South Asia Partnership : Bangladesh

RAB 8 Barisal

About SAP- Bangladesh

South Asia Partnership (SAP) – Bangladesh is a non – governmental organization came into being in response to the widely felt needs of the poor and the disadvantaged sections of the community. The organization has been committed to promote the socio-economic conditions and position of the poorer, disadvantaged, and the most vulnerable sections of the community in Bangladesh since it’s inception in 1984.

It may be noted that South Asia Partnership (SAP-Bangladesh) has been recognized as one of the key actors in the NGO movement in Bangladesh. It has come a long way and 22 years from now, it began to build up the capacity of small and mid level NGOs and promote rural development strategies in Bangladesh.

SAP- Bangladesh being a learning organization realized over the times, that the capacities of the small and mid level NGOs need to be promoted to plan and manage development programs in order to realize the ultimate goal of rural development in Bangladesh.

This realization has led SAP-Bangladesh to expand it’s support to include, capacity building in the form of training and other technical supports so that these NGOs can plan and manage development interventions in a more organized and efficient manner.

In the last twenty-two years, SAP-Bangladesh has successfully provided with technical and partnership supports to more than 350 small and mid NGOs, who have field operation programs allover Bangladesh.

Currently, SAP-Bangladesh has been providing both technical and partnership supports to about 70 partner NGOs. Additionally, it has a number of directly implemented programs in Patuakhali, Sirajgonj and Jamalpur districts.

The field operations programs serves as social laboratories, where the community led and community empowerment approaches and strategies are tested and applied. The experiences gained in the social laboratories are used in SAP- Bangladesh’s support and networking programs, while the experiences of support and networking programs are liberally used in it’s field operations program.

It has also increased its role in promoting networking on protecting and promoting human rights and establishing good governance. Thus, SAP- Bangladesh is widely known as one of the pioneer of promoting human rights particularly, women rights and establishing good governance.

22 years down to the present, SAP- Bangladesh started its journey as go go. It has crossed its adolescence and steadily reaching it’s pick. 22 years existence of SAP- Bangladesh with potentials made it distinct.

It’s multi-dimensional programs like- Remote Island Development Project, Long-Term Development Program, Sustainable Initiatives for Strengthening Local Government, SARI/Equity, Broad based Coalition and Advocacy for Human Rights, Narir Odhikar Project (Women Rights Project), Collective Advocacy to Criminalize Domestic Violence, Homestead Food Gardening( Jibon O Jibika), SHOUHARDO program, Democratic Local Governance Program, Development Programs for Disadvantaged Poor, Violence against Women in Politics,   all these made SAP- Bangladesh pro-poor,pro- people, pro-women and pro-child.

Being rights based organization, it conducts opinion poll, publish bulletin, newsletter, conduct citizen dialogues and launch lobbying and advocacy for pro-poor policy influence throughout the year and thus it becomes the center of diversity of excellence.

 

Vision Statement

We envision a country Where:

A sustainable, empowered and pluralistic environment prevail and the disadvantaged people have their voices in shaping the destiny of their lives and society.


Empowering Community People

 

Note from the Chairperson

Being a Chairperson of NEC of SAP- Bangladesh, I really appreciate the opportunities and awards of being closely associated with the organization. Rewards for the NEC members as volunteers are not obviously monetary. We enjoy a reward- inner pleasure, a sense of belonging to an NGO like South Asia Partnership- Bangladesh, which has truly developed the trust, and appreciation of the community people, civil society organizations, donors and the duty bearers. It’s my pleasure to express that; it is growing with lot of enthusiasm, commitment, innovation, creativity and challenges. In every three months and in the annual general meeting, we get to know, how the organization helps the poor and the disadvantaged to move ahead of where they are, catalyst the movement and action of the people. We enjoy to see the progress of SAP- Bangladesh in bringing together the community people, member of civil society organizations, academicians, local elected bodies to collectively raise their voices for pro-poor, pro-people, pro-women, pro-child and pro-environment policy influence. Its really encouraging, when we see through different media that SAP- Bangladesh through its different projects established courageous dialogues with the duty bearers and the policy makers.

South Asia Partnership- Bangladesh earned a reputation in protecting and promoting human rights and women rights throughout the country.

This year, it has successfully crossed another milestone in poverty reduction and promoting human and women rights and good governance. Being an NGO, dependent on foreign fund, 22 years of its existence undoubtedly proves its potentials and excellence.

SAP–Bangladesh has a wonderful vision of achieving a sustainable, empowered, pluralistic environment where the disadvantaged people have a voice in shaping the destiny of their lives. In order to reach its vision, SAP–Bangladesh has adopted the approach of networking and partnership with local NGOs and direct field operations. The experiences gained in the field operations are used in networking and partnership projects while the networking and partnership experiences are liberally used in field operations.

In all the projects of SAP – Bangladesh, there is enough provision for training, workshops and dialogues etc. that has a multiplier affect in the field of change and development.

I found the report very inspiring. This report is an articulation of the activities of South Asia Partnership (SAP-Bangladesh) for the year 2005-2006. The readers will enjoy this report with great enthusiasm.  In this report, they will find some significant result in quality education, livelihoods, human and women rights promotion, establishing women rights, domestic violence, strengthening local government, women and child trafficking, illicit use and proliferation of small arms, capacity building of civil societies and poverty reduction through micro-credit.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all staff-members of SAP-Bangladesh for their commitment to make this year a rewarding one. I would also like to thank the National Executive Committee and the General Council members for their active supports and cooperation.  Special thanks are due to the National Executive Committee members for their constant support in policy decisions to the Executive Director.

I also express my thanks to the officials of the NGO Affairs Bureau, concerned ministries, local administration, donor partners and partner NGOs and the community people for their constant support.

 

Taherunnesa Abdulla

Chairperson

NEC, SAP-Bangladesh


Mission Statement

South Asia Partnership–Bangladesh works with the poor, marginalized and the disadvantaged people, including the indigenous community aimed at improving their standard of living through partnerships with local NGOs. It operates multifaceted development programs through rights based approaches and strategies. SAP–Bangladesh firmly believes that the quality of the lives of the poor and the deprived people can be promoted by strengthening pro-poor programming through advocacy, lobbying, and networking among the local and mid-level NGOs in Bangladesh, and the promotion of good governance at the local and national level. It also emphasizes gender equity, and legal and human rights (especially those of women and children). SAP-Bangladesh is also committed to bring about positive changes in the quality of lives of the poor and the disadvantaged peoples through directly implementing variety of socio-economical and socio-political interventions and development strategies at the grass-roots level, where micro-finance program plays an important role.

Profile of SAP- Bangladesh: As a Rights Based Organization

 

Forward by the Executive Director

 

I am happy to present the SAP – Bangladesh Annual Report 2006 to the readers of the SAP family, government officials, development activists and development partners both at home and abroad. The facts included in this report capture the spirit of “ who we are and what we do as a rights based and capacity building organization for participatory rural development.

We place the people, particularly the poor and the disadvantaged women and men at the center of our development. We believe that, poverty is the sustained or chronic deprivation of resources, capacities, choices, power and security.

In order to fight out poverty and to promote just and fair society, we help the people to help themselves which is the essence of development, a process of education, awareness, social mobilizations, training, and advocacy is required.

In order to attain sustainable development of the poor and the marginalized groups, they need to access to and build true partnership with CBOs, NGOs, CSOs, Government, and Donors etc.

SAP- Bangladesh as a capacity building and rights based networking organization, promote the capacity of its partner NGOs, CSOs and the community people to collectively raise their voice and demand their rights through variety of advocacy tools.

However, it’s my pleasure to note that, we have crossed another exciting year with lot of enthusiasm and commitment. We got notable achievement in quality education, livelihoods, human rights, and violence against women particularly, domestic violence, strengthening local government and social and economic uplift of the disadvantaged poor. We also got notable achievement in safe migration, care of survivors and legal support through law forum.

The year 2005- 2006 was quite a busy and exciting year for us. We have successfully completed with due reputation of the projects, Sustainable Initiatives for Strengthening Local Government supported by ARD/ USAID and Broad based Coalition and Advocacy for Human Rights supported by AED/ USAID. At the same period, we have lunched a couple of new but challenging projects. The projects are Collective Advocacy to Criminalize Domestic Violence supported by AED/USAID, Homestead Food Production (Jibon O Jibika) supported by Helen Keller, Water and sanitation supported by NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, SHOUHARDO Program supported by CARE/ USAID, Extension of Long Term Development Program, supported by Leger Foundation, Democratic Local Governance Program supported by RTI/ USAID, and Development Program for Disadvantaged Poor- DA– 32. SAP-Bangladesh Micro-credit program is also expanding with the support of PKSF

Therefore, on the occasion of publishing the SAP-Bangladesh Annual Report 2005-2006, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the National Executive Committee, General Council, Donor partners and partner NGOs for their sincere support and cooperation. I am also honestly expressing my thanks and gratitude to the officials of NGO Affairs Bureau, concerned Ministries and local administration for their continuous help and support.

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to my staff- members, who have sincerely worked hard to make the year contributive for the cause of distressed humanity.


Values

Building on a heritage of rights based people- focused development:

  • We place people, particularly the poor, at the center of our development.
  • We believe in people’s ability to change and the people is the basis of our work.
  • We believe in team spirit. We believe in mutual trust and mutual respect.
  • We come from varied culture and values. We respect one another.
  • We believe in commitment and creativity.
  • We are open in communication.
  • We promote enabling working environment.
  • We are modest in our behavior.
  • We are transparent.
  • We believe that – development is educative, dynamic and people’s oriented.
  • We live at the pulse-beat of the people.
  • We are courageous and take the challenge.
  • We work hard and we are caring
  • We catalyst the movement and action of the people.
  • We believe in not to conform but to transform.
  • We believe in release and not in relief.

 

Partnership and Networking Program

Promoting Sustainable Livelihood and Education Development Sector

Long Term Development Program

 

The program has been supported by Leger Foundation, CLWR, Canada and implemented by South Asia Partnership–Bangladesh in partnership with local NGOs. It may be noted that the project has been ended in December 2005. The same donor up to December 2006 supports a bridging period. Therefore, the report reflects the planned activities and progress of the project up to December 2005.

The project aimed at making the beneficiaries aware of the necessity of building organizations/institutions, promote a self-help employment process so that, the poor and the destitute women and men become economically and socially self-reliant and to attain a dignified social status.

The project aimed at promoting education, health, social awareness and training support to make the program beneficiaries capable in group cohesion, group dynamics, and leadership. The project also aimed at empowering the oppressed people particularly, women and children so that they can raise their voices against the injustice and exploitations that they encounter in everyday life.

Additionally, the project aimed at providing long-term financial and programmatic support to small and mid-level grassroots NGOs to undertake sustainable development interventions so as to become able to support the poor to improve their socio-economic status.

It may be noted that, this was a partnership project, and was implemented through 12 local NGOs in seven districts. The districts are Shariatpur, Gopalgonj, Madaripur, Pabna, Sirajgonj, Kurigram and Dinajpur. In the implementation process, the partner NGOs played a vital role to organize poor men and women, form groups, train up them and make them aware to identify their own problems and help resolve their problems by themselves.

The major program components of the LTDP were–training and advocacy at the community level, education and advocacy, material development, health and sanitation (self-help), agriculture, micro-credit, capacity building and evaluation etc.

The progress findings of the project suggest that, in the project area, people are subject to a wide range of vulnerabilities including lack of opportunities. These vulnerabilities affect the livelihoods of the communities. The poor are more vulnerable. All these vulnerabilities affect the households and aggravate their hardship and poverty. In this backdrop, Long Term Development Program of SAP Bangladesh approached the communities with the following programs:

à        Training and advocacy;

à        Education;

à        Health and sanitation;

à        Agriculture;

à        Micro credit and

à        Capacity building

 

The Broader Purpose of the Project Were:

à        To help the rural poor particularly, women in building up necessary organizational structure for undertaking united and collective efforts to eradicate poverty and economic backwardness;

à        To help the poverty-stricken people so that they can realize and analyze their situation, identify their problems, the causes thereof and enable to take appropriate actions collectively to solve those problems;

The Goal of the Project Were:

 

à        To develop local institutional capacity for sustainable development; and

capacity development for CBO members for self-help development.

à        To help the poor and weaker section of the society so that, they can have a place in the power structure of the society as a self-reliant and balance maintaining collective force;

à        To help the target people so that, they can plan, manage and evaluate their organizational patterns; and

à        To support and impart methodological training to target groups in order to enable them to carry out effective plans and programs of the organizations.

Major Activity That Have Been Carried Out By The Project

 

South Asia Partnership – Bangladesh in partnership along with the local partners has carried out the following activities:

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Chart: The chart shows community level training status during the program period 

Comments on Progress:

Before any successful scheme can be inaugurated, there are necessary pre-requisites and pre-conditions, which must be fulfilled. In order to help people to help themselves, which are the essence of development, a process of training, education and organization, is required. “Unity is strength” which is the underlying philosophy of group approach to development. Through group approach, poor people particularly, women were educated on all round development of human being implying a liberation from hunger, disease, malnutrition, poverty, and ignorance and towards life, solidarity, integrity, love and decent living. Through group dynamics and cooperation, confidence of the group members were built to encounter and to fight out any unjust and oppressive elements. In LTDP, the groups were the primary component for initiating all kinds of development interventions. Additionally, it aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of the disadvantaged women of the community and to empower them to undertake socio-economic development activities. It helped the poor people particularly, women for asserting their social, political and economic rights and uplift.  It may be noted that, PNGOs of LTDP played the role of catalyst to make the people aware to identify their own problems and also to help them to assist to resolves their problems by them. It helped to combat various social and economic deprivations as the groups have achieved a certain degree of maturity in terms of leadership, group cohesion and solidarity. In an average, 72 groups were formed by each PNGOs.

