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Raised: 54%

Target: £3,762.00
Raised so far: £2,041.00

Fully funded

Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support

Project run by

ACD, Association for Community Development, San Francisco, United States

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Prevent Sex Trafficking of Women in Bangladesh

Provide indigenous women and girls in Bangladesh economic alternatives to prostitution and forced labor. Empower women with skills based education and rights awareness training to improve self-esteem.

What is the problem the project is addressing?

In Bangladesh rights of the girl child and women are not widely acknowledged or practiced. Exploitation, abuse and violation of the rights of children and adolescents are prevalent. The rate of this violation multiplies when children and adolescents are indigenous. ACD programs will empower and build life skills in 250 young indigenous women from the Rajshahi and Naogaon districts of Bangladesh.

How will this project solve the problem?

ACD will conduct orientations for women and adolescent girls to make them aware of their rights and enable them to raise their voice against discrimination. In addition there will be life-skills based education and vocational training.

What is the potential long-term impact of this project?

By nurturing leadership and entrepreneurship ACD aims to empower the women and adolescent girls of the indigenous minority. They will become aware of and be able to address gender-based disparities and demand their rights in the community.

Jun 29 2009

June 2009 Update

Gillian Wilson

With your support, a Socialization Center was setup for vulnerable children and adolescents and has been successful in providing much-needed psychosocial support (counseling, social education, life skills, health and hygienic knowledge, social knowledge, etc.) and educational services (such as basic literacy, and life skill-based education). The center has already reached 300 children and adolescents during the reporting period.

One challenge was that some of the guardians, especially some of the fathers, were reluctant to allow their daughters to partake in the center’s services. In response, ACD did family counseling in those households.

Girls also played a crucial role by explaining the importance of these programs of ACD to their mothers. Moreover, ACD communicated with the head of the community leader. The community leader promised to help ACD’s efforts and informed spoke out publicly to decry that no one should disturb or get in the way of the girls attending the center or other activities supported by ACD.

Entrenched patriarchy continues to hinder women and girl children’s rights and access to resources. It takes cooperation at the family and community level and advocacy efforts on behalf of community leaders to change long-held attitudes towards vulnerable groups like these children and adolescents. Fortunately, with support from generous people like you, services continue to be available, reaching the most marginalized and in-need.

Mar 05 2009

March 2009 Updates

Gillian Wilson

ACD has facilitated training for 20 young women from Rajshahi, in northwest region of Bangladesh. The women received 26 days of vocational training on poultry rearing, marketing, and management.

Since the training they have continued to meet regularly to talk and share ideas at ACD group meetings. They discuss how to improve their projects and increase their revenue as well as offer support to each other.

For these women, these projects provide critical economic alternatives and secure their safety from trafficking or violence, which is all too prevalent in this area of Bangladesh. Just as importantly in addition to earning money, they also learn skills and gain self-confidence to become independent as they reach adulthood.

Dec 09 2008

December 2008 Update

Katherine Zavala

ACD recently conducted three day-long workshops, where 60 women and female adolescent leaders were provided with training on different existing human rights instruments, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Indigenous People’s Rights, and socio-economic and political rights. Additionally, 20 of the women leaders received training on gender and justice.

Educating women on their rights plays a critical role in ACD’s program to build and strengthen female empowerment and self-sufficiency. To supplement rights-based education, ACD has also been providing vocational training, leadership training, and micro-credit support.

Sep 04 2008

September 2008 Update - Meet Poly Khatun

Katherine Zavala

Poly Khatun is a 16-year old girl who has empowered herself to improve her livelihood and of her family. Poly’s family was unable to support her anymore and she had few options. But ACD operates in her community and after learning more about them Poly took out a microcredit loan from ACD to raise goats.

Poly just bought one goat and but the goat was pregnant and gave birth after four months. Poly reared the kid goats and once they were strong and healthy Poly sold them and was able to help out her family financially. Heartened by the success of her goat-raising project Poly expanded and now also raises chickens, ducks and cows. She is very savvy, as she has planned that with the sales of the eggs produced by her chickens, she can ensure repaying her microcredit on time.

