About us

We're John & Kate Marsden. We lived in Bangladesh from 1999 to 2016. Our roots are in the UK, Scotland mainly, though we brought up our family and had our home church in York.

We worked with FH Bangladesh for thirteen years where we learnt most of what we know about community development and working with local staff. We had a great team of over 200 people who are continuing the work. We miss them lots but are confident that the work of community development in villages and slums in Bangladesh is safe in their hands.

In April 2012 we retired from leadership of FH Bangladesh to concentrate on sharing the lessons we have learnt with others who are keen to learn. We're grateful that now we have the time to do this.

Kate was born in the west of Scotland. When she heard in Sunday school about the opportunity to serve overseas she decide to become a nurse, until she discovered girls could be doctors too. She qualified as a medical doctor at Glasgow University where she met John and married him in her final year as a medical student.

Moving to York Kate concentrated on motherhood for ten years before continuing her medical career. Church life, particularly pastoral care and Christian listening also filled her time and prepared her for working in Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh her main focus has been developing training for local staff and participants in biblical values and practical life skills. All her training uses dialogue education principles.

John's confused about his roots. He should speak with a thick Geordie accent if he'd stayed in the place of his birth. But moving south, and then to Singapore as a youth put paid to that. He returned to Glasgow to study economics and was soon smitten by Kate.

Post graduate study took him to York where he went on to a career in NHS management. He also became involved in the social outreach ministry of St Michael-le-Belfrey Church, leading a social business with counselling centre and fair trade shop. After some time on the Food for the Hungry UK Board he ended his NHS career and became an international management consultant before moving to Bangladesh to serve as Country Director for FH. For five years he also doubled up as Asia regional director.