 Training and Advocacy at the Community Level

Knowledge is power. But keeping knowledge within us is dangerous for our succeeding generations. Therefore, transferring knowledge has widely been recognized for inner directed human growth and inner-directed human development. It may be noted that, training is one of the most important vehicle for transferring knowledge and skills. Training not only transfers knowledge and skills, but most importantly, it brings about changes in attitude and behavior of the people. Recognizing the importance of training as a means of change and development, training has been widely emphasized in Long Term Development Program (LTDP).

However, during the reporting period, the PNGOs have conducted several training programs for CBOs and group members to manage and strengthen their capacity and to bring about their behavioral changes.

It may be noted that, the following training courses were conducted:

  1. Training on Legal Aid
  2. Couple Training
  3. Advocacy for Gender equity and equality
  4. Training on Human Rights for Community
  5. Voter Education
  6. Training for UP members
  7. Dialogue with UP members
  8. TBA etc.

Union Parishad (UP) is a local level institution of Bangladesh local government. However, dialogue sessions were held with UP members during the reporting period. The dialogues were participated by local elites, NGO personnel and members of the civil society groups. The major issues covered in the training were good governance, relation between good governance and rights, UP functions, relationship between Upazila and District, role of civil society members in establishing good governance etc.

Outcome of Training Program

  • Participants have become more aware on legal aspects like early marriage, dowry, wage rate, gender, marriage registration etc.
  • Participants have realized the adverse consequences of the aforesaid social curse.
  • They acquired knowledge on how to handle the misdeeds like early marriage, polygamy and dowry.
  • Participants also gained knowledge and skills in receiving legal supports/aids in order to establish their rights.
  • The participants have raised awareness on casting their vote to right persons and are conscious about their voting rights.
  • Enhanced awareness and consciousness about their basic rights and human rights.
  • The UP members have become more effective and active in their activities than earlier.
  • The UP members realized the need of transparency and accountability in order to establishing good governance.
  • Dai (mid-wives) have increased their skills and capabilities in performing the safe birth.

 Education

There is a general agreement that, literacy is a key to all round development of human being.  Realizing the fact, the project has been designed putting much emphasis on non-formal primary education. In order to reach the project objectives, the partner NGOs of LTDP and SAP-Bangladesh put much emphasis on literacy with special thrust on girl’s education. In order to promote a just and fare society, the children education program cannot be ignored. Therefore, the PNGOs are running non-formal primary education program with technical assistance and monitoring support from SAP – Bangladesh.

During the reporting period, 840 students have completed their 3 years of schooling and PNGOs have linked up them with the local government primary schools. Promoting students from non-formal schooling to formal government school has been a notable achievement. During the reporting period, a total of 43 non-formal primary schools are being managed by the LTDP without any problem. In each school, an average of 30 students both girls and boys have been enrolled. Among them, more than 60 percent are girls.

 

Children Education Center

Literacy and Development is highly interlinked and, they are the twin brothers. Social change and development simply can not be thought without literacy. Because, literacy is the first building block of any change and development effort. There is no denying that, lack of education is a cause and consequence of deprivation, unemployment and unequal distribution of social resources. A just, fair and democratic society cannot be achieved without educating the children. Because children are the future architect and nation builders. Moreover, every child has the right to literacy and schooling according to child rights convention. During the 3rd phase of LTDP (January, 2002- December 2005) 28 Child Education Center continued with class III standard. These centers completed their class III standard. Among all the students, 80% students enrolled in the govt. primary schools with the help of the partner NGOs.

Outcome of Child Education Center

  • Due to attitudinal change of the guardians, they encourage their kids and send them to schools on regular basis.
  • It is also encouraging that; neighboring people have been showing interest to enroll their kids to the schools.
  • Acceptability of the implementing organizations (PNGOs) have been enhanced in the project area.
  • Dropout rate has been reduced and link with the government primary schools have been established.
  • Increased awareness among the people of the locality and dreaming their kids to be educated.
  • The students along with their guardians and neighboring people are becoming culturally enriched.
  • Built relationship among the government and non-government schools (project schools) and increased stimulation among government schools to follow the model/ curriculum of non-formal schools.
  • At the same time, the govt. schools are replicating the NFPE school model.

   Healths and Sanitation Program (Self-help) 

Health and Sanitation is another important component of Long Term Development Program. The rural people, particularly, the poor suffer from common diseases like, dysentery, diarrhea, worming, jaundice etc. As a result, many of the people die because of lack of treatment. Additionally, the poor have to spend half of their early earning in medicine and treatment. This is a great havoc for their economic growth and development. Realizing the fact, the LTDP of SAP – Bangladesh has been operating health and sanitation program through its partner NGOs in its project areas.

 

Outcome of Health and Sanitation Program

  • All the PNGOs have established a village sanitation center (VSC). This program also continued in a sustainable manner. The program has created a positive impact towards the behavior and attitude with regards to health and sanitation of the local people and hence they developed a sound environment in and around the project area. As a result, the common diseases have been reduced in the project areas. At the same time, people particularly, our group members became more aware on health, hygiene and the importance of using pit latrine.
  • As a part and component of the health and sanitation program, all PNGOs have established a nursery in the adjacent land of their training center. The PNGOs distributed the saplings among the beneficiaries on regular basis. As a result, the community people became more aware on social forestation to preserve environment and that plantation in the community has increased. Planting trees in the homestead areas increased which created additional households income. Household level firewood crisis decreased to some extent. Demands for seedlings increased in the community level. Health and nutritional status of the beneficiaries particularly, women and children have increased.


Case Studies:

 

A Journey to Paradise

Malina is on the way to her success. Her aim in life is to achieve a higher education, a higher academic degree that could make her life a paradise. She promised to sacrifice her best to achieve that education. Malina told ‘ it is true that I am struggling, but if any body wants to know about me, I would request to start from my father’s life, from his struggle, because, he is my inspiration.

Akbar Ali was a son of a poor family. They lived in the northern region of Bangladesh. Due to extreme poverty, most of the days, he had to pass without food. One-day, hunger became intolerable to him and he left home. He moved from one place to another and at last, he came to Adhachaki village of Belkuchi. He got shelter from Mr. Shorab Bepari and he started to work there as a day laborer. Day by day Akbar Ali achieved good name in his work.

After couple of years, Akbar Ali got married to Moriam Begum. They gave birth of five sons and two daughters. Malina was the 6th of 7 children of her parents. All of her brothers went to primary school once in their life, but no one could cross the boundary of primary school. Now, her father and five brothers work together and they have changed their life condition. None of their family could even think that Malina one day will come to school.

There was no school in Adhachaki village. Children of the solvent family of the village go to school situated in the nearby village. But Malina could not go to school. She just kept watching to them. She passed most of her time by working with her mother at their home.

PARAS a local NGO conducted a study and the study revealed that quite a good number of children in Adhachaki village were passing time without schooling. Mostly, they are from poor family and it happens due to the lack of school facilities in the village. Considering the security of girl children, most of the poor parents did not send their children to school in near by village. However, to provide educational support to the poor and disadvantaged children, PARAS started a non-formal school in the village under the project, Long Term Development Program. It was a school of one class, thirty students and one teacher. It was not a traditional school. It was a non-formal school. The school started with the motto to create child friendly learning environment and the school will be homely atmosphere for them. Children come to school and learn through games, rhymes, singing, dancing and drawing.

Malina started going to the school. Her mother was not agreed initially. Every day, Malina went to school along with other children except Friday. The school provided the students with educational materials including textbook and writing pad free of cost. The students of the school were not needed to pay any tuition fees like government primary school. The teacher was recruited from the village. Every day, she came to school in the morning and taught them for three hours. From the school, the students achieved the competencies of grade IV of basic primary education along with other co-curricular activities. Malina was a talent student of the school. She was very good performer. She could recite rhyme, render song and could role-play. For this reason, every body loved her. Some time, Malina’s mother prevented her from coming to the schooling. Her hope was that Malina would learn the household work. She would be able to do her domestic work in future. Her father also asked Malina sometimes not to go to school. But Malina did not listen to them and she continued to go to school. In this way, Malina was promoted to grade II.

Malina passed grade II and grade III and finally, she crossed grade IV within 36 months. Though it was non-formal schooling, it was equivalent to grade IV of government primary school.

Malina decided to continue her education. She determined to go to government primary school, but she needs her parents’ permission, because the primary school is far off from their house. Malina shared her plan with her parents and asked their permission. In the meantime, Malina’s father came to know about Malina’s good performance. Being happy, Malina’s father agreed to admit Malina in the government primary school. But Malina’s mother did not like it. However, Malina got admission in to government primary school and continued her education. Malina did well in her new schooling too. Every one in the new school liked her. Two years passed by.  Malina passed grade IV.

After a long struggle, Mr. Lokman Hakim, Executive Director of PARAS (NGO) established a high school in Adhachaki village. Malina is now the student of that high school. She is the student of science group. Her parents and brothers are now interested to her higher education.

Malina’s face seemed bright, when she was telling her story. She uttered again and again ‘I am a daughter of a day laborer. My parents did not know the value of education. The non-formal school of PARAS brought me here. It is a great achievement for me. I am really proud of non-formal school. For her present condition, she expressed her gratitude and indebt ness to PARAS. Malina said that no good work continues in our country. The non-existence of non-formal school of PARAS is an example of that. The school does not exist anymore. Because, PARAS has no money to run the school anymore. Malina said ‘if the school was running, many poor girls and boys could have been educated.  Many Malina like me could have their own way of life.

Case Study

Self Dependent Hazera

“Please do not try to make me understand about poverty. I know what is that! Once, we had to pass our days without food.” This statement has been made by Hazera khatun. Hazera lives in Zodgari village of Jalalpur Upazila under Pabna district. During the conversation with Hazera, her husband, Ruhul Amin was present there. Ruhul Amin mentioned that it was once upon a time, but now, the scenario is reverse. We are now solvent. Moreover, we have employed some poor people of this village in our factory. They are also earning for their livelihood. We are quite happy now. Hazera is now the owner of a swing factory.

Hazera Begum is about 45 years and Ruhul Amin is about 55 years. They are not the original inhabitants of the village. Before 27 years, they came in this village and settled themselves there.

Hazera have two sisters and two brothers. Her father was a marginal farmer of Zodgari village. Hazera’s father set her marriage when she was only 14 years and her husband Ruhul Amin was 24 years at that time. Hazera’s husband was a fish trader.  Ruhul Amin lived at Pabna town at that time. After marriage, Hazera used to live at Pabna town with her husband Ruhul Amin.

After two years of their marriage, Hazera gave birth of a boy child.  They became happy. Ruhul Amin was bit anxious about his business. According to him, fish-selling business is not a prestigious business. He thought to change his profession. He discussed it with Hazera. She agreed with him. Finally, they had sifted their family from Pabna town to Zodgari village. Initially, Hazera took shelter in her father’s house with her husband and the son.

Ruhul Amin started his life in the new village as a day laborer.  Hazera also started to work in a rich man’s house as maidservant. It was really a bad day for them. There were days, Hazera and her husband passed their days with out food. Sometimes, her father helped them, but Hazera was unwilling to receive support from her father. To mitigate the poverty of their family, they did hard work every day from down to dusk. Because they wished that they would establish themselves in the village. As a result, their income increased. They started savings. After a couple of years, they found that a good amount of money they have saved. Hazera and her husband are satisfied and they purchased a piece of land and built their own house. From that day, Hazera has been living at her own house.

Pabna Protisruti (NGO) implemented LTDP activities in Zodgari village. There were women groups in the village. Hazera registered her name in the group as a member. She started to attend in the weekly group meetings and deposited savings in the group. All the group members are well known to her. They had different personal problems and they joined in the group to solve that problem. During the weekly meeting, they used to discuss about their problem ad way of solving those problem. Staff-member of Pabna Protishruti facilitates the meeting. The organization used to organize different types of training for empowerment of the disadvantaged and destitute women. Hazera felt comfort and thought that she might be able to solve her problem by the group activities.   During the time, Hazera started to learn swing. After a couple of months, she received a loan of Tk. 3,000/ from Pabna Protishruti and bought a swing machine. Her husband used to collect garments order from many places and she completed those. By this way, they earned 220/ 300 Taka in a week. From that income, Hazera paid her installment. After a year, she became professional sewing master. She again received a loan of Tk. 5,000/. She had some personal savings with her. Along with that money, she bought two more swing machine and hired two young jobless men from their village. Hazera taught them- how to sew garments.  They were doing well and earned sufficient money from that business. Hzera asked her husband to stop his work as a daily labor. She suggested him to work with her. Ruhul Amin had withdrawn himself from that hard work and started working with his wife. This time, she bought 3 more machines. Hazera felt that there has been a radical change in her family.

Next year, Hazera again received a loan of Tk. 10,000/ from the group. She bought another three-swing machines. She recruited another three young men from their village and trained them on cutting and swing. Hazera by this time became mother of 3-boy child and 2-girl child. Two of her sons became younger. Hazera involved them in her business. Ruhul Amin and his 2 sons travel to garments shops in the town and collect work order. Hazera make the garments according to the work order and supply them in time. Day by day it becomes a profitable business.

There are no more LTDP activities after 31st December 2005. But Hazera is still there and she is doing that business as usual. She is earning money. Two of her sons got married and they live separately. Hazera managed her two daughters’ marriage without dowry. Under LTDP activities, Hazera received women rights training, legal aid training and voter education. She believed that those training were very useful to her life. She expressed that every woman needs to receive that kind of training.

