Grambangla Day Care Center
In order to provide a safe, clean and child-friendly environment to the waste picker children, Grambangla Day Care Center was established in 2008 at Matuail near the Sanitary Land Fill area. At present, a total of 107 children is receiving services from the day care center. The day care center starts at 6.00 AM in the morning and is open for all the day til 6 PM in the afternoon. But usually, most of the children stay til noon. Two nurses cum caregivers take care of the children. In addition, a teacher is responsible for providing early childhood care and development for the day care center children. The children get uniforms, learning materials, morning breakfast and mid-day meal at free of cost.
Grambangla Pre-School
Pre-School for the waste pickers’ children
Before enrolling the child waste pickers into the formal primary education system Grambangla delivers pre-school services to the waste pickers’ children of 2-5 years of age at Matuail near the Sanitary Land Fill Area. The pre-schools session starts at 8.30 AM and ends at 01.00 PM. During the sessions children learn basic alphabets, small words making, simple math with numbers and nursery rhymes in both Bangla and English. Besides, they enjoy fun and games, writing, drawing and play with creative puzzles. On average 30 children attend the pre-school sessions regularly.

Abdul Mannan Pre-School
To deliver pre-school services to the children of farmers, boatmen, craftsmen and lower caste Hindus at Nalchityupazila under Jhalokathi district in Barisal division, Abdul Mannan Pre-School was established in 2005. Besides these, Abdul Mannan Pre-School provides the opportunity to the dropout children to study in class one and to get admission at mainstream schools in class two.

At present, there are 30 students and one teacher. Abdul Mannan Pre-School provides books and education materials at free of charge.
Inclusive Primary Education
Grambangla School for Waste Picking Children
Grambangla Unnayan Committee has been implementing Inclusive Primary Education Program for the children of waste pickers since 2008.Grambangla School is situated at Matuail, Jatrabari near the sanitary landfill area which is registered under Ministry of Primary Education. In that school, currently, 227 waste picking children (6-10 years of age) among them seven are Children with Disability (CWD) are receiving inclusive primary education under the supervision of 10 trained teachers. To ensure good care of the children, there is one skilled caregiver. GUC is providing free books, other education materials and uniform to the students. To the CWDs, Grambangla provides free assistive devices as per their needs. To ensure nutrition of the children, Grambangla is also providing nutritious morning breakfast and mid-day meal to them.The Inclusive Primary Education Program of GrambanglaUnnayan Committee provides opportunities to the poor and socially excluded children of receiving the quality education in a safe, child-friendly and joyful environment which helps them to increase their knowledge, communicate effectively and boost the interaction skills with others. More information on the program can be found upon request.

Mobile School Program for the Bede River Gypsies
More than 95 percent of the 800,000 nomadic Beads are illiterate in Bangladesh. Children of the Bede community are deprived of getting the opportunity to attend a school because they have to roam throughout the year with their parents. Since Bede children do not have any opportunity to go to school so the mobile boat schools travel with the nomadic group to educate the Bede children. In a nomadic group, one person is assigned to educational materials so that he or she can teach one group of nomadic children. Currently, 21 mobile schools are operation. A UNESCO publication recognized this mobile school approach as a good practice of inclusive education. Directorate of Primary Education of the Ministry of Education (PEDP II), Research Initiatives Bangladesh, ActionAid Bangladesh, Bangladesh Freedom Foundation and Jamil-Sarwar Trust are supporting this program. The teacher also discusses health education and rights of the Beads with their community people during the meetings of the mobile school management committee. This innovative initiative encouraged other nomadic groups in education.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Adolescent Waste Pickers
In order to provide Technical and Vocational Education and Training support to the waste picker community, GrambanglaUnnayan Committee has established “Grambangla Technical Training Center” at Matuail, Jatabari near the sanitary landfill area in 2015. Grambangla Technical Training Center is registered under Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB).Grambangla Technical Training Center provides vocational training on industrial sewing, mobile phone servicing, jute and paper bag making, food processing, beauty parlor and motorbike servicing especially to the waste picking adolescents, women, and People with Disability (PWD). So far from here, 77 adolescents received training on different trades at free of cost and among them, 39 adolescents have been placed to different decent jobs by leaving waste picking. More information on the program can be found upon request.

Women Empowerment:
Self Help Group:
To improve the socio-economic condition of waste-picking mothers, GUC has been implementing a program to develop Self Help Groups (SHG) of the waste picking women at Matuail dump site area since 2015. The objective of the initiative is to improve health and access non-hazardous occupations to supplement their income, so they are able to invest in the education and health of their children.Because of the facilitation of Grambangla 102 waste picking women have already been formed seven SHGs and started regular monthly group savings. They have opened their own group bank accounts and maintaining all the record by themselves.

