing the lake catered for tourists coming from Dhaka. Some of them had generators, and a few of the houses had solar panels attached to the grass roofs, but mostly the community managed without electricity as they had done for generations.

Rich in Heart

Written by Steve Blacket on Friday, 04 March 2016. Posted in About Fulcrum Aid, Bangladesh

"We are rich in heart, but poor in pocket."

Vana and daughter, Chittagong Hill Tracts

"We are rich in heart, but poor in pocket." These words were spoken by our friend Vana as we were walking in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh a few years ago.

A common assumption undergirding international development is that rich countries should help poor countries. The lingering heritage of colonisation means that, often with very little awareness, developed countries impose their culture, ethos and values upon the recipients of their charity.

Fulcrum Aid seeks to work at both extremities of the inequality spectrum, and recognises that traditional societies have much to teach us about community, spirituality, environmental sustainability and cultural identity.

Rather than creating an artificial social hierarchy of rich and poor, we recognise the intrinsic equality between us that allows the abundance of one to meet the deficiency of another.

Why Another Development Organisation?

Written by Steve Blacket on Friday, 06 November 2015. Posted in About Fulcrum Aid, Bangladesh, South Sudan

Why Another Development Organisation?

From memory, my first thought of establishing a new development organisation came to me on a beach in Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar is said to be the world’s longest beach. It could also be the most crowded. It was November 2012 and I had just completed a very demanding six-month work assignment in South Sudan and was seeking some of the peace and tranquillity normally associated with a two week beach stay. But tranquillity wasn’t so easy to find. Each day I would try to escape the crowds and cameras by taking a long walk. If it really is the world’s longest beach, my emotionally fatigued mind felt in need of the world’s longest beach walk. Past the crowds and cameras and jet-skis and persistent micro-entrepreneurs, beyond the small fishing villages, until the only curious eyes were the cows resting on the beach. Then I would stop, take a long swim in the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal, and sit down with my books.

Images of Bangladesh

Written by Angela Stewart on Thursday, 23 July 2015. Posted in Bangladesh

Images of Bangladesh

In September 2014 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend 3 fabulous weeks traveling through Bangladesh.  It was my first overseas experience, and one I will never forget.  
Here in Australia we hear so much of the negative aspects of Bangladesh, and sadly so little of the wonderful traits…the lush, beautiful landscape, rich cultural heritage, and most of all the friendly, creative, hospitable people and their amazing resilience to overcome adversity. 
My time spent there was a life-altering adventure, and I hope that my photos will reflect at least some of the beauty and charm of this very special place.