Hazera feels proud to think that she has provided jobs for some people of the village through her factory. Some families are getting food security. They do not have poverty. Some of her workers left her factory and started their own factory. They try to compete with Hazera.. Hazera think that she dose not have any competition with any body. She is running her own way.

Hazera is grateful to Pabna Protisruti. She acknowledges that due to their support and cooperation her condition has been changed.


Direct Field Operation Program

In Solidarity With the Poor

 

Remote Island Development Project (RIDP)

The project is being implemented in Galachipa Upazila and Patuakhali Sadar by SAP- Bangladesh since long and has been supported by ActionAid–Bangladesh.

The goal of the project is to promote quality education and enhance the livelihood security of poor costal community by consolidating their rights to have adequate and sustainable access to resources at family, community as well as government level.

RIDP is one of the key social laboratory of SAP- Bangladesh. It may be noted that quite a good number of small multidimensional projects are being implemented in Galachipa Upazila and Patuakhali District. The projects are:

 

Under the coordination of RIDP project, the following components and small projects are being managed.

  • Quality Education
  • REFLECT
  • Livelihood and Food Security
  • Risk Reduction
  • Stop Violence Against Women
  • Sponsorship Communication
  • Women Rights Project (Narir Odhikar Project)
  • Homestead Food Production Project (HFPP)
  • Water and Sanitation (WatSan)
  • Community Managed Jalmohal Project
  • Small Holder Support Project (SHSP)
  • Micro Credit
  • BCAHR project

The Following Pages Will Reflect the Component Wise Progress of the Project.

 

Quality Education:

  • One new non-government primary school building has been constructed in Char Lata of Galachipa Upazila.
  • 10 non- government primary schools are being running at remote Char area under the project.
  • Campaigns carried out against unfair means in the public school examinations in the forms of rally, meeting and visiting examination center.
  • Operating school based students savings program. Total savings have been collected tk.14,654.00 in each month and the cumulative figure raised to Tk. 97,958.00 only.
  • Teachers Forums have been formed by the government and non-government  teachers of the working area for sharing best practices, extend cooperation and promote skill development to ensure quality education.
  • Arranged annual sports.
  • Organized issue based debate and drawing competition for the students.
  • Organized social audit on stipend at primary school level.
  • Introduced disaster curriculum in  primary education.
  • Formed SMC and PTA Forum.
  • Observed national and international day.
  •  Awards have been given to the best teachers and best students.
  • Ensured birth registration of 1927 children of 0-5 years.
  • Organized two batches of teachers training.
  • Organized cultural training for students in drama/ folk song/ recitation/ presentation

 

Table 1: Performance of Education Program at a Glance

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REFLECT:

 

The Following Activities of REFLECT Program Have Been Carried Out During the Reporting Period:

Basic Circle Activities in Brief

  • RIT (reflect implementation team) formation.
  • Area selection.
  • Facilitators’ selection.
  • PRA training for facilitators.
  • Field practice of PRA and community presentation.
  • CMC (circle management committee) formation.
  • TOF (training of facilitators)
  • Participants background study.
  • Training on gender rights for facilitators.
  • SF (spouse forum) formation.
  • Monthly refreshers for the facilitators.
  • Action points implementation.
  • Exposure visit.
  • Mid term evaluation.

 

Post Circle Activities in Brief

  • Feasibility studies of basic circles so that participants to be promoted to post circles.
  • Post training of facilitators.
  • Reorganize spouse forum.
  • Mini library establishment.
  • Communication, lobbying and advocacy for action point implementation.
  • Participants generated method publication.
  • Box library establishment.
  • Capacity building of the participants.
  • Course evaluation.
  • Preparation of wall magazine.
  • Post circles to be promoted to Loko Kendra.
  • National and international day observation.

 

 Achievement After One Year of Circle Operation

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Loko Kendra:

Loko Kendra is a community organization, which is the base for post reflects circle linkages and continuing education for sustainable development through social change

There are 4 Loko Kendra in Galachipa area.

 Present Status of Loko Kendra

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Risk Reduction:

The Following Activities Have Been Carried Out On Risk Reduction:

 

  • Basic training on disaster preparedness and management for community people.
  • Six volunteer teams formation, providing with training and disaster materials.
  • Reorganizing existing shelter management committee to make them active.
  • Rescue and first aid training for the volunteers.
  • Developing disaster focused curriculum for the children.
  • Facilitating family contingency plans.
  • Networking and alliance building with red crescent society and other parties.
  • Advocacy with LGED department for road maintenance and shelter repairing.
  • Disaster day observation
  • Staging two disaster drill by the students

 

Performance on Risk Reduction Program At a Glance:

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Livelihood:

 

The Following Activities Have Been Carried Out in Livelihood:

 

  • Formation and leading the village organization
  • Providing training on leadership and conflict resolution
  • Farmers forum formation
  • Training on ecological agriculture
  • Seed distribution
  • Organizing bio-diversity fair focusing ecological agriculture and environmental development
  • Implementing spot orientation on shrimp collection
  • Mass gathering and advocacy on khas land rights
  • Study on coastal resource management and social excluding process of Manta community

 

Performance Report on Livelihood and Food Security Program At a Glance

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Governance:

 

The Following Activities Have Been Carried Out in Governance Sector of the Project During the Reporting Period:

 

  • Organizing training for UP members and Chairmen regarding their roles and responsibilities and community based resource management.
  • Organizing workshop on disable rights.
  • Leading Coastal Development Journalists Forum and Forum for Coastal Development Initiatives. These are the networks of SAP-Bangladesh.
  • Organizing training for UP members and chairmen regarding their roles and responsibilities and Community based resource management.
  • Organizing workshop on disable rights.

Stop Violence Against Women (SVAW):

 

The following activities under the SVAW component of the project have been carried out during the reporting period:

 

  • Peer group formation and orientation on gender issues focused on violence against women.
  • Organizing orientation course for college and school teachers and  School Management Committee.
  • Observed international day for elimination of violence against women through rally and discussion.
  • Organized orientation of peer groups on gender and VAW issues.
  • Organized orientation for the local journalists for addressing gender issues in the newspaper.
  • Organized sharing meetings with police, lawyer and civil society on violence against women (VAW)
  • Organized dialogue with bou-shashuri,( house wife and mother-in-laws), husband and wife on violence against women.
  • Organized orientation and advocacy for local journalists on gender and violence agains women

 

Outcome

  • An activist group has come up in the grass- root level to stop domestic violence.
  • The group has become aware and sensitive on violence against women.
  •  Increased awareness of the teachers, SMC members and parents on gender based violence in education.
  • The number of girl students has been gradually increasing in primary and secondary education.
  • Increased awareness among the family members and the community people to reduce domestic violence and gender based violence.
  • The local journalists became more aware of VAW and they are playing their role consciously.
  • The guardians are gradually changing their attitude; they are reducing discrimination on their daughters and sending their daughters to schools and colleges.

Socio-economic Development of the Disadvantaged Women Project

The project has been supported by SHAMHATI, U.S.A. The main purpose of the project is to promote socio-economic development of the disadvantaged women in the community.

During the reporting period, the following activities have been carried out.

  • Launching Community clinic.
  • Lunched de worming campaigns.
  • Operating health check up of pregnant mothers on a regular basis.
  • Introduced scholarship for meritorious students.
  • Providing skill development training.
  • Provided orientation on health- hygiene promotion in Katakhali and Madhukhali

Small Holder Support Project

Small Holder Support Project has been supported by Department of Agricultural Extension, Government of Bangladesh. The  project is being implemented in Dashmina Upazela of Patuakhali district. The main purpose of the project is to promote sustainable eco-friendly agriculture in the community.

However, in order to reach the purpose of the project, the following activities have been carried out during the reporting period.

  • Marginal farmers group formation.
  • IGA training for group members on poultry rearing, fish cultivation, vegetables gardening etc.
  • Credit support for the promotion of micro enterprise.
  • Seed distribution.
  • Providing cultivation tools and 16 power tiller machines

 

Community Managed Jalmohal Project

Patuakhali Barguna Aquaculture Extension Project (PBAEP) has been supported by DANIDA in Patuakhali. Fisheries Department of Bangladesh Government, DANIDA and SAP- Bangladesh are jointly implementing the Jalmohal project. The main objectives of this project are:

  • To bring the fallow water bodies like canals into culture.
  • To promote fish production in the coastal belt.
  • To increase the consumption of fish by producing at a large scale.
  • To increase the revenue of the government through leasing the Jolmohals.

The following Jolmohals are managed by SAP- Bangladesh:

1)      Boalia Khal,

2)      Manik Chand Khal and

3)      Gajalia Khal.

SAP- Bangladesh has been working as a facilitator for organizing the fisher folk community in Galachipa so that they can earn their livelihoods from the Jalmohal.SAP- Bangladesh has been providing them with credit money for cleaning water hyacinth, purchasing boats and nets, stocking and harvesting etc.

 

Learning:

The fishermen can grow plenty of fish by using modern technology. However, It is very difficult to work in Jalmohal project due to the vested and influential group of the community. If the social elites and political influential do not favor, it is really hard to implement.

The poor fishermen want to get more benefit by cultivating the Jalmohal, but the vested group misguides them.

Homestead Food Production Project (HFPP)

The project is being implemented in Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali district. The project has been supported by Helen Keller. The main purpose of the project is to reduce food insecurity at family level in the char areas of Galachipa.

 

However, during the reporting period, the project has accomplished the following activities:

  • 16 village model farms are established, and they are trained up on “nursery and model poultry farm establishment”.
  • 640 household female members are provided with training on “homestead garden establishment”.
  • All the households’ female members received training on “nutrition education”.
  • 32 female groups have been formed and 32 group leaders are provided with training on “nutrition education”
  • 100 small farmers (male) are selected, and they are provided with “field crops”.

 

Impact:

 

  • The consumption of vegetables at family level is increasing in the project area.
  • The beneficiaries are following the improved practice of vegetables gardening.
  • The household’s female members are contributing to their family income, and now, they are more valued in the family.
  • The farmers are growing more vegetables by following bed system cultivation.
  • The farmers are practicing IPM (Integrated Pest Management) for pest control in the vegetables garden.
  • Fallow lands are being used for cultivation.
  • Beneficiaries are very much interested to learn “nutrition education”.

Water and Sanitation Project

 

The project is being implemented by SAP-Bangladesh in 15 unions of Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali district. The project has been supported by NGO forum for drinking water supply and sanitation.

 

During the Reporting Period, the Following Activities Have Been Carried Out:

Software Activities

  • Formation of “village development committee (VDC)” in each ward of the union.
  • Organize monthly VDC meeting.
  • Organize courtyard meeting.
  • Organize meeting with LGI (Local Govt. Institution).
  • Organize mosque meeting with the religious leaders.
  • Organize watsan fair.
  • Organize essay competition in the schools.
  • Miking
  • Rally
  • Observation of different days

 

Hardware Activities:

  • Installation of deep tube-well.
  • Repairing of water points, basically DTW repairing.
  • Rickshaw painting.
  • Wall painting.
  • Support schools to establish sanitary latrine.

 

Learning From the Remote Island Development Project:

 

  • There is scope to work with khas land movement.
  • Development can not be achieved without promoting human rights
  • Change in attitude of people towards ecological agriculture will take time due to immediate benefit of chemical fertilizer and pesticide.
  • Access to information is an empowerment tools for the disadvantaged poor.
  • Educated parents are more responsible to children’s education than illiterate parents.
  • Char area deserves special development attention because of geographical condition and natural calamity.
  • Wealth is more valued than life to the char people.
  • Participatory people’s involvement brings more development results.
  • Capacity building is more effective and sustainable than providing relief.


Case Studies

 

Khurshida’s Step Towards Better Future

Khurshida Begum is a housewife of Charkhali village of Galachipa union under Galachipa Upazila in Patuakhali district. She is about 34 years. Her husband Mosleh Uddin is a poor rickshaw puller and he is illiterate. They have two children. They have nothing except their dwelling place. Mosleh Uddin is the only earning member of the family. They therefore face various difficulties to meet the families’ need.

At the beginning of 2005, Khurshida Begum, being inspired by a RIDP worker, became a member of Village Model Farm (VMF). She received orientation on seeds and homestead gardening from Village Model Farm (VMF). After that she started a homestead vegetable garden.

At first she cultivated Pui Shak and Lal Shak in a bared piece of land in her house in the winter season. She grew a lots of vegetables with which she met up her family need and earned some extra money. It inspired her to grow more vegetables.

Meanwhile, she received training on preparing compost. After that she started to grow more vegetables in other’s land in assistance with her husband. They planted ginger, turmeric and other vegetables.

She gets an extra facility from her husband in carrying and selling the vegetables in the market by their own rickshaw.

SAP-Bangladesh provides her with seeds and seedlings. Now they earn near about 1500/= per month on an average. So, the hardship they faced in meeting their daily life is no more.

As Khurshida is economically contributing and bringing some positive changes to their family, she gets special attention from her husband.

The neighbors also recognize her due to a noteworthy work she has performed. Khurshida is a successful women; she came out from an ordinary life.

She said, “My hardship is gone. I dream to build up my children’s bright future.”

