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'Why I'm driven to leave this city I love behind' COUNCIL BOSS TO LEAVE HIS JOB AND FAMILY FOR TWO-YEAR POST IN THIRD WORLD.


A FAMILY man is about to take a leap into the unknown - by leaving his wife and children behind for two years to work in a Third World country.

Dave Sternberg, 52, is trading his life in Coventry and a top job with the city council to go to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Lying in the Bay of Bengal between India and Burma, Bangladesh suffers from the usual catalogue of ills associated with the Third World, and many of its 138,500,000 people live on flood-prone plains where waterborne disease is a massive killer.

Mr Sternberg said: "I am really apprehensive. I'm going to miss my family and friends so much, and I'm also worried about moving into the completely unknown. But I have wanted to do something like this since before I started a family, and so I have waited until my youngest has gone through her A-levels and, finally, the time is right.

"My wife is fully behind the move and she and the children will come out to see me."

Mr Sternberg, of Marlborough Road, Stoke, is a manager in the council's community economic development team and his wife Sue Wyatt, 52, works at the adult education service.

Their children are Alice, 18, and Joe, 22.

Mr Sternberg says he loves Coventry and it will be a wrench to go.

"I am not doing it because I am a pious missionary. I just hope that in a very small way I will be able to help, and I am curious to see how things work in Bangladesh.

"I think the developed world needs to listen more to what people from the poorer countries say, instead of telling them how to sort out their problems.

"Often, the advice seems to be for the benefit of the richer nations."

Mr Sternberg will take an eight-week intensive course in Bengali, the national language, before starting his post with the Bangladeshi Women Lawyers' Association.

He said: "They are doing excellent work tackling the illegal trafficking of young girls, who are promised good jobs as nannies and maids, but are tricked abroad into the sex industry.

"The association also helps survivors get accepted back into society."

Mr Sternberg's work, which is mainly of a managerial nature, is being co-ordinated by the Voluntary Service Organisation, which takes experienced professionals to fight poverty around the world.

For more information on the VSO, log onto

What Dave can expect when he gets there BANGLADESH, in Southern Asia, borders the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India, and is crisscrossed by great rivers, such as the Ganges.

Population: 138,448,210.

Currency: the taka.

Formerly known as East Pakistan, it won independence from West Pakistan in 1971.

The country is mainly Muslim, Bengali is the native language.

Unemployment runs at 40percent and the main work is subsistence farming and rice production.

There are a total of 66.08 deaths per 1,000 live births


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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 18, 2003
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