Life Skill Training/ Training on Health, Hygiene and Nutrition:
To bring about the better health status of waste-pickers, Grambangla provides different pieces of training on safety and hygiene, reproductive health, child health, and nutrition etc. to the waste picking mother so that they become more aware of those issues. Cooking demonstrations are arranged to enable families to maximize their nutritional intake. They are also provided training on functional literacy, bookkeeping, entrepreneurship development, leadership, and gender issues to empower them to be able to speak out, consider alternative livelihoods, improve their family circumstances and work together for change.

Advocacy for Waste Picker Community:
GrambanglaUnnayan Committee intervenes the advocacy initiatives to raise awareness among the waste picker community about their rights to education, employment, and access basic entitlements, engaging in policy discussions that affect them. Another objective is to make the policy makers and other stakeholders aware of the economic and environmental contributions and situation of waste picker community; so that the waste pickers can have the access to all citizen’s rights and entitlements, social benefits and their work can get legal accreditation. To make the advocacy successful is Grambanglahas taken an initiative to establish the “Network of waste Pickers in Bangladesh” of like-mind NGOs and waste pickers; GUC recruits community volunteers, arranges different awareness raising training and meetings and organizes media advocacy campaigns so that a combined effort can be made to influence the decision makers. Moreover, GUC works closely with the community and local government bodies so that they can get the entitlements like birth certificates, national identification cards, disability entitlements etc. and can get the benefits of old allowance, widow allowance, disability allowance etc. under government’s social safety net programs.

Advocacy for Nomadic Bede Community:
Because of nomadic lifestyle and hereditary occupations, the Bedes carry low prestige, stigma, and discrimination in the society. Because of lack of awareness and mobile characteristics, they are deprived of health services, education, entitlements and other government provided facilities.

A research of Grambangla Unnayan Committee shows that in Bangladesh there are 800,000 Bedes who are divided into nine occupational groups/ clans. The study shows Almost all the Bedes cannot receive health services from govt. health facilities because of their nomadic pattern of life (during travel). Almost 100% Bedes get married below 16 years of age.Only 2% Bede children are under EPI coverage. Only around 5% Bedeni reported about receiving TT during pregnancy and ANC. Almost all the Bede children cannot enroll themselves in primary schools because of their nomadic pattern of life. 69 percent of the Bedes never attended school; 95 percent of them are illiterate and Literacy rate among female Bedes is almost 0%. Besides different human security and violation of human rights issues, they face difficulties in getting NIDs and Birth Registration Cards since they are nomads and they don’t have any identity/HH on land and they cannot show any land tax certificate to be voter of an area.

In order to improve the situation, Grambangla took many advocacy initiatives. GUC did advocacy for implementing “Mobile/ Boat School” program and Mobile Health Service Centre for nomadic Bede community. To make people aware about benefits of education, birth registration, national identification card, immunization and the effects of child marriage, Grambangla conducted several court yard meetings where the skilled resource persons and the local religious leaders played the role of facilitators. As a part of Advocacy, GUC organized different EPI camps with the support of government of Bangladesh and other donor agencies.

To establish the right of NID for the Bede community Grambangla did strong advocacy. GUC organized several national seminars to raise the issue and pursue the government to provide NID to the Bedes without proof of residence. As a result of Grambangla’s advocacy initiatives, in 2008, 500,000 Bedesgot NID.

Grambangla Health Care Center:
Grambangla Health Care Center has been providing health service to the waste picker community people since 2012 near Matuail Sanitary Land Fill area. An MBBS doctor provides health services to the waste picking people on, Thursday of every week of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m. at Grambangla School.Mostly, Grambangla Health Care Center provides treatment for Fever, Injury from sharp objects, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Allergy, Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI), Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Helminthic infections, Injury from animal’s bite etc. In the health care center, at first, the doctor examines the patients and then provide primary treatments like dressing or giving first aid, prescribing medicines etc. In case of chronic diseases or health problems he refers the patients to the hospitals. Grambangla Health Care Center also provides medicines to the patients at free of cost.

Association of Waste Pickers of Bangladesh
The waste pickers are one of the most vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. Near about 120,000 people are engaged with waste picking in Dhaka city. Among them a significant number of waste pickers usually collect solid waste from the dump sites. They are very poor and they have no alternatives to work but to collect waste for their livelihood and mostly are women and children. This profession has lots of risks of accidental injuries that might happen in every moment. They have no legal accreditation or recognition they do not claim their basic rights and cannot raise their voice in any worse situation they face. They become excluded socially and economically. They are not included in the government supported safety-net programs and less access to different support system available for the destitute groups. Even they have less bargain power to do business with the middlemen in the informal sector of recycling waste.

