Though our Golpata home became Bangladesh’s first bed & breakfast accomodation in 2013, our story began in 2003, when children of a project Ms. Joanna visited on her first visit to the country overwhelmed her heart. When her former employer had to close the doors, she needed a way to take care of her beloved kids. One day, she met Mr. Mahadi, who had a dream to transform tourism in Bangladesh and open up the world to his home country.

Together, they started to discuss how to develop a new kind of community-based eco-tourism, one that not only turns profits into funding for children’s education and basic living, but also gives jobs to young adults. Golpata is the result of their dreams.

Our Team

Joanna Wittekoek, co-founder of Golpata, Dutch Shalom Family for Children in Savar, and LEF Foundation in Bangladesh

Joanna

In August 2006, Joanna started an adventurous journey to dedicate her life to the responsibility of 50 children in Savar, after a career from a front desk at a fancy hotel to many roles within finance and banking. Since then, she has trained and led a family of caregivers, teachers, guides, cooks, etc. to help take care of Savar’s children’s shelter and Golpata’s guests. Despite all the challenges we may bring, you’ll always find her warm, welcoming smile at our B&B home. Learn more about her efforts through her JW Support fund.

Joy Mondol, staff and managing director of Golpata in Bangladesh

Joy

It's hard to write a description about Joy without smiling as much as he always is. Having grown up in an orphanage himself, Joy met Joanna in 2007 when he was 18, assisting caretakers in the children's' shelter in Savar.

Now, he manages all the ins and outs of Golpata Bed & Breakfast, from checking in our guests, maintaining our home, buying house supplies, to getting us breakfast. If you ever need a friend, Joy is here to welcome you.

Subroto Biddoy, staff of Golpata Bed & Breakfast in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Subroto

Subroto is one of our senior students from our shelter in Savar. After finishing primary and secondary school, he graduated with a 4-year diploma for automobile engineering in January 2018. During his studies in the past, he regularly came to Golpata to clean, serve breakfast, or pick up our guests. Now, he works as an engineer in a shop close to us, so he stays with us and provides tremendous support to Joy and our guests.
Arnob Tripura, staff at Golpata Bed & Breakfast in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Arnob

Arnob Tripura is originally from Thanchi, a remote place in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. His parents and siblings still live there, so his salary is an important contribution to his family and tribe. He was working as an office assistant with Mahadi before he helped us out once during a marriage festival. Shortly after, he announced he wanted to be part of our Golpata community, and thus in 2018, he became the newest member of our Golpata family. He's the one that keeps our guesthouse in tip-top shape, responsible for cleaning for our guests, providing breakfast, and welcoming new guests when Joy and Joanna are outside running errands. He's learning English very fast and pretty soon he will take advantage of the Golpata Bed & Breakfast's location in Dhaka city to continue his study at the "open university", so that he'll be able to develop himself in best way.
Junior Joy, staff at Golpata Bed & Breakfast in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Junior Joy

Junior Joy is one of the students at our Savar shelter. At time of writing, he is reading class 9, which is an important preparation year for the SSC exam (for high school). Recently, he had a month holiday at a time that was super busy at the Golpata House, so we took him in and he really enjoyed taking care of our guests and practicing English. Everybody loves his shy smile and polite behavior.
Sheikh Abu Mahadi, co-founder of Golpata in Bangladesh

Mahadi

Sheikh Abu Mahadi served in the military and UN Mission for 16 years before retiring as a major and dedicating his life to renewable energy and sustainable tourism. Having founded Golpata as an inroad to sustainable tourism, he is responsible for our business side. His priority is the security and comfort of all Golpata guests. During his leisure time, he’s involved in social work and he loves to innovate new ideas for (green) businesses, also.
Monir, manager of Dutch Shalom Shelter for Children in Savar and tour guide for Golpata in Bangladesh

Monir

Monir is the manager of the children's shelter in Savar. He loves to explore his country. He is very adventurous, creative, so, together with his multilingual social skills, he’s a wonderful guide with whom to explore Bangladesh. He will take you by local transport to unknown villages and locally-known-only hot spots. He’s married and has the most adorable son, but his passion is his social work with us.
Binoy Baroy, caretaker in Dutch Shalom Family Shelter for Children in Savar, and staff / tour guide of Golpata in Bangladesh

Binoy

Binoy has been taking care of the boys who stay in Savar since 2005, so he is a very important part of our Golpata family. He likes to meet new people; many times he has substituted for us when Joy and Joanna were away. If you're lucky to have him around, we hear that he takes care of our guests in a most warm and welcoming way that epitomizes the hospitality of the Bangladeshi. Binoy also guides guests on our trips, so we're really happy to have this multi-talented guy around.

We are our community.

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