Rita Rani is a Promising Girl

Rita Rani is14 years. She is a girl of Hindu Para. She is studying in class VIII. She joined in an ICT circle near her home in 2004. She used to attend ICT circle regularly and read news paper. One day she red an article on a self-reliant woman in a newspaper. She was inspired from the case  and tried to follow her. She succeeded herself and got the way to be independent. Let us hear the story from her:

“My father died in a boat mishap when I was only eight. My mother had no means but to earn by working as maidservant. We were in great miseries to maintain the family and my educational expenses. I joined the ICT Circle and attended there regularly to get the chance of learning. Once I read a history of a successful woman who earns money by tailoring at home. The case inspired me and I talked to circle Facilitator to arrange a training course for us with some other members. Circle Facilitator arranged it and I received a six-month training on tailoring. SAP-Bangladesh  provided a sewing machine at the circle. Everyday I went there and worked for 3 hours after school. I get huge order for fabricating cloths. Now I earn 60 – 70 taka per day.”Rita’s mother is very much pleased with her daughter’s achievement.

 

Micro-credit Program of SAP- Bangladesh

 

There is a growing realization that poverty is the sustained or chronic deprivation of resources, capabilities, power, choices and security. People are poor, because, they are denied of their entitlements of resources, capabilities, power, choices and security. In working with the poor over the last 22 years, SAP–Bangladesh has adapted the strategies of empowering the disadvantaged section of the community through promoting human rights, establishing good governance and providing services in the form of micro-finance, quality education, disaster relief and post-disaster rehabilitation etc. SAP–Bangladesh believes that, increased production, fair distribution, greater knowledge and more food would mean more food for more people. In an extreme poor country like Bangladesh, fair distribution of resources is not possible unless there is a greater production of resources. Without increasing production of economic resources, fair distribution will result in fair distribution of poverty. Therefore, SAP – Bangladesh has equally been emphasizing economic growth approach through micro-finance program. In response to the demands of the community people, SAP- Bangladesh is gradually increasing its micro-finance program.

However,SAP-Bangladesh started its micro-credit program since late eighties. Initially it was an experimental attempt and the program was operated in remote islands of coastal belt. With the initial experience, SAP- Bangladesh expanded this program at Belkuchi Upazila of  Sirajganj District in 2002.

After successful experimentation both in islands and main lands, SAP-Bangladesh decided to expand this program to other parts of the country. With a dream of expansion, SAP-Bangladesh became a partner of apex financing organization PKSF in October, 2004.Since then, the program has been strengthened and is running quite smoothly. A panel of experts has been engaged to expand the micro-credit program.

 

During the reporting period, SAP- Bangladesh has disbursed an amount of Tk-199, 409,905 to 12253 borrowers. The number of Branch is 12. The following tables will give details about the micro-credit program:

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It may be noted that two categories of program are now running under SAP-Bangladesh micro-credit program. The categories are:

Rural Micro-Credit

It’s a normal practice of micro-credit. SAP- Bangladesh provides credit under this program to its Samitee members to initiate different income generating activities. The key features of rural micro-credit are:

  • 100% borrowers are women.
  • Most of the borrowers are living in remote islands.
  • Loan range from Tk. 5,000-30,000
  • This is a one-year duration loan.
  • This is a collateral free loan.

 

The Performance of Rural Micro-credit is as Follows:

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Micro finance for Ultra Poor

SAP-Bangladesh Programs for the ultra poor organizes the ultra poor, who are neglected and most vulnerable section of the community. They lack even the most basic necessities of life. Hunger, disease, malnutrition, ignorance and illiteracy is the common picture of their day to day lives. Many have no adequate shelter and they have very little to eat. This section of people is untouched and they are excluded from the mainstream of development. However, SAP-Bangladesh has given special attention to include them under micro finance programs in the hope that they will become the potential manpower in the society.

SAP-Bangladesh is currently running three Branches dealing with the ultra poor under financing by PKSF. One Branch is located in the Patuakhali town (Urban), Two other Branches are located in Galachipa and Dashmina under Patuakhali district. SAP- Bangladesh has disbursed TK-4, 92,0000/ to 1261 borrowers. The number of group member is 1469.

 

Performance of Ultra-Poor Branches are Shown as Follows:

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Micro finance for Ultra Poor: Challenging to Extreme Poverty

How Micro Finance helped Amena Begum escape abject poverty

For over forty years, Amena Begum lived a life of abject poverty, disappointment and torture. She was born into a poor vegetable trading family in Barobigai village of Amtali upazilla under Borguna district in Bangladesh. At the tender age of ten, she was traded away by her father to a man thirty years her senior, for a dowry payment. Life deteriorated rapidly for Amena. “I was so little that I couldn’t understand marriage so I was unable to make my husband happy. As a result, my in laws family members tortured me mercilessly. But to avoid my father’s overburden, I never moved to my father’s house. Instead I tolerated all pains silently. In course of time I became a mother of two children. Since my beginning of conjugal life, my husband was sick. He lost even his strength of work and gradually became paralyzed. It was a big disaster in my life. In the meantime my father died and my mother fell into a serious misery. Then none of us earned enough money to feed us. Finally I decided to move to Patuakhali town with my mother and children.”

In Patuakhali, Amena went fruitlessly door to door to look for work but there was none, not even as a maidservant. She had no option but to resort to begging in the street with her mother. Her mother is still begging.

One day, while begging, she met a disabled man named Sultan Molla. “Molla became sympathized to see my miseries of life and he started to take care of me. One day he proposed me to marry with him. I thought what is the meaning of this marriage and life where there is no assurance of food and shelter. I am not secured even in the city. Finally I agreed to marry him and I got married in 1998. By this marriage I got a security of life but poverty remained surrounded by me”

Then Amena heard that a national NGO called South Asia Partnership-Bangladesh provided funds to extreme poor slum dwellers and beggars. “Then I moved to South Asia Partnership-Bangladesh office and asked manager for some loan. Manager asked me –what would you do if you get some money? I told him sir, through a prolonged struggle of life now I feel sick. But my disabled husband has some experience to sell green coconut. Now he is doing this business through borrowing money from traditional moneylenders at extreme high interest rates. If I get some money we can start this business in a full swing and can earn more profit”

Amena received a loan of Tk-3000 (GBP25) from South Asia Partnership-Bangladesh in September 2005, and started their green coconut business. Her husband sells the Green coconuts by standing in the same place as his other job; that of collecting tolls from city people who come to relieve themselves at the Govt. Sanitary latrine. He earns Tk 90-100 (GBP.80) per day from this job. Amena helps him sell the Green coconuts when they get busy.

Amena has repaid her first loan and received a second one for Tk-5000 (GBP40) to expand their green coconut business. Because of her good payment record, South Asia Partnership Bangladesh has committed to provide Amena with Tk-12, 000 (GBP100) in January 2007 so that she can lease the government sanitary latrine facilities. This would generate about Tk-36, 000 (GBP300) profit per year for them and make Amena’s dream, of being able to support her mother so that she does not have to beg in the street anymore, a reality.

Micro Credit has replaced Amena and Molla’s abject poverty and misery with new hopes and dreams for the future.

 

About 45 years ago, Amena Begum was born in Barobigai village of Amtali Upazilla under Borguna district. She was the first of four children in the family. Her father was a small vegetables trader. Amena’s father income was not enough to support a five members family.  So, at the very early stage of life, Amena experienced extreme poverty.

Like her other family members, she was illiterate. When she was only ten years, her father gave her marriage with a forty years aged man of neighboring village. Once Amena said, “I was so young that I couldn’t understand – what is marriage! So I could not make the family members of my father in-law’s house. As a result, my father in- laws family members tortured me mercilessly. For avoiding my father’s overburden, I never moved to my father’s house. I silently tolerated all the pains. However, in course of time, I became a mother of two children.

It may be noted that since beginning of our conjugal life, my husband was sick. Once he became paralyzed .It was a big disaster in my life. In the meantime, my father died and my mother fell into a serious misery. There was none to support my mother. I was ill fed and ill treated in my husband’s house. Finding no other alternatives, I moved to Patuakhali town with my mother and two children.

In late eighties, Amena moved to Patuakhali town with her widow mother and two children. In Patuakhali, she moved from door to door for a work to survive with her mother and two children.  She failed to manage even, a work of maidservant. Finally, her mother and she started to beg in the street.

At the time of begging, once, Amena met a disabled man name: Sultan Molla. Molla became sympathized to see her miseries and he started to take care of Amena. One day, Molla proposed Amena to marry him. Amena said “ my continuous disaster on life made me mad and I forgot that once I was a housewife and still I am not divorced. I felt “ what is   the meaning of such marriage and life, where there is no assurance of food and shelter. Even, I was not secured in the city. Finally, I agreed to marry Sultan Molla and I got married with him in 1998.By this marriage, I just got a security of life but poverty remained with me.

Last year, I heard that SAP-Bangladesh was providing some loan to extreme poor slum dwellers and beggars. I moved to SAP- Bangladesh office and asked the Manager to give me some loan. Manager asked me “ what would you do if you get some money?” I told him “ through a prolonged struggle of life, now I feel sick”. But my disabled husband has some experience to sale green coconut. Now, he is doing this business, borrowing money from moneylenders. If I get some money, we can start this business in a full sewing and can earn more profit.

In the last September 2005 Amena received a loan of Tk-3000 from SAP-Patuakhali Office and started her green coconut business. Side by side, her husband is doing a job of toll collection from the city people who come to use the govt. sanitary latrine.

From this job, her husband earns Tk  90-100 per day. By standing in the same place, he is doing this green coconut business. Amena is helping her husband when necessary. They began a life with new hope and new dream. In the meantime, Amena adjusted her first loan and received her second loan .The amount of second loan is Tk-5000/. Amena never received such a loan in her life. Now, she is very happy for getting a good amount of money. Her next dream is to take ledge Poura sanitary latrine which requires Tk-12000/. If she can take it, she will be able to earn Tk-36,000 as profit per year. At the moment, she cannot earn this amount because of lack of this capital. SAP-Bangladesh committed her to give this amount as a loan in time. Amena’s immediate hope is to bring her mother to her and get her mother release from begging in the street.

Promoting Sustainable Social Development

Human Rights and Good Governance Sector

 

South Asia Regional Initiative/Equity Support Program (SARI/Equity)

The “South Asia Regional Initiative/Equity Support Program (SARI/Equity)”, a USAID funded regional program implemented by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) with the partners of Management Systems International (MSI) and South Asia Partnership (SAP), focuses on equity and fairness for women and children in four South Asian countries namely Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. SARI/Equity is a program about providing women and children with the conditions they need to maximize the human potential with which they were endowed at birth.

SARI/Equity brings to this endeavor a range of mechanisms for supporting the expansion of NGO networks, both within countries and across borders.  SARI/Equity has been assisting these networks to identify, analyze, replicate and scale-up and institutionalize proven best practices, and use research findings from SARI/Equity for targeted advocacy to ensure the systematic implementation of related policies and laws. SARI/Equity assistance includes, fostering networking through workshops, conferences, training and technical assistance, electronic dissemination of research and “how to” materials.

 

Major Focus Area of SARI/Equity

Within the broad framework, SARI/Equity concentrates its efforts on (1) improving the implementation of laws and policies for combating trafficking and violence against women and children, (2) ensuring safe migration and (3) standards for care of services to victims/survivors. To achieve these goals, SARI/Equity has been working closely with and through government and non-government initiatives whose mission often parallels the focus of this program.

Objectives of SARI/Equity

  • Accelerating the implementation of laws on trafficking and violence against women and children;
  • Setting standards for care of services to survivors/ victims of all forms of violence against women and children;
  • Fostering safe migration through education, advocacy and effective action;

SARI/Equity Action Forums

The Regional Action Forums (RAF) in the three focus areas of SARI/Equity’s program is a major tool to initiate policy change and to move the agreed regional agenda forward. The RAFs were expected to meet at regular intervals, identify their priorities, develop action plans, work on those plans within their National Core Groups, review progress, and make further plans for action/implementation.

In the subsequent regional meetings of all the three Action Forums that has been convened over the project period, the in-depth discussions in various regional sub-groups took place where the regional products gradually came out. As such, the following are the regional policy documents, which were produced under the SARI/Equity initiative:

  • Regional victim/witness protection protocol to combat trafficking, commercial exploitation and sexual abuse of women and children in South Asia.
  • Regional guidelines for the training of law enforcement agencies.
  • Landmark Judgments on violence against women and children from South Asia.
  • Minimum standards of care and support for the victims of trafficking and other forms of violence in South Asia.
  • South Asian resource book on livelihood options for survivors of trafficking and other forms of violence.
  • Policy for ensuring safe labor migration within and beyond South Asia.

 

Key Accomplishment of SARI/Equity

  • In view of drafting the national text of the regional victim witness protection protocol, a consultation has been organized where the secretary, ministry of home affairs, other concerned govt. officials, officials of judiciary, law enforcing agencies and other stakeholders participated with their deliberations which largely contributed to enrich the draft text.
  • Keeping in mind to provide the significant court judgments for regional compilation of landmark judgments, it was possible to involve the Attorney General office along with the Attorney General himself and other senior advocates to analyze the landmark cases and certain research on the court hierarchy system and judicial system in Bangladesh.
  • A good number of researches and field studies have been accomplished to produce the national text on the minimum standard for care of survivors, resource book on livelihood options for the victims/survivors, mass awareness generation toolkit around safe migration, mental health audit toolkit etc.
  • As part of policy advocacy, the initiative has been taken to disseminate and share the “regional policy for ensuring safe labor migration within and beyond South Asia” with the concerned ministry, other stakeholders and the civil society through a national dialogue.

Apart from the regular activities related to Regional Action Forum/National Core Group, SAP-Bangladesh as Secretariat of SARI/Equity has extended it’s support for facilitating other activities related to SARI/Equity grants program. It has also organized fellowship program and facilitated various overseas meetings, seminars, media workshop, social marketing workshop, grantees meeting etc. the workshops, seminars, and meetings were participated by the various national organizations.