As an adolescent group member, Poly is very active in her community. She attends weekly meetings, facilitated by ACD, and has developed her awareness on several issues that affect her community, including the National Plan of Action of Children, and birth registration to reduce child marriages. Thanks to ACD, Poly received her life skills-based education, which has made her a more confident decision-maker and given her courage to find opportunities to help her family. She can share and discuss gender-based discrimination issues in her family and at the community level. Poly, along with other group members, has raised her voice in the community when child marriage occurs.

This is an example of how ACD activities have an integrated approach at empowering young girls who are vulnerable to sex trafficking in this part of Bangladesh.

Jun 05 2008

June 2008 Update

Katherine Zavala

Within the past year, GlobalGiving donors have generously supported ACD in its Life Skills Based-Education (LSBE) trainings and income-generation training. This was accomplished both by providing workshops and through ACD’s ongoing work in forming adolescent groups in their villages. Moreover, ACD forms committees to engage families including men as a way of gaining their “buy-in” as to their daughters’ future possibilities and worth in society. It is not sufficient for girls to know their rights. They must be able to count on their parents and key community leaders – teachers, community leaders, clergy etc – for support when they are threatened with abuse or trafficking.

Overall a total of 4,160 girls participated in the LSBE trainings with a heavy emphasis on such topics as: • prevention of sexual abuse, forced labor and trafficking • prevention of early marriage • birth registration (needed to enroll in school and vote) • girls’ (and women’s) rights under UN conventions and Bangladeshi law • promotion of healthy family relationships • prevention of domestic violence • access to health services including reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Through these workshops they aim to build and restore girls’ self esteem and teach them to be their own advocates in a host of situations.

546 adolescent girls participated in income-generating activities such as cow, goat, hen and duck rearing, handicrafts, rice cultivation, tailoring, nursery, vegetable gardening, and pottery-making with the support of microcredit.

Mar 06 2008

March 2008 Update

Katherine Zavala

In January 2008, the IDEX Director of Programs visited Godagari, where ACD works with adolescents living in remote indigenous communities, where poverty levels are high and the majority are religious and linguistic minorities.

One of the villages she visited is Choitannopur village, where 70 families live. This community is comprised of people from an ethnic minority called Shawltal who are primarily Hindu and Christian (Bangladesh in a majority Muslim culture). There is no electricity and only one well serving all 70 families. The school in this village is a 1-hour walk and the monthly fees are 75 Taka ($1). Due to the distance, many children don’t go.

ACD is currently supporting an adolescent empowerment project in that village by providing 20 girls with life skills based education (LSBE), particularly focusing on reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, child and women’s rights. The project promoted savings and small loans for income-generating projects. Providing alternative options to these girls helps to remove pressure for early marriage and trafficking.

The girls expressed confidence that they will not allow themselves to be married until they are at least 18 years old, the legal age for marriage. They requested further training to understand their rights and also more support for their income-generating projects, especially raising small livestock such as goats or chickens, a good option for girls whose parents do not own land.

Dec 13 2007

December 2007 Update

Katherine Zavala

ACD facilitated five trainings on skill development for 100 young women to learn to manage poultry-raising projects. The objectives of the training were the following: • Builds skills and in-depth knowledge for managing poultry-raising projects, particularly in hen and duck-raising. • Motivate young women to initiate their own income-generating project, which will encourage self-reliance and uplift self-esteem. • Empower young women socio-economically.

As a result of ACD’s skill-development training, the following has been achieved: • 30 young women are now raising hens and ducks. • 20 young women have been provided with microcredits for rearing poultry as an income-generating project. • 10 young women are receiving technical assistance from ACD’s staff. • Other 35 young women have submitted credit proposals to ACD to receive microcredits with the intention of starting poultry-rearing projects.

Jul 19 2007

July 2007 Update

Katherine Zavala

A total of 3 2-day trainings on life skill based education training have been accomplished. One was held on 27-28th February 2007 at Tanore and next two were held on 18-19th and 20-21st March 2007 in Godagari. ACD’s training officer named Rabea Khatun has conducted the training. Each training workshop was conducted with 20 participants of nearby areas. All the participants of the training were adolescent girls from the indigenous community. Issues discussed included the following: • Self-esteem • Children Rights • Child Health and Nutrition • Human Trafficking • Early Marriage and Dowry • Reproductive Health • HIV/AIDS • Drugs

The goal of these trainings is to provide awareness and skills that are critical in reducing the likelihood that they will be trafficked.