For overcoming these vulnerable situations the waste pickers formed their own organization in 2015. It is an association only for the waste pickers’ community. The title of the association is `Association of Waste Pickers of Bangladesh’. The main objective of this association is to develop small scale business enterprise aiming at better livelihood and sustainability. The specific objectives of the association are:

• To form groups and share their common interest
• To get legal accreditation or recognition from the government
• To raise voices for claiming their rights and living with dignity
• To empower themselves towards building bargaining power with the middlemen
• To get access to all government safety-net programs

For any query please contact us on- wastepickers.bangladesh@gmail.com
Youth Food Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture
Grambangla Youth Food Cooperative is an agriculture farming Initiative. The name of this initiative is “Youth Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture”. The initiative was first started in 2015 in Meroher, a remote coastal village of Nalchity upazila under Jhalokathi district.
Objective of Youth Food Cooperative Initiative
The broad objective of this initiative is to engage young people especially the young mothers for economic and social change through sustainable agriculture.
Specific Objectives of the Initiative
The specific objectives of the “Youth Food Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture” are:
• To facilitate engagement of the young people especially young mothers in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture through orientation on sustainable agriculture;
• To help increase supply of community grown food that help promote food security and nutrition situation;
• To facilitate in development of an alliance of small farmers that promotes value based food value chains in the southern coastal part of Bangladesh to maximize profit for them
• To assists small farmers to develop commercial farming opportunities through education, capacity building, business enterprise development, production and marketing.
• To support the vitality and sustainability of the Magor Union’s agriculture
• To build long-term economic self-reliance and food security among participants and their communities
• To expand access to high-quality, culturally appropriate foods in their areas through production of locally-grown foods.

Sustainable Plan for the Youth Food Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture
“Youth Food Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture” project plans to perform the following activities during 9 months:
• Addressing the growing consumer demand for food through community food initiatives
• Facilitating the small farmers in selling their products directly to customers (direct marketing) without/less middleman to maximize value of their product.
• Promoting the alliance of supply chain actors in the Food value chains for food products that advances social or environmental values and impacts.
• Promoting respect to forming value based relationships in a value chain
• Promoting value of branding for locally grown organic food
• To organize annual/seasonal agriculture fair (krishimela) at the community level
• Institution building of youth farmers
• Capacity building of members of “Youth Food Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture” project for sustainable agricultural practices
• Facilitation of the program activities of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Department of Livestock, Department of Fisheries, etc.
• Local level consultation on agricultural information with the agriculture, fisheries and livestock departments of the government of Bangladesh and Grambangla Food Cooperatives (GFC).
• Cooperation in selection of farmers for agriculture, fisheries and livestock departments to receive training, agricultural equipment, seed, fertilizer, pesticide, poultry/cattle feed.

Human Rights Youth Initiatives
Grambangla Unnayan Committee, as a human rights based organization in Bangladesh, is always for humanity. One of its rights based focus is to establish human rights at the grassroots community level where people faces various types of inhuman sufferings. Grambangla must take a stand for removing these intolerable sufferings and step forward towards more humanity. Grambangla believes that human rights as a way of life.

Grambangla always tries to engage local youth groups in all development activities. These events brought such opportunity to work with them. Grambangla hopes that capacity development program for the youth will help to generate location specific new development ideas. Besides, if the local people play their social roles for their own community actively, then voluntarism will be increased among them. Then, they will be able to assess their needs, think for themselves and and will take actions for sustainable development. In this regard, every year Grambangla observes different days with performing various events such as, rally, human chain, discussion meetings on human rights issues, human rights education training program for the youth community volunteers and a special event on `Human Rights Dignity Torch’.

Tobacco and Children
Use of tobacco and tobacco related products are increasing day by day worldwide. No one country is out of this phenomenon including Bangladesh. All of us know that smoking and other products associated with tobacco are injurious to health. Millions of people die every year in the world and millions of people suffer from diseases associated with smoking and use of tobacco products in Bangladesh. People of all ages use tobacco as their regular addiction as well as habits. The situation of tobacco use among the children especially children of low-income families is very alarming. A large number of children are becoming addicted to tobacco related products day by day.

Grambangla Unnayan Committee, as a child focus organization always tries to take initiative for the welfare of the children. Grambangla thinks that children should be protected from any harmful activities and addiction like tobacco and drug use. Therefore, Grambangla takes initiative to raise awareness about bad effect of smoking and tobacco use among the low-income families living in Dhaka city. This include, arranging courtyard meeting, awareness sessions, distribution of leaflets and rallies in world no tobacco day, campaign for tobacco free society etc. Grambangla is working with the organizations such as, Work for Better Bangladesh, Health Association of Bangladesh and Peoples’ Health Movement who are actively involved in tobacco free movement in Bangladesh.