After noted civil rights attorney Moushumi “Mou” Khan’s father died in a snowy car crash near their Ann Arbor home, she began to consolidate the collective power and intent of Michigan’s Bangladeshi-American community to bring his dream nonprofit benefitting their country of origin to life.

An homage to the late engineer, the Foundation for Charitable Activities in Bangladesh (FCAB) officially launched in 2014 with a grant from the Ann Arbor Rotary Club which was matched by support from Rotary International. The Khan family and their friends also contributed seed money.

Mou and her husband moved to Bangladesh from New York in 2010 so he could work more closely with his family’s business. Although Mou had visited the ancestral homeland periodically, she’d never expected to live there full-time as an adult. Her father had left in 1976 to pursue his education at the University of Michigan. But suddenly an array of forces, challenges and opportunities converged with a kind of irresistible grace that morphed into an aggressive a five-year action plan.

Mou soon discovered that it takes more than money and good intentions to create a new non-governmental organization offering health and social services. In addition to navigating the usual hurdles and requests for unsupervised handouts, she needed to know more about daily life in the village of Bagdumur in order to create a modernization model which could be scaled and replicated elsewhere.

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