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Civil Empowerment

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Active Citizens, Civil Society and Governance

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Socio Economic Empowerment with Dignity and Sustainability (SEEDS)

Under the SEEDS project, 19 pre-primary schools are being operated for the age group of 5+ children. After completing their education in the pre-primary schools, 381 children have been admitted in the mainstream primary schools.

The quality of education and learning environment has been improved in 83% government primary schools if the project area. 38 dropout children have been re-admitted to primary school by preparing and improving their skills to continue their studies through bridge schools. 

83% of adolescent girls are aware of life skills and social security. In their daily life, 61% of Shonglap girls are discussing Shonglap issues. The Shonglap forum has been formed with the initiative of Shonglap graduates. 77% of adolescent girls are contributing to positive changes in the society. They are participating in various family and social decision-making processes. 103 adolescents have been trained up on different trades and engaged in income generating activities. 140 SRG members are involved in beef fattening activities after receiving training and increased their family income significantly.


Bangladesh Counter Trafficking in Persons (BCTIP)

 

The project works to ensure legal representation of justice seekers including prisone

The BCTIP project aims to reduce trafficking through prevention, protection and increase access for trafficking survivors to government services. With the support of the project, District/Upazila/Union Combat Trafficking Committees are playing active role in line with the National Plan of Action 2018-2022, opportunity is placed to involve survivors and at risk persons of trafficking in social safety net program, 60 at risk persons and 35 survivors were involved in IGAs after receiving training from Department of Youth Development (DYD), 18 at risk person and 15 survivors received loan support from DYD. Trained Anirban Survivors Voice and Peer Leaders are identifying at risk persons of trafficking and early marriage and providing them necessary support. District Referral Service Directory System has been prepared with the support from District Administration to assist survivors of trafficking and child marriage. As a result of these interventions, community people became aware of preventing trafficking and safe migration and survivors are changing their living conditions through the profitable IGAs.


Justice and Prison Reform for Promoting Human Rights and Preventing Corruption in Bangladesh (JPR)

 

The project works to ensure legal representation of justice seekers including prisoners and reduce case backlog through case management. Case Coordination Committee (CCC) under the joint chair of District and Sessions Judge and District Magistrate with other relevant stakeholders of the criminal justice system works to reduce the case backlog. In 2019, 47 case backlogs have been reduced and 59 cases have been put forward through the initiative of CCC in Thakurgaon and Gaibandha districts. Legal Service Information Desk was introduced in Thakurgaon Judge Court premises. Some 1,263 justice seekers (Female- 419, Male- 844) were given support to get justice through this project.


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People’s Opportunity for Participation and Up-gradation through Learning and Action in Achieving Rights (POPULAAR)

POPULAAR project is being implemented in Lalmonirhat district with the support of Manusher Jonno Foundation. The main objective of the project is “the marginalized and excluded people lead a decent and meaningful life in a pro-poor and responsive institutional environment”. Under the project, Federations, youth forums, union, upazila and district forums are implementing awareness programs on basic rights of the community people. As a result, the program participants become aware about their rights and services of the government and non-government organizations. They have developed good networking and negotiating skills with the local government offices and enjoying different benefits including old age allowance, widow allowance, disability allowance, maternity allowance under the government social security program (social safety net). Through the project activities, 10 people (male-4 and female-6) received social safety net program, 1,480 people (male-589 and female-891) received health and counselling services from Community Clinic (CC) and Family Welfare Centre (FWC), 73 people (male-47 and female-26) received agricultural services from Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and 36 persons (male-24 and female-12) have got opportunities to represent in different local committees.


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Socio Economic Empowerment with Dignity and Sustainability (SEEDS)

SEEDS Project is being implemented in Rangpur and Dinajpur districts with the support of Stromme Foundation (SF), Norway. The project aims to improve the socio-economic life and uphold the dignity of marginalized and poor indigenous community particularly the Santals. The project is working with 5,500 marginalized indigenous families. The targeted families are getting support for Income Generating Activities (IGAs) under the project. They are cultivating vegetables in their homestead areas. 98% families are involved in cattle rearing. The targeted families are sending their children to school. 88% families have secured home environment for their children. 81% families are using sanitary latrines and improved hygiene practices in their daily life. 82% of targeted households have regular income opportunities and 72% of the households are lifting off the poverty level.

A total of 407 SRG-Self Reliance Groups (Each group consisted of 10-15 families) have improved their own socio-economic development and leadership capacity. The groups are creating funds through regular small savings. The total savings of the SRG group is Tk. 7,013,820 so far. They are also solving quite a lot of social problems through their collective efforts.


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Empower Youth for Work (EYW)

Empower Youth for Work (EYW) project is being implemented in Rangpur and Rajshahi district with financial support of IKEA foundation and technical assistance of Oxfam Bangladesh. The EYW project is working under 4 thematic areas for 33488 youths aged of 15-29. The aim of the project is socio-economic development of the youth in the areas affected by climate change.