SARI/Equity “PRODUCTS” Output:

The Regional Action Forum (RAF) members and the National Core Group (NCG) members are the key actors to forward these SARI/Equity “Products” either in terms of applying those within their own organizations or to pursue the govt. for adoption of such policy documents.

 

Regional Victim/Witness Protection Protocol (RVWPP):

In the various national and regional conference and workshop that were convened in Bangladesh, the respective Regional Action Forum and National Core Group members took the initiative to disseminate the protocol. In those events, it was found that the participants led a lively discussion on the protocol.

The RVWPP have been distributed in the Inter-ministerial committee meetings in Bangladesh and to the Senior Judges of the Appellate Division and High Court Division of the Supreme Court and also to the Chairman of the Bangladesh Law Commission.

Various meetings and discussions were organized prior to the last SAARC Summit where RAF members actively participated and brought hope for a safety net for the victims through vibrant civil society participation and engagement with the governments of the region.

Minimum Standards of Care and Support for the Victims of Trafficking and Other Forms of Violence in South Asia:

The minimum standard of care has become now a reference point for talking about the care for the victims of trafficking and other forms of violence.

Similar to the RVWPP, the minimum standard protocol has been distributed and the RAF members had some consultations with the civil society, lawyers, judges, and prosecutors, ministry of home and ministry of women and children affairs. Moreover, the issue for care of survivors/victims was discussed in the successive inter-ministerial committee meetings.

The govt. of Bangladesh took the minimum standard developed by SARI/Equity into their account and the SARI/Equity initiative was well appreciated in an inter-ministerial committee meeting.  Having gone through the document, the respective govt. officials planned to have some sort of adoption of such protocol in near future.

At the civil society level, the organizations that are working for the victim/survivors of trafficking and other forms of violence are in the process of applying some provisions of the minimum standard within their best capacity.

The issue of minimum standard of care and support for victims developed by SARI/Equity has been able to create a vibration that it has been referred in a similar document Child-friendly standards and guidelines for the recovery and reintegration of the survivors of children trafficking” drafted by ILO/TICSA.

Landmark Judgments on Violence Against Women and Children from South Asia:

The regional compilation of Landmark Judgments has been disseminated among the good no. of Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors of High Court Division of Supreme Court. The document has been found as ready-reference for the law practitioners and Judges of similar judgments around the region.

Mental Health Audit Tool kit (national draft):

The national text of mental health audit toolkit has been incorporated into manuals produced by Dhaka Ahsania Mission’s (one of the SARI/Equity grantees) Quality Assurance in Mental Health project, which has by now gone at field level, and it will be reaching to many more managers and counselors and mental health professionals. This will work as a frame of reference for assessing the mental health care standard for the victims of trafficking and other forms of violence.

 

Future Direction:

  • A committed group of organizations and people who will take these initiative further;
  • Continue production for social marketing, making these products easy to understand documents, based on the original ones;
    • Conduct more national dialogues, training and seminars on the contents and policy implications of these products;
    • Continue advocacy and lobbying with the national govt. and with the regional body like SAARC in order to make the products into practice;
    • Use of press and media to deliver easy messages to concerned people on each of the SARI/Equity products.
    • Continue more advocacies based on these SARI/Equity products.

The Bangladesh Action Forum Members Who Forwarded the SARI/Equity Initiative:

  1. Mr. A.F Hassan Ariff, Former Attorney General for Bangladesh
  2. Advocate Salma Ali, Executive Director, Bangladesh National Women Lawyer’s Association
  3. Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Deputy Attorney General for Bangladesh
  4. Prof. Ishrat Shamim, President, CWCS
  5. Begum Shamsun Nahar, Convenor, Naripokkho
  6. Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Professor, Dept. of Law, University of Dhaka
  7. Mr. Ehsanur Rahman, Deputy Executive Director, Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)
  8. Advocate. Elina Zubaidy Baby, Sr. Sector Specialist, BRAC
  9. Dr. Mahmudur Rahman, Professor, Dept. of Clinical Psychology, University of Dhaka
  10. Ms. Laila Rashid, Deputy Program Manager, BNWLA
  11. Ms. Salima Sarwar, Executive Director, Association for Community Development (ACD)
  12. Mr. Shahidul Haque, Regional Representative for South Asia, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  13. Prof. C.R Abrar, Executive Director, Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU)
  14. Mr. Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Director, Directorate of National Savings, Ministry of Finance & Planning
  15. Mr. Syed Saiful Haque, Chairman, Welfare Association of Repatriate Bangladesh Employees (WARBE)
  16. Mr. T.I.M Zahid Hossain, Head- Rights and Social Justice Sector, Action Aid – Bangladesh
  17. Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui, Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of Dhaka
  18. Mr. Sakiul Millat Morshed, Executive Director, SHISUK
  19. Ms. Lily Jahan, President, Bangladeshi Odhibashi Mahila Shromik Association (BOMSA)
  20. Ms. Shiekh Rumana, General Secretary, BOMSA

 

Conclusion:

 

Outcome of SARI/Equity initiative, in particular the “Products” are quite positive, in the views of RAF/NCG members, especially in Bangladesh. Each of its products has produced significant mark on the conscious group of people in Bangladesh.  It has every possibility to spread and multiply its impact over other people and sectors.  Regional Action Forum members and National Core Group members attended at various workshops/seminars on SARI/Equity products. They are well motivated and enthusiastic on the advocacy points or messages that are raised in these products.

 

It may be concluded that SARI/Equity initiative is successful in moving the stone. It is now ready to push forward to get a national and regional momentum through some organized effort, to reach the desired goal.

 


Sustainable Initiatives for

Strengthening Local Government (SISLG) Project

Sustainable Initiatives for Strengthening Local Government (SISLG) project was undertaken by South Asia Partnership (SAP) Bangladesh to attack range of impediments identified behind current misgovernance. The general purpose of the project was to promote broad based local governance in order to effectively manage the interest of the local constituencies in meeting economic, social and environmental expectations and respond to the challenges ahead. The main component of project was: the establishment of local government associations of northern Bangladesh( LGA) ; formation of coalition of civil society organizations at upazila level(CSOs); formation of women development committees(WDCs) at upazila level and establishment of partnership with local NGOs. The project started from June 2003 and continued till September 2005. The total duration of the project was 27 months and it was supported by ARD/USAID. It may be noted that the project ended in scheduled time with due reputation.

The SISLG project was essentially a partnership project, involving 5 local NGOs. The PNGOs in all the target areas succeeded in forming CSOs, LGAs and WDCs. They also reactivated 68 UP standing committees in order to monitor some of the government activities at the local level. The government activities centering around 4 departments of 91 UPs have been monitored.

The PNGOs through the CSOs conducted 31 lobbying and advocacy with the government officials.

The PNGOs, CSOs, LGAs and WDCs conducted opinion polls amongst 3000 participants and published 30,000 bulletins and circulated those to the concerned stakeholders in the communities. The PNGOs and their allies succeeded in organizing about 35 citizens dialogues. The PNGO staff members conducted a series of awareness rising sessions for around 9,700 women. Furthermore, 60 sharing sessions were organized to discuss the common problems.

Impact of the Project

 

The stakeholders are of the opinion that in each and every service delivery institution such as health, education, agriculture, land or livestock there are anomalies. Through SISLG interventions, qualitative change has occurred. Due to continuous awareness raising activities, the beneficiaries have become vocal, active, participative and empowered. The service deliverers on their part have become conscious about their roles and responsibilities.

The case of violation of women rights have been reduced in the project area. One case of serious violation of a village girl at Sultangonj, Godagari, Rajshahi took place. The local WDC took up the matter very seriously and by dint of the WDC concerted efforts; the police was forced to frame the charge sheet. As a result, the cases of Women Rights Violation in the area have been reduced to a great extent.

Due to the concerted effort of LGAs, CSOs and WDCs use of bribes, unnecessary delay and various forms of harassment have been reduced and the agricultural loan users are now aware of how to get loan, at what interest rate and how to return the same. Awareness of the parents against early marriage, dowry, illegal divorce, polygamy, and so on have been increased and the UP Chairman, UP Members, Village elders have been found motivated to enforce the law at the working areas of the project.

The Local Government Associations (LGA) as the principle actors of the SISLG project are actively advocating for strong local government. They are trying hard to lobby with the central government for favorable policy framework. They are also actively trying to explore solution to resolve implements towards improved performance by the different tiers of local government.

The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) through out the project area have gained strength. They have succeeded in demonstrating their capacity in mobilizing civil society elements and successfully conducted lobby and advocacy.

The Women Development Committee (WDCs) succeeded in demonstrating their capacity through out the project locations on many occasions.

The SISLG project is an innovative venture to cater the local government related actors such as diversified components and stakeholders i.e. multilateral donors, national NGOs, local NGOs, UP Elected Bodies, CSOs and WDCs. The successful implementation pattern has demonstrated appropriateness of the design of the project.

However, it can be stated that the project had certain limitations as well such as short time span and small manpower compared to volume of work.

The SISLG Project is a success story in ensuring increased influence of the local citizens on local government and public institutions.

The SISLG Project is also a success story in reducing gender discrimination and arresting gross violation of women rights.

The SISLG Project has succeeded in ensuring increased level of satisfaction on the part of the citizenry’s with reference to the quality of services   provided by the public and local government institutions.


Narir Odhikar Project

(Women Rights Project)

In order to promote and establish women rights, SAP Bangladesh has been implementing a project, named Narir Odhiker Project. Manusher Jonno Foundation has been supporting this project. The main purpose of the project is to foster and promote the participation of the vulnerable women in combating violence against women. It also aims at establishing justice on violence against women in the community.

It is a three-year project, being implemented in six districts namely Barishal, Potuakhali, Pirojpur, Barguna, Noakhali and Lakhsmipur through fifteen partner NGOs including SAP-Bangladesh. There are 35 upazilas and 257 unions under this project.

The Narir Odhiker Project has been designed to be implemented based on three-fold objective. Firstly, it aims to build the capacity of the community, civil society, UP female members and specially the hardcore disadvantaged poor women to raise their voices collectively and claim justice for violence against women. The second objective aims to foster local network and collaboration and promote capacities of the civil societies, grass root women and local UP female members for protecting violence against women by facilitating access to justice. The third objective is to promote capacity of 15 partner NGOs to implement women rights-based project and other projects that contributes to reduce violence against women in the society. In particular, the project seeks to widen the scope of civil societies, UP representatives and grass-root people specially, women to influence the power structure and duty bearers to fulfill their obligations to protect and promote the realization of women rights.

The Narir Odhikar project addresses mainly two types of beneficiaries in its activities, duly classified as primary and secondary stakeholders. The primary stakeholders are the poor, marginalized and vulnerable women, UP women members, women activists and their organizations, while the secondary stakeholders are the officials of local administration, UP bodies, NGOs, CBOs, local press clubs and finally, the local leaders and the elites. However, the major activities carried out during the reporting period are reflected in the following pages.

Orientation of Poor Women on Women Rights and Child Rights:

In order to achieve the project goal, the project has been providing the distressed women with orientation on women and child rights, the existing social system, judiciary and other supports in the society. The sessions are being organized in the selected communities following a precise guideline, prepared by the project. A total of 35,000 poor women are likely to be benefited from these orientation sessions. From our baseline survey, it is observed that the community women are ignorant about women rights, violence against women and the government services that they are entitled to avail. It may be noted that the women have spontaneously participated in these sessions and started evaluating their status in the society. They have also started reviewing the government services that they are entitled to have access. After having orientation on women and children rights, the poor women are being increasingly organized in to collective force. They have developed their confidence and are collectively raising their voices to get justice for violence against women.

Workshop With Marriage Registers, Matchmakers and Religious Leaders:

It is perceived that marriage registers, matchmakers and religious leaders are the key player in the society in preventing the violence against women, early marriage, and dowry as well. Conceptualizing the fact, the project has kept provision for orientation of these groups. A total of 35 sessions, one at each Upazila has been planned to be organized. Each session consists of 20 participants. After orientation the marriage registers, matchmakers and religious leaders are playing their role in protecting violence against women in their respective areas  of influence.

National and District Level Advocacy and Learning Workshop on Women Rights Issues: This activities aims at making the mass people including the district administration aware about the activities of Narir Odhiker Project and establishing linkage with a variety of people including police administration, civil society and many other local and national level non-government organizations working in the project areas. In doing so, the project has organized six inception sessions at the initial phase in the form of advocacy in six districts namely; Barishal, Potuakhali, Barguna, Piroojpur, Noakhlai and Lakhsmipur. There were several other advocacy workshops held in these districts where Deputy Commissioners, Superintendent of Police of the respective district, other government officials, local UP female members, Chairmen, Civil Society, Partner NGO’s representatives and local elites took part. More than 50 people participated in each workshop.

A massive workshop at national level was held as one of the core activity of this project to disseminate the ideas of the project and seek recommendations for effective implementation. Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau, representatives of National NGOs, Heads of partner organizations, project beneficiaries, focal points of JFC, conveners of WRWG and many other dignitaries attended in the workshop. By  these workshops, the project has influenced the district level administrations, policy-makers, service providers at local and national level to ensure extending necessary supports for the beneficiaries of Narir Odhikar project, which would ultimately contribute to reduction of violence and for effective implementation of violence reducing laws. The project, for it’s identified victims, has started getting spontaneous support form the district administration, police and other government and non-government service providers. After a workshop, the participants formulated some specific and measure-oriented recommendations.  The discussants spoke on the issues pertaining to prevention of violence against women (VAW) and suggested ways to improve the system in order to achieving success in a more precise manner.

Production of Short Film and TV Filler:

A short film and TV Filler have been produced under this project as educational learning materials. The short film is being showed among the people in the community. The community people have learned about the consequences of early marriage and the merits of marriage registration.

