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BANGLADESH

Community Organizing Program

The Community Organizing Program has been implemented by Bangladesh YMCAs since 1988 for the upliftment of the marginalized people, especially women. Micro Finance is one of the prime components of this Program because as it has been proved that Micro Finance is one of the best efforts to eradicate poverty from our society. Bangladesh YMCA attempted from the commencement to reach the poor women through this program. The development of individual to community group approach is emphasized. The women gather together on regular weekly basis to discuss their problems, contemporary issues and share their experience with each other in order to gain leadership skills, know their rights, and participate in decision-making process. Thus, women are enabled to become part of wider leadership in the community. They consult each other on health issues especially on preventive health care for mother and children. They strengthen their psychological capacity with their unity and knowledge to face the challenges of dowry, polygamy and the torture by men in their family and also in the community. The YMCA facilitator cooperates and works with them towards social, political and cultural empowerment.

Objective:

The primary objective of this program is to empower the powerless people especially the women at the grassroots level in the following three areas:

•  Economic Empowerment

•  Social Empowerment

•  Political Empowerment

Purpose:

•  Organize women and form groups

•  Develop Community-based Leadership

•  Enhance capacity for solving the basic needs

•  Promote democratic principles and participation within the community

•  Create substantial savings fund to generate capital

•  Implement sustainable income generating activities

•  Develop capacity for preventive health care, sanitation, immunization and afforestation

•  Create a new community with peace and justice by eradicating poverty

Selection Criteria of Target Participants :

•  People who are poorest of the poor

•  People, who rely on selling their physical labour as their only income source, like the landless farmers, fisher folk, potters, carpenters, daily unskilled labours

•  Female headed households: widows and divorcees

•  Families whose monthly income is less than Taka 1,500.00(US$1=58.08 Taka)

•  The Marginal Farmers who have less than half an acre of land for cultivation

Programme Components:

•  Awareness Building

•  Education

•  Savings

•  Training

•  Credit

•  Health

•  Sanitation

•  Afforestation

•  Housing

Our achievement: At a glance (as of December 2003)

YMCAs involved

11 affiliated YMCAs

Working districts

10

Working Thanas (Sub Districts)

14

Groups

455

Members

8,460

Loan Borrowers

6,224

Members Savings deposit

Taka 7,902,658.00

Resolving Capital

Taka 12,219,785.00

Outstanding Loan Balance

Taka 17,946,202.00

Credit Program:

Loans are provided to group members upon availability of adequate savings fund and YMCA revolving funds in the group. Usually, the loans are provided to the group after six months of regular performance of the group. Group members jointly decide the borrower of the loan in their weekly meetings and keep the records in their resolution book. They jointly stand surely for the loan of an individual member. The group members ensure that loans are provided for productive or income generating purposes. Generally, the group members avail these loans for small income generating purposes or for self employment such as poultry raising, cattle rearing, goat raising, small trade, crops farming and fish-culture.

Contact Person:
Duncan Chowdhury
National General Secretary
National Council of YMCAs of Bangladesh
1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail
Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
E-mail : ncyb@agni.com
Tel : 88-02-9350413
Fax : 88-02-9350225

 

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