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Supporting smallholder farmers in Bangladesh: A photo essay

Volunteer Steph Mueller

Volunteer Stephanie-Marie Müller shares pictures from her placement in northern Bangladesh

Volunteer Stephanie-Marie Müller is supporting our Growing Together project which works to improve the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers in northern Bangladesh.  

She's working alongside local volunteers, VSO staff and has recently been joined by a specialist team of corporate volunteers from VSO partner Syngenta.  

Stephanie has been documenting the work of the team over the past few weeks in pictures. In this blog she shares her experiences: 


Pictured on the day of arrival in Rangpur, Syngenta volunteers enjoy some of the local produce. 


Stephanie works alongside teammate Nowrin Dola – a national volunteer and International Citizen Service (ICS) alumni with VSO. 






Exciting community meeting. Volunteer Scott introduces himself in Bangla.


Trip to Bogra with Mehedi Hassan, Programme Manager for Livelihoods at VSO Bangladesh. 


Syngenta volunteers are hosted by members of the local community. 






Meeting with local women, learning more about their roles in the community and their aspirations. 


Visit to the demonstration plot where farmers learn about new crops and techniques.


youth club meeting in Bangladesh

(Big) youth club meeting. 


Peaceful morning coffee in this beautiful environment. 






Our team of volunteers from all over the world hold a focus group to better understand the challenges faced by women in this region. 


Four new Farmer Centres in the Growing Together project operate as a social franchise. These pioneers are being supported by our expert team of Syngenta volunteers. 





Steph and Renubala – lead farmer of a Santal group. With her great personality she inspired others at a recent Women Success Day.


Trying something new... Rickshaw cycling.


Day off… yoga, celebrating a birthday and kite flying.


Mapping the information gathered in the field and starting to develop ideas about business opportunities for women farmers. 


The whole team: 16 corporate volunteers, three international volunteers, five national volunteers and project staff from RDRS Bangladesh and VSO. 


Cooking party – a welcome distraction after an intense week. 






Volunteers embracing the challenges of Bangladesh. Including the hair-raising weather.


Agricultural volunteers meet food companies to explore how to increase benefits for farmers.


Discussions about mobile banking for rural farmers with Bank Asia. 


Sharing a business model with the team. This model will help empower women in agricultural communities. 


One month, 24 volunteers, 10 nationalities.


Steph was sharing updates of her experiences via the @VSOPeople Twitter account, which is curated by different people at VSO every two weeks. Follow VSOPeople to hear from our volunteers, staff and supporters. 

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