 

Ideas Sharing Workshops With Media People As Extra Curricular Activity:

 

 As an extra curricular activity, the project has organized two idea-sharing sessions with journalists in Barishal and Piroojpur district. The aim of these sessions were to make the journalists aware about the project activities in their area and to participate with the project team to combat violence against women by circulating more and more information about violence against women..  20 journalists attended in each idea-sharing workshop. Two women journalists also participated in the session of Barishal. The workshop produced a good result. The journalists are now reporting covering more and more violence-related information, particularly incidence of violence against women.

Orientation on VAW and Early Marriage for Choukidars:

 

 Choukidars of Union Parishads are one of the key stakeholders of this project. This section of people has well acceptance in the community, as they are inhabitants of the villages under the unions. So, to promote their role in reducing the incidence of early marriage, the project has  organized orientation for the Choukidars at Upazila level.

Formation and Operation of Upazila Justice Facilitation Committee (JFC) for Women:

With a view to establishing a sustainable social safety net in the community for providing support to the disadvantaged hardcore poor women, 35 JFCs, headed by experienced lawyers have been established at 35 Upazilas in six districts. The other members of these JFC have been taken from different sections of people including teachers, village doctors, UP female members and local elites. The primary responsibility of these JFCs are to facilitate linkages for women victims with the legal service providing institutions including police station, district court, family courts, local NGOs etc. As regular activity, the JFCs organizes meeting on monthly basis and take initiatives for providing support to different victims. It also organizes Shalish for mitigation of family feud, spousal abuse, dowry cases and other violence in collaboration with UP Chairmen and UP female members. The respective Chairmen are showing positive attitude to the initiatives taken by the committee.

Emergency Support for Legal, Medicare, Security, Transport and Other Services.

 

The project has a provision for providing support to hardcore poor women, who are victims of severe violence. This is not merely an activity of the project but also a plea to establish a system that will stimulate the victims. Community women are threatened to manifold vulnerability for seeking legal aid support form the district administration. However, it has yielded a very good result as quite a good number of women are coming forward, changing their conservative attitude as well as belief about women rights. The project officers are identifying victims and JFCs take them to the court for justice.

Formation and Operation of Women Rights Watch Group (WRWG) at Union Level:

 

 As grass root committee, a total of 257 WRWGs have been formed at 257 unions. Each WRWG consists of UP female members, lawyers, teachers, village doctors, local journalists, religious leaders, businessmen and other local elites. The total members of this committee are 15.  These committees exist as platform in the community for the vulnerable women, from where they get prepared to move against violence. The WRWGs monitor the violation of women rights and play important role in the local Shalish. They also develop strategies for addressing the problem and make liaison with JFC for better services to the victims. It carries out advocacy with the local government authorities for ensuring justice through the village court. In performing their job, the WRWG, being the vigilant groups works jointly with the Women and Children, Sports and Culture Standing Committee of Union Parishads at all working areas. Workshops were organized at 257 unions with WRWG members.

 

Making the Union Parishad Level Standing Committee Functional:

The Standing Committees of Union Parishad especially, the Women and Children, Sports and Culture Committee, headed by woman UP members, are supposed to be in existence in the UPs. But the UPs in the project area hardly have such committees. Narir Odhikar Project has worked on it intensively and formed 104 Women and Children, Sports and Culture Standing Committees in different districts and kept them functional. The WRWG has been able to establish a working relationship with these committees at union level. Besides, with a view to influencing the very policies, the project has built up collaborative relation with other NGOs working for protecting women rights in the working area. In this regard, idea-sharing meetings, workshops were held at different unions.

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Training Workshop on Gender Development and Sustainability Issues of JFC:

In order to make the Executive Directors and the Project Officers aware about gender issues, the project have organized training for both of them separately. In total, 14 Executive Directors (EDs) of PNGOs, six women and eight male people took part in the training. Similarly, 33 Project Officers participated in the gender training workshops, where seven participants were female. This type of training helped the Project Officers to ensure their interaction with the female colleagues in a congenial way. Besides, they have been able to chalk out the sensitive issues relating to gender and perform their duties accordingly in the filed. The EDs are also sensitized more on these issues and interact with female colleagues accordingly.

Learning Sharing/ Exchange Visit:

 

The project has organized exposure visit for staff, JFC focal points, WRWG conveners and project officers to Nepal. In total 10 persons had visited to five NGOs working with right-based program in Nepal. The team has acquired practical knowledge visiting their program that is in particular, be useful for implementing the activities of Narir Odhiker project.

Liaison and Linkage With GO and NGO:

The project has kept in its plan for organizing workshop with GO, NGO and other service providers for exchanging views of NOP. The workshop will help establish a system of joint efforts to provide the victims with required support (medical, legal, and other rehabilitation etc.)

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Orientation on the Project, TOT and Refresher Training for Project Staff: In order to develop the skills of the PNGO’s staff,the project has organized several orientation sessions followed by a refreshers session. The project officers have now become more efficient  and implementing the project activities in an efficient manner.

 

Development of Gender and Financial Management Policy:

This is one of the components of the project objectives. Most of the partner NGOs do not have any workable financial policy.  Thus, a plan has been chalked out to organize workshops to help the partner NGOs to develop gender and financial policy. These policies are developed through a participatory and learning-sharing approach. The partner NGOs will ultimately use the policies in their organizations.

Other Activities: Apart from planned activities, some additional activities were also done in the community to create awareness of cross section of people including students of the community.

Taslima Begum Got a New Light of Life:

Taslima Begum wife of Abu Kalam Paik of village Khobsen under Agoljhara Upazila has studied up to class viii. Now, she is about 28 years old. Her husband works but he cannot make both ends meet by what he earns. So Taslima along her husband had to starve very often. Once She thought – how she could get rid of this problem. However, leaving all dilemmas, she went to ASA office and got herself enrolled as member, and after a certain period, she took a small loan of amounting Tk. 5000/- to run a business for boosting their family income. It was fairly well at the beginning, but as the days passed; her husband got in it and started taking money from her now and then. Almost every day’s practice, Kalam Paik would forced her to give money to him. One day, Kalam Paik bound her to stop giving money back to ASA.

Taslima knew that there was no alternative but to continue her membership by paying the installments on regular basis though her husband resisted her to pay installments. Once, she had 200 taka in her hands to pay weekly installments and she paid it to ASA.  Kalam Paik could not take it nicely. He did not want Taslima to pay installments ignoring his commend. He thought that it was not his demand; rather it was of their family’s demand. So, he tortured her physically and turned her out of his house along with her minor sons. Taslima having no shelter at her husband’s house she got back to her father’s home with mental suffering and agony.

 

A few days later, she went to Narir Odhikar Project office at her union and briefed about all, that happened from the early days of their marriage till to date to the Project Officer of Narir Odhiker Project. The project officer took her to WRWG and ultimately the committee lodged complains to the Union Parishad office demanding its settlement legally. The Gram Adalot (village court) is activated and the UP Chairman as Judge of Gram Adalot  issued a legal notice to  Kalam Paik.

On 27 March 2006, the accused Kalam Paik and  his guardians were compelled to attended in the village court. Kalam Paik confessed his guilt and promised in black and white in the Gram Adalot (village court that he would never torture his wife Taslima and prevent her from doing her business. Taslima will continue her membership with ASA. Taslima became happy and went with her husband Kalam Paik smilingly to their small hut. Taslima got a new light of life.

Immediate Result

 

  • The rights orientation has reached directly twenty thousand (20,000) distressed hardcore women. They have become aware on women rights.The women in the project area are committed to establish rights in their family as well as in the society.
  • The rate of early marriage reduced due to various initiatives undertaken by the project.
  • 35 UNOs declared that no early marriage would happen in their jurisdiction.
  • Women in the project area have realized that early marriage is a major reason for increasing violence against women and they are committed not to encourage early marriage in their family and in the society.
  • 1367 violence victims including 331 sever victims has been given legal aid support by the project.
  • A good number of victims has been referred to other service provider organizations like BLAST, BNWLA etc. and the women victims have developed trust towards the legal aid agencies.
  • The rate of illegal divorce has reduced in the project area in comparison to its early statistics.
  • The UP chairmen and male members are contributing significantly to this project to prevent violence against women, establishing their rights and protect discriminations.
  • Government and non-government officials are working together at district, upazila and union parish ad level. Thus the GO- NGO collaboration has enhanced through the implementation of the project.

 

Broad Based Coalition and Advocacy for Human Rights (BCAHR) Project

The project aims at improving human rights situation and reducing the incidences of violence against women by means of cooperation with change agents both within civil societies and government institutions.

In order to attain the goal, the project has the following strategic objectives to be achieved.

  1. To enhance the programming capacity on human rights of 10 local NGOs contributing towards improving human rights situation.
  2. To foster awareness of the cross-section of people on human rights and position the local civil society organizations into a platform of greater collaboration and broadening their role to achieve influence on policy environment and decision making process to protect denials of human rights.
  3. To initiate self-help initiatives of the rural women to safeguard themselves from range of violence against women.

 

There are four major project activities. These are as follows:

 

  1. Capacity Building of Partner NGOs on Rights Based Programming

With the view to facilitate initiatives for improving human rights situation, each participating NGOs formed human rights taskforce within the organization. The taskforce has been formed to initiate activities to advance incorporation of rights-based approach, to design an action learning strategy and to be partner with local potential human rights actors, especially, civil societies.

 

  1. Building Human Rights Coalition of Civil Society Organizations at Upazila Level.

In order to generate momentum among the civil society organizations to fight against range of systemic denials of human rights and violence against women project has been promoting cooperation, collaboration and interaction between civil societies and public institutions about infringement of human rights. The participating NGOs have been playing the role to promote collaboration of civil society organizations in each working Upazila by establishing CSO coalition. The coalition comprises of the representatives from the associations of professionals like journalists, lawyers, teachers, doctors, NGO personnel, cultural and religious activists, women activists and other occupational groups,

  1. Establishing Coastal Network of Civil Society Organizations for Human Rights

The impetus for establishing coastal network came into being from the experience of SAP-Bangladesh’s informal networking with local NGOs in the coastal areas, particularly, in Patuakhali and Barguna district. The commonalities of some human rights issues in coastal areas came out from the discussion of networking NGOs that deserved special attention to resolve human rights issues through greater alliance among the civil societies and NGOs in the coastline region of Bangladesh. The CSOs coalition under twenty Upazelas and the network of 10 NGOs formed a coastal network to carry forward the local priority human rights violation issues at the national level. The Network has been essentially dealing with coastal priority HR issues in connection to access to mainstream resources by the island people.

  1. Formation of Upazila Women Rights Committee (WRC) for Protecting and Assistance to Victims of Violence Against Women

Under the leadership of the women UP members the project has organized women rights committee for each upazila to deal with various oppression, violence or discriminations that generally take place against women. The WRC comprises of women UP members, local women from civil societies and leaders of grassroots women groups. The objective of such committee is to promote a sustainable social safety net mechanism for protecting any sorts of violence against women.

  Citizen Dialogue With Public Institutions:

Human Rights Coalitions (HRC) and Women Rights Committee (WRC) at upazilla level under this project organized 76 citizen dialogues with concern public officials at their respective upazillas on dowry, illegal and harmful use of drug and narcotics, khash land, early marriage, illegal divorce and stipend at primary school.  These events have created a common ground for public officials, civil society and NGOs to work together on aforesaid areas in order to improve human rights situation. These dialogues were attended by public officials, NGOs representatives, journalists, service seekers, and the community people. The dialogues not only have accelerated the cooperative relations between civil society organizations and public institutions but it have also increased awareness and responsiveness of the participants.

 Advocacy Meeting With the Policy Makers by Coastal Network:

 

Coastal network formed under the project organized 9 advocacy meetings with policy makers on various issues such as situation of health services at upazila health complex, khas land, early marriage, dowry and illegal divorce and women situation at coastal belt.. At these meetings, members of parliament, government officials, doctors, teachers, media persons, civil society representatives, HRC and WRC members, development activists, academicians, journalists attended in the meetings. These advocacy meetings have drawn the attention of policy makers to the major problems regarding public health service, Khas land distribution and the root causes of violation of women rights. It has also emphasized on identifying the appropriate measures for eliminating the root causes of violation of human and women rights.

  Social Mobilization:

Over the reporting period, 64 social mobilization events were held at different Upazila. The main objective of the social mobilization was to create a positive pressure on the concerned duty bearers to render the expected services to the people. The major issues addressed through social mobilization created access of the poor to health services. It has improved the quality of health services at local public health complex, reduced the incidence of dowry, early marriage and polygamy. It has activated the Standing committee of Union Parishad on child and women affairs, reduced illegal use of drug and narcotics. Thousands of people from different walks of life including community people, civil society, NGO professionals, journalist, members of HRC and WRC participated in those social mobilization events. As part of social mobilization HRCs and WRCs under the project submitted a good numbers of memorandums to the respective public departments like health, land, narcotic control, primary education and UNO.

HR Reporting by the Journalists:

Over the reporting period, the local journalists facilitated by the project, have published 225 reports in various local and national newspapers. These reports covered various human rights issues and have brought the messages to the mass people and thus it helped in creating awareness on existing burning human rights issues among different section of people. The published reports also brought some vital issues to the duty bearers and the concerned authority.

 

 Legal Support to Women Victim of Violence:

Although the project does not have any direct component of providing legal support to violence victims, the emergence of HRC and WRC as vibrant platform of civil society at local level has created this demand among the community people specially grassroots women. As a result, community people and grassroots women started coming to HRCs & WRCs for seeking legal aid. During the reporting period, WRCs and HRCs provided legal support to about 66 women victim of violence. Providing legal support to victims has added new value to the continuous rising image of HRC and WRC at local level.