Major Achievements

  • 193 youths received non-certified vocational training on 12 different trades. 60% of them had joined different organizations and the rest had created self-employment opportunities.
  • 390 youths (62.5% female) received entrepreneurship development training. 184 youth received business assistance at the rate of Tk. 5,000-20,000 to start their own business.
  • 324 youths received life skills training on personal, mental and physical development.

Gender Rights

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Empowering Women and Youth through Graduation and Financial Inclusion (EWYGFI)

Empowering Women and Youth through Graduation and Financial Inclusion (EWYGFI)

The EWYGFI project is being implemented in Kurigram district with the financial support of Trickle Up and MetLife Foundation and technical support of Concern Worldwide. The objective of the project is “empowerment of women and youth through financial inclusion.” RDRS is providing support to 13,000 poor families through this project. The program participants are involved in agriculture, livestock rearing, small business, awareness programs, income generating activities through inclusion with different government and non-government financial institutions. 50 women received tailoring training and 20 youths received computer training to develop their income generating skills. 600 extremely poor families who are VGD card holders formed 38 groups and 12,400 extremely poor families formed 599 groups who are depositing regular savings through group meetings.

Almost 100% program participants are depositing savings, 75% are affiliated with different microfinance institutions, 16% covered by DPS program, and 5% members have been associated with life insurance services. In 2019, Tk. 6,528,200 was distributed to 1,020 flood affected families under the project.


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Ending Child Marriage through Empowerment of Adolescents (ECMEA)

The ECMEA project is being implemented under the innovative ways of the Honourable Prime Minister’s Governance Innovation Unit to ensure the empowerment and development of women. RDRS is implementing this project in Nilphamari district. Under this project, 15,750 adolescents aged 10-19 years (60% girls) participated in knowledge and skill development events on social protection; sanitation facilities were provided in schools; 21,250 social and religious leaders and government officials were engaged in different activities through the project. 87 Community Based Child Protection Committees, 29 Women and Child Welfare UP Standing Committees, 29 UPs and their elected representatives; upazila and district level Child Welfare Board and concerned government departments were re-formed and activated to advance the social development initiatives. As a result, 150 youth clubs were established to work as social change agents in preventing child marriage, re-enrolling dropouts, assisting in child registration, stopping child labour, violence, exploitation and abuse, and developing youth health and safe sanitation in schools. The club members and child protection committees prevented 102 child marriages in 2019. 28 youth received skill development trainings on sewing, batik, computer and poultry rearing. 62 dropped out children were re-admitted to school; 750 children completed their birth registration; 6 libraries are being operated; 14 clubs undertook social forestry programs and 18 clubs formed cultural groups. In addition, youths, parents and social organizations facilitated free teaching for poor and vulnerable learners, distributed educational materials and renovated social infrastructures.


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Major Achievements

  • Different committees were formed under the project. The committees and beneficiaries prevented 363 child marriages in Kurigram with the support of local administration, local government representatives and local elites.
  • 368 students who were at child marriage risk are continuing their studies.
  • 22 persons were punished by the upazila administration for taking initiative for child marriage. 26 persons were fined and 30 persons were released on bond for the same allegation.
  • 257 student cabinets were formed in different secondary schools in order to create awareness against child marriage.
  • 684 champion fathers and 76 successful mothers organized courtyard awareness session on different social issues.
  • A good number of people’s theater and video show were stages on harmful effect of child marriage. 
  • A birth festival was organized and 1,441 girls’ births were celebrated.
  • Inter-school debate competitions were organized on the occasion of National Girls Day and Child Rights Week.
  • Under this project, the upazila administration and Union Parishad identified 14,978 children and their families who were at high risk of child marriage. Of them, 1,136 children were provided assistance for continuing their education.
  • Bhurngamari upazila has been declared as child marriage free upazila by Rangpur Divisional Commissioner Md. KM Tariqul Islam and promised to make the upazila completely free from child marriage before 2021.

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Building Better Future for Girls (BBFG)

RDRS Bangladesh is implementing Building Better Future for Girls (BBFG) project in Kurigram district with the financial and technical support of Embassy of Sweden and Plan International Bangladesh respectively. The project aims to support the government efforts to make Kurigram a child marriage free district. The goal of the project is to contribute to Kurigram district’s target of zero marriages of girls under 15, and one third reductions in marriages of girls under 18, by 2021.  


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Skill Development Training

RDRS Bangladesh is implementing different programs at different levels in order to protect women’s rights, reduce gender inequality and promote women empowerment. Various activities are being implemented for rehabilitation of violence affected women and for girls at risk for child marriage. Significant advancement is made to protect women and child rights and bring gender equality through these initiatives. In 2019, 41 women and girls received six-month long skill development training and 112 women and girls received short-term skill development training with counselling support to be self-reliant under community based rehabilitation scheme. A total of 13 rehabilitated women and girls have received Joyeeta Award until 2019.