1.6.Advocacy Meeting With Public Officials:

Over the reporting period, the human rights coalitions and women rights committees organized 55 advocacy meetings with public officials at Upazila level. Major focus of these advocacy meetings with the public officials in the reporting period was health services at local health complex, proper distribution of Khash land among landless people, controlling illegal and harmful use of drug, stop early marriage, dowry, polygamy, village shalish process, ensure quality primary education, role of local government etc. Public officials, members from civil society, women representatives, journalists, lawyers, teachers, religious leaders, grassroots women and community people attended in each advocacy meetings and gave their valuable recommendations on – how to make the public institutions more transparent and efficient.

 

 Human Rights Orientation to Grassroots Women:

Over the reporting period, the partner NGOs including SAP-Bangladesh, as part of own contribution to the project, organized 1412 courtyard meetings, where 16,785 grassroots women were given orientation on women human rights and legal rights. The orientation focused on the women’s human rights and legal rights covering the issues of women human rights, early marriage, polygamy, marriage registration, denmohor, dowry, illegal divorce, rape, acid throwing, abduction, women and child trafficking, family court, women and Child repression etc. Respective facilitators used the flipchart to orient the grassroots women. Human rights orientation program raised awareness among grassroots women resulting in their behavioral changes regarding service seeking.

 

National Dialogue:

 

Coastal network organized two national dialogues on ‘management of khas land in the coastal areas: problems and prospects’ and ‘women rights situation in the coast: problems and prospects. The first one held at national press club. The honorable state minister for land Ukil Abdus Sattar, who is also the in-charge of the ministry, was the chief guest, and one most vibrant MP of the opposition and ex- honorable state minister Mr. AKM Jahangir Hossain and Mr. Murtaza Hassan Munshi, chairman, land reform board was the special guest. Eminent economist and noted expert on land management Prf. Dr. Abul Barkat was the moderator. The second one also held at national press club conference room in Dhaka. Md. Mojahar Hosain MP, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee for ministry of women and children affairs was present as chief guest. Ms Khushi Kabir , executive director, Nijera kori was present in the dialogue as the moderator and advocate shirin Akhter Jahan, MP in the reserved seat of the parliament, Ms Khaleda Khatoon, sr. program manager of AED, executive members of coastal network advocate Habibur Rahman and Prof. Mohsin Uddin were present as panel discussants. Advocate Alokananda Das, executive member of coastal network presented a study report on women rights situation in the coast. More than 200 participants attended in the dialogues. Both the dialogues received very good media coverage.

 

Immediate Result of the Project:

  •  The project has significantly contributed to awareness building on human rights and women rights among its major stakeholders.
  • Regarding the trends of human rights and women rights violation, it may be noted that overall trends of the incidence of human rights and women rights violation has been decreasing.
  •  The project has nicely contributed to the improvement of service delivery by the selected public service institutions. Among them the health sector is most significant one.
  • Community people have a high satisfaction on improvement of health sector. They also express their satisfaction on khas land distribution.
  •  The project has positively contributed to increasing involving of CSOs members in rights promoting activities.
  • Women in the coastal districts, particularly in the project areas have become more aware on their human and women rights. They are able to express their views and can take part in decision-making process.
  •  Women in the project areas also participate in Salish.
  •  There has been a notable progress in marriage registration.
  •  Each partner NGO has incorporated some program/ project activities on human rights and women rights. It indicates that PNGOs have developed capacities on rights programming.
  • The project holders have identified some visible success of the project. The successes are: emergence of separate platform for women at local level. Acceptance of Human Rights Coalition (HRC) and Women Rights Coalition (WRC)
  • There has been a good number of news coverage on human rights and women rights issues.
  • A notable increase on human rights and women rights awareness among different section of people.
  • Public officials, CSO members and PNGOs are happy with the concept and progress of the project.

However, the project during the reporting period has quite a lot of visible successes. It has been able to make the cross-section of people aware about human rights and women rights. It has been able to build the confidence of the vulnerable women to raise their voices collectively and to encounter unjust and oppressive values and system. The project has been able to sensitize duty bearers to be pro-poor, pro-people, pro-women and pro-child. The human rights coalition, women rights committee and the coastal network have achieved high images through lobbying and advocacy at local and national level. The lobbying and advocacy have some positive impact over the lives of the poorer section of the community.

Case Study

Binodini Pal was assaulted in the police camp when she went to protest the illegal arrest of her community people

Government has ensured women representation in the local government. Women now can go for election in the reserved seats. But can women empowerment truly be guaranteed only through election and policies?

Is it possible for a local government woman representative to get full cooperation from government administration? What are the obstacles a woman leadership has to face, when she sincerely wants to contribute in the development for her working area?

These inevitable questions again come in front when we learn about Binodini Pal, a woman representative of Rupsa Union Parishad, Khulna, who as assaulted in the police camp when she went to protest the illegal arrest of her community people. Khulna is now a priority zone for the country’s newsmen, as it doesn’t cease to produce incidents of crimes for almost every day.

There is a police camp in Siyalle village of Ghat Bhog union in Rupsa Upazilla. The police officer who was in charge of the camp arrested some people who were poor fishermen. Without bringing any specific charge against them the police officer kept them locked in the camp.

Binodini Pal is a representative of local government of the same Union. Helpless relatives of the victims came to her in the same night asking to do something for them.  At 9 p.m. Binodini met the police officer and demanded the reasons of the arrest of the innocent people of her community.

At first, the sub inspector welcomed her as a middleman. He didn’t try to hide his intentions at all. “Out of mere suspicion, I have arrested these people. Bring two thousand taka for each and I will free them” said the police officer.  “After I have received the whole amount you will also be given a share” the police officer made this offer.

Binodini refused the offer and demanded the release of the innocent victims. The police officer was known, as a tormentor in the community .He wasn’t ready to face such kind of direct refusal against his demands. He didn’t expect such kind of boldness from a woman. Therefore, he lost his temperament and assaulted Binidini.   Binodini Pal was physically assaulted. During the physical assault, the police officer also abused her.

Binodini’s husband was with her in the police camp and he also was injured. They were forced out of the police camp.

Binodini and her husband went to police station next morning to lodge a complaint. They were refused. They went to the superintendent of police to take up the case. But they didn’t get any cooperation from him.

The incident of violence and abuse by a police officer on a local govt. women representative wasn’t taken with due importance by the highest authority of police. It happened because this kind of incidents was happening off and on.

Binodini definitely was upset, but she didn’t loose her confidence. Being the president of Rupsa Women Rights Committee, she was leading the initiatives to combat violence against women in her community. She never tolerated violence against women. She couldn’t tolerate when the violence was done to her. She felt that, it was a question of her leadership, it was a question of fighting for her people, and it was a question of bringing the perpetrator under law.

Binodini Pal arranged a press conference with the cooperation of human rights coalition and women rights committee of Rupsa Upazila. In the conference, she not only presented what happened to her but also accused the police officer. She explained the background of the incident and asked the journalists to make it public in the newspapers.

Right after the press conference, Binodini went to the court and filed a case under the women and children repression act. The accused police officer didn’t expect that Binodini would go so far. He thought that Binidini was taught a good lesson.

As soon the case was filed in the court, the court ordered his suspension from the duty and the authority was bound to withdraw the police officer from station and putting him on temporary suspension.

It was assumed that a mere suspension from his office is not enough to disconnect the police officer from his power exercise. His suspension from duty couldn’t ensure Binodini’s safety. The police officer was granted bail and resumed his traits of harassments with the indirect help of police administration.

It may be noted that Binodini was assaulted by a single police officer. But when she tried to seek justice, she found that the whole government administration turned against her. Binodini was offered by the police officer to compromise and with draw the case.

Binodini remained strong and rigid in her decision and refused the perpetrator of his proposal of compromise. Binodini sharply denied to withdrawing her case.

The police officer had been putting pressure on Binodini from the higher authority of police. This time, the police officer convinced some of Binodini’s colleagues, who joined the police officer and started threaten her.

‘As people’s representative, I realized my duty and refused the illegal demands of the police officer. Instead of cooperating me one of my colleague has been active trying to take advantage of my helplessness. He has been threatening me of my defeat in the next election if I do not withdraw the case. He has been also threatening the persons who gave witness in favor of me in the court. During the time, three of my witnesses have already withdrawn themselves through affidavit’ told Binodini Pal.

Although some of her male colleagues are against her. Although the accused police officer has succeeded issuing pressure on her from the higher authority of police and political leaders, Binodini has not lost her confidence to fight for justice. She has the belief that community support is with her. The rights coalitions are providing her courage and legal advice. President of Khulna Sadar Women Rights Committee Advocate Alakananda Das has taken over her case.

The fact is that if Binidini fails in her movement to establish her legal rights and justice, government’s promise of empowering women comes into question! The common people of Rupsa who have begun to depend on women leadership will lose their confidence on women. A woman leader will be turned in the same old position of a victim. Her voice against women oppression will remain silent forever.

“I can not simply withdraw my case, because people will loose their confidence on me. At this stage, I cannot think that I personally hold the right to decide whether I should go ahead or not. People of the community want me to carry on and that is why I am not going to step back” This is how Binodini Pal, a woman representative of local government in Rupsa Upazela express her views and role in the fight of combating violence and establish people’s rights.


After 21 Years of Marriage, Majeda Begum Gets Her

Marriage Registered

After twenty-one years of marriage, Majeda Begum of Patuakhali has got her marriage registered. How old is she now?

After spending more than two decades of married life, Majeda is still in her early thirties.  A mother of two sons, Majeda is only thirty-two years and her family is living in one of the remotest chars of Galachipa. Majeda got married when she was only eleven.

Majeda’s husband is not an abusive person. He is not planning another marriage. He doesn’t force his wife to bring money from her father’s house. They have been struggling together to make a better way of life for their two sons. With the money that Majeda received from ASA as loan, she brought her husband a rickshaw. Its earnings gradually helped them to own another one. With the income of these two rickshaws, Majeda was able to start a small hotel of her own.

After years of struggle and poverty, her family is enjoying a little stability and they’re no threat of divorce from her husband. Majeda recently has attended training where she has learnt the importance of marriage registry and also the available legal opportunities for women to seek justice against violence.

With the technical assistance of South Asia Partnership- Bangladesh a series of trainings organized by Society Development Agency (SDA), a rights based NGO working in Patuakhali district has already reached two thousand grassroots women and Majeda is one of them.

‘In spite of all the difficulties of poverty my marriage is a happy one, still I wanted to go for registry so that other women in my community realize the importance of it. Registry will help a wife seek legal action against a husband who wants to take another wife and plans to abandon her. Registry will make a marriage safe and also will help a women get her entitlements even when she is forced to a divorce’ said Majeda Begum.

‘I have learnt so many things in the training and it has opened my eyes. I felt immediately to do something. I couldn’t go back to my past and save myself from the sufferings I had to go through because of my child marriage. But there was still a decision I could make about my marriage and that is why I went for the registry. My husband agreed to my decision and we both went to the marriage register to get it done.’ This is how Majeda begum explains herself.

Action Network to Combat Violence against Women ANCVAW (Secretariat)

Collective Advocacy to Criminalize Domestic Violence (Project)

The action network to combat violence against women (ANCVAW) is a coalition of 14 non government organizations (NGOs) of Bangladesh, who are committed to work together at the community, district and national levels for the recognition of domestic violence as a public and human rights issue and promote the criminalization of domestic violence against women.

Emergence of ANCVAW

 

In March 2003, the Academy for Educational Development (AED) a US based development organization organized a study tour that focused on advocacy and campaigns on violence against women. Participants from Bangladesh included representatives from 14 organizations and one human rights activist.  During their visit to India, the group shared ideas and perspectives on gender-based violence, local and national initiatives and advocacy with Indian counterparts.

As a result of the study tour, the participants decided to build a coalition focused on violence against women. AED/BHRAP facilitated meetings to help the participants to incorporate learning of the study tour into their programming and develop a concrete plan for the coalition. On the occasion of international women’s day 2004, the coalition decided to make a public declaration of their intent and launch a fourteen-member coalition as the action network to combat violence against women (ANCVAW).

The secretariat of the coalition is located at South Asia Partnership-Bangladesh.

 

Network Structure and Management of ANCVAW

The general board of the coalition consists of all fourteen members. The national action forum (NAF) represented by all members to guide, advise and direct the advocacy activities of the project and monitor the secretariat function.  District level activities are managed by district action forums (DAF) which is made up of local leaders and citizens from each district. In addition, a national criminalization core group (NCCG), NAF members and legal experts will draft a bill to criminalize domestic violence and place it to the government for enactment of laws to criminalize domestic violence.

 

Objective of the Project

This project has been designed to build a broad based recognition at the community, district and national level that domestic violence is a public and human rights issue and thus it will promote the need for a law to criminalize domestic violence in Bangladesh.

 

Overall Strategies to Achieve the Goal

 

It has been widely recognized that ANCVAW  members are the main driving force to achieve its goal through the planned activities. Therefore, diverse strategies have been followed to strengthen the participation of member organizations.

Member organizations are actively involved for organizing activities such as, seminar, media consultations, dialogue with media, round table discussion, rally, international day observation, and capacity building activities for district action forum members and district focal persons at national and local level.

Members are involved in planned meetings of ANCVAW at their offices/venue through which they feel a sense of ownership and move ahead of ANCVAW activities.

Members actively participate in developing campaign materials (idea generation, preparation of materials, dissemination) along with other external material developers for ANCVAW.

To engage and link up grassroots experiences to the national level to strengthen the process of drafting law, ANCVAW has taken initiatives to bring DAF members and District Focal Persons in the national level activities such as seminar, bill drafting workshop etc. so that they can share the grassroots level experiences on domestic violence issues to the national level policy makers and other stake holders which will be very helpful to grasp the depth of the problem by the policy makers and other stakeholders.

ANCVAW is involved in organizing series of activities with the national level media on the domestic violence issues that provides high media coverage. Proposition is made to media organization(s) to organize different events jointly.

District Action Forum committees and their members are involved in organizing local level activities with the support of concerned member organization of ANCVAW.

Positive initiatives are taken to ensure participation of policy makers, media personalities, law experts, academics, human rights activists, women rights activists and politicians will actively participate in different national level activities such as seminar, dialogue with media and bill drafting consultations at national level.

Involve experts for discussion on the domestic violence issues in different forums and consultations, round tables, seminars etc. Experts are also involved to make effective campaigns on domestic violence and develop draft to enact laws to criminalize domestic violence.

Members of the ANCVAW

The following organizations are the networks members of ANCVAW:

  • Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK)
  • Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts (BITA)
  •  Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
  •  Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA)
  •  Banchte Shekha
  •  Manabik Shahajya Sangstha (MSS)
  •  Milonpur Mahila Samity
  •  Odhikar
  •  Padakhep Manabik Unnayan Kendra
  •  Rupantar
  •  Samata
  •  Steps Towards Development
  •  Uttaran      and
  •  South Asia Partnership – Bangladesh

 

Activities to be Carried Out by the Project:

  • Developing ANCVAW structure at national and district level
  • Organizing dialogues with media at national level
  • Organizing public information meetings at district level
  • Organizing media consultations at district level
  • Organizing rally at district and national level
  • Observing international women’s day at district and national level
  • Organizing national level dialogues, seminars and round tables
  • Organizing signature campaign
  • Organizing communication and media campaign
  • Conducting policy and social research
  • Publishing a booklet on the impact of domestic violence
  • Drafting a bill to criminalize domestic violence to present it to the parliament

 

Current Working Areas:

 

The project has been in operation in the following districts:

Bagerhat, Barisal, Chapainawabganj, Cox’s Bazar, Comilla,  Chittagong, Chuadanga, Dhaka, Dinajpur, Gaibandha, Gopalganj, Jessore, Jhenaida, Khagrachari, Khulna, Kurigram, Kushtia, Lakshmipur, Meherpur, Mymensingh, Narayanganj, Narail, Pabna, Panchagar, Patuakhali, Rajbari, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Satkhira, Sirajganj & Thakurgaon

 

Financial assistance are being provided by USAID through Academy for Educational Development, Bangladesh Human Rights Advocacy Program (AED/BHRAP)

The Details of Activities That Have Been Carried Out During the Reporting Period are Reflected Blew:

 

Developing Structure of ANCVAW

 

At the inception, the ANCVAW has developed its structural foundation at the national and district level. A national action forum (NAF) has been developed with the participation of all member organizations. The guiding principles of the coalition has been developed and approved by the members. The official logo has been approved by the members. ANCVAW developed a team called national criminalization core group (NCCG) consists of members and an external consultant to develop a draft and enact a law to criminalize domestic violence.

Orientation for Project Personnel

An orientation of project personnel has been organized by the ANCVAW in June 2005. A total of 36 project personnel including district focal persons and ANCVAW secretariat staff participated in the orientation.

 

Capacity Assessment of the ANCVAW Members

A capacity assessment of the ANCVAW member organizations has been conducted with the participation of member organizations. A format has been developed, approved and information

Collected based on this format from member organizations.

Web Site of ANCVAW

 

A web site of ANCVAW has been developed to make the ANCVAW known to the rest of the world. The website contains the information about ANCVAW, its project, members, activities, reports, international and national instruments against domestic violence. The website address is http://www.ancvaw.org .

 


Formation of District Action Forum

 

ANCVAW has developed district action forum (DAF), a citizen forum at all its project districts (30) The forum has been developed through a meeting at all districts with the participation of citizens of all sphere such as lawyer, journalist, businessmen, teacher, social worker, women rights activist, local public representative, cultural activists, student and other different professional groups. One staff-member from each member organization is playing the role of district focal person (DFP) in each district. The district action forum (DAF) is organizing the project activities at the district level with the support of the district focal person.

 

Rally

 

ANCVAW has organized a colorful rally at Dhaka and in all the working districts of ANCVAW on the day of international day for the elimination of violence against women on 25 November 2005. A large number of people from cross-section actively took part in the rallies at national and district level. In the rally, a statement on behalf of ANCVAW was read out and a signature campaign was organized.

 

Media Consultation at District Level

ANCVAW has built nice working relations with media community at the district level through organizing media consultation meetings. Participants included in the consultation meetings ware mostly personnel from media electronic and print, citizen group , and district action forum members of ANCVAW. Total 66 such consultation meetings were organized at the working districts, where more than 4,000 media personnel, local citizen group members and DAF members participated and discussed on the issue of domestic violence and its implications in the society. Several suggestions were received from those consultations on – how to get media support to address the issues of domestic violence in the media and make the people aware about the ill implications of domestic violence.

 

Public Information Meeting at District Level

 

ANCVAW has organized a good number of public information meetings at all its working districts on the issue of domestic violence. People of all walks of life including lawyer, journalist, teacher, student, women victims of domestic violence, social worker, women rights activist, public representative, and others participated in those meetings. Several suggestions came out from those meetings, which have greatly promoted the ANCVAW to continue its activities more effectively at the grassroots level. 61 such meetings were organized at the working districts, where more than 5,500 cross-sections of people participated.

 

Signature Campaign

 

ANCVAW has a distinctive objective to criminalize domestic violence, as this kind of violence is a criminal offence and this should be protected through a legal framework. In order to involve the much people, ANCVAW has conducted a signature campaign to criminalize domestic violence in the country. This is a continuous process and within reporting period, more than 80,000 signatures have been collected to enact a law to criminalize domestic violence.

 

Consultation Workshop on Bill Drafting

 

ANCVAW has organized a workshop on February 2006 with a view to drafting a law to criminalize domestic violence. A presentation was made by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) on the issue. Law experts, social activists, rights activists, legal support giving organizations and NGO workers and ANCVAW member organizations too part in the workshop and provided their comments and suggestions on the issue of legal framework against domestic violence. The findings from the workshop will is being used by the law drafting group of ANCVAW.

Immediate Result of the Project

 

  • The ANCVAW secretariat has been able to create a vibration on the issue of domestic violence in the country particularly 31 operating districts of ANCVAW movement.
  • The cross-section of people have been sensitized through participation in ANCVAW social mobilizations and campaign.
  • The media both print and electronic are due giving space for the promotion of ANCVAW activities
  • In Khulna, the DAF submitted a memorandum to the SP, condemning the brutal torture of a housewife by the son of a local MP. Another memorandum on a crual death of a housewife by a miscreant caused vibration in the community on domestic violence.

On Going Projects of SAP- Bangladesh:

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Present Working Area of SAP- Bangladesh (Name of district and sub-districts):

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Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

Follow up and monitoring is done through weekly, monthly and quarterly meeting and review. Monitoring and evaluation are carried out using project wise prescribed format.  Regular field visits are also conducted both by the program and finance staff to assess the targets and achievement and to look at the deviation.  Monthly and quarterly reporting is an important tool of SAP-BD monitoring. The reports are checked with due attention to see the level of targets and achievements and the deviation if any. Based on the findings from the review meeting, necessary recommendations and actions are taken.

Both internal and external evaluations are conducted to assess the project effect and impact. Internal evaluations are on going / formative evaluations that are conducted by the project/program staff involving the partners and other stakeholders while external evaluations are conducted in the mid-term and at the closing of the project. External evaluations of the project/ program are conducted by the external experts.

Apart from above mentioned process and procedure SAP-Bangladesh also carry three different type of monitoring such as: monthly project wise staff coordination meeting, quarterly coordination meeting with the partner NGOs, yearly financial audit, annual report and frequent correspondents with the partner and the project to see the progress of the project activities.

 

SAP- Bangladesh Governance

South Asia Partnership-Bangladesh is a non-government national NGO, registered under Social Welfare, NGO Affaires Bureau and Society Act. It has been permitted to work all over Bangladesh for the public cause and interest.

The following are the registration number of different legal entity:

Registration Number (NGO Affairs Bureau) 156, Dated 29/ 03/ 1984

Department of Social Service–Memo No. DSW / ER/ FD-147/ 185 Dated 29-03-1984

Certificate of Societies Act. XX1 of 1860. No. S-3177(142) 2003

SAP-Bangladesh is governed by a National Executive Committee (NEC) that is elected by a General Council of twenty-one members. The NEC is comprised of reputed NGO leaders, researchers, academicians and legal experts who bring with them many years of diversified professional experience. The board meets every quarter to provide strategic decisions and policy support in the operation of SAP–Bangladesh. The Executive Director of SAP-Bangladesh, who acts as the member secretary of the NEC, is responsible for implementing the strategic decisions and policies that are made by the board.

National Executive Committee Members of SAP- Bangladesh

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The total staff-member of SAP – Bangladesh are about 216. Among them 50 staff – member are Dhaka based and 166 staff-member are field based. It may be mentioned that all the senior and mid managers are Masters in different discipline. All of them have past experience in the field of development and change. The senior managers have long and outstanding experience in working with national and international NGOs. Many of them have attended in quite a good number of international training, workshop and seminar.

SAP–Bangladesh Training Program

SAP–Bangladesh believes that knowledge is power. But keeping knowledge within us is dangerous for our succeeding generation. Therefore, there is a great need to transfer knowledge and skills. To this end SAP- Bangladesh from its inception down to the present giving much emphasis in training and capacity building program. SAP- Bangladesh’s realization is that      financial support is not enough to achieve development goals pursued by the NGOs. From the experience of working with the small and grassroots level NGOs over the past years, SAP–Bangladesh has learned that these organizations lack in management, administration, record keeping, communication and other organizational development issues. The capacity building and training program of SAP-Bangladesh is the outcome of this realization. However, the capacity building and training program has been established to address the training and capacity building needs of its project holders and other NGOs.

The capacity building and training program is responsible for overall planning, management, implementation and evaluation of the training programs which are conducted for coordinators, directors, accountants, supervisors, field workers and community leaders of partner NGOs.

Role and Function of Capacity Building and Training Program

To assess and identify training needs. Develop training curriculum and module. Plan and organize training program. Conduct training courses and evaluation etc.

 SAP- Bangladesh Capacity Building and Training Program Has the Expertise in the Following Courses

  1. Basic Development Approaches and Strategies
  2. Basic Accounts Management
  3. Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
  4. Group Formation, Group Dynamics and Group Management
  5. Micro – Credit Management
  6. Legal Aid
  7. Human Rights
  8. Good Governance and Advocacy
  9. Primary Health Care
  10. Entrepreneurship Promotion
  11. Gender and Development
  12. Project Proposal Formulation and Report Writing
  13. Project Foundation Course
  14. Training of Trainers (TOT)
  15. Facilitation Skills Development
  16. Modules and Materials Development
  17. Team Building and Leadership Development
  18. Homestead Gardening
  19. PRA
  20. Voter Educations and Good Governance

 

The Following Capacity Building Training Courses for Partner NGOs have Been Conducted During the Reporting Period: 

 

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SAP-Bangladesh Has Conducted the Following Capacity Building Training for SAP-BD Staff- Member During the Reporting Period

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Awareness Raising Training for Grassroots People: 

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Staff Development:

SAP- Bangladesh recognizes that human resource is the key to all round development of human being.  It is the most important vehicle to help the organization grow, develop and to be more sustainable.

However, SAP-BD is in a continuous process of updating its staff-member on their respective discipline. Quite a good number of staff –member of SAP – Bangladesh participate in training courses, workshops and seminars both in the country and abroad. Staff-member also updates them through study tour and exposure visits both in the country and nearby countries. On the job training is one of the most important means of staff- development. SAP- BD.

In the reporting year 2006, a total of about 100 staff was given in-house training. Twenty-four staff-member availed various training courses at county-level while thirteen staff members received training in abroad.

 

SAP-Bangladesh’s Offices

SAP- Bangladesh Head Office

SAP-Bangladesh

House # 63, Block-Ka

Mohammadpur Housing

Pisciculture & Farming Cooperative Society Limited

Shyamoli, Mohammadpur, Dhaka – 1207

Tel: 88- 02-8112103 and 8114697

E-mail: sapbdesh@citechco.net

SAP- Bangladesh Project Office

Narir Odhikar Project (NOP)

5/12, Humayun Road, Block-B

Mohammadpur, Dhaka –1207

Tel: 88-02-9112878 Email: nodhikar@citechco.net

 

SAP-Bangladesh Sirajgonj Branch

Malshapara, Chand Alir More

District:  Sirajgonj

Tel: 88-0751-63508

SAP- Bangladesh SHOUHARDO Program

357/C, Dalbari

Upazila: Dewangonj

District: Jamalpur

Remote Island Development Project (RIDP)

Village + Post: Charmontaz

P.S. : Golachipa

District: Patuakhali

Tel:  88-04424-56284

SAP-Bangladesh Area Office

Sub Register Office Road

Nawab Mia’s House

Post + Upazila: Golachipa

District: Patuakhali

Tel:  88-0441-63647

SAP- Bangladesh Patuakhali Office

28/ 1, Kazi Para (Adjacent to Patuakhali Clinic)

Patuakhali Town, Patuakhal

ANCVAW

19/13, Babar Road

Mohammadpur, Dhaka – 1207

Tel: 88-02-9124194

Email: ancvaw@sap-bangladesh.org

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