# On Going Donor Funded Projects
Education and Health for Child Waste Pickers:Background:
About 400,000 people in Bangladesh are struggling to earn their living by waste picking. Every year due to climatic events or other socio-economic reasons many poor families are forced to migrate to the big cities from the rural areas in search of fortune. But in reality, because of lack of education and skill, often they struggle to get a decent job and some of them are forced to become waste pickers.
In Dhaka, 120,000 people are trying to secure their livelihood by collecting, sorting, selling and recycling wastes from streets, dustbins and municipal dump sites. They work for 10 to 12 hours a day in a very dangerous and hazardous environment without any protection to earn Tk. 200 to Tk. 400. Mainly women and children are Involved in this occupation; so they are highly susceptible to different health issues and sometimes, disability.
Ensuring a Healthy Future for Child Waste Pickers
To ensure the access to knowledge, skills, rights awareness and aspirations needed to access life-changing opportunities and improve health of child, adolescent and women waste-pickers GrambanglaUnnayan Committee with the support of ChildHope UK/ Big Lottery Fund is implementing “Education and Health for Child Waste Pickers” project at Matuail, near the Sanitary Land Fill Area. NariMaitree is providing technical support to the project.
During 2015 – 2018, GrambanglaUnnayan Committee will be working to achieve the following outcomes:
>To provide inclusive primary education for 200 children, including disabled children, and support children’s integration into mainstream government supported schools
>To provide vocational training and employment to 150 adolescents
>To support 100 waste-picking mothers to improve their health and access non-hazardous occupations to supplement their income
>To empower over 2,500 women, adolescents, children and men to be aware of their rights and engage in advocacy on issues that affect them, including accessing birth certificates that provide access to other entitlements.
Improving Well-Being of the Child Waste Pickers of Matuail Waste Dump Site in Dhaka City:
GrambanglaUnnayan Committee (GUC) has been implementing a two year project titled `Improving Well-Being of the Child Waste Pickers of Matuail Waste Dump Site in Dhaka City’ with the financial support of Red Nose Day at Comic Relief, the USA since July 2016. The main objective of the project is to improve the well-being of the child waste pickers of living around Matuail sanitary landfill of Dhaka City Corporation (South).
>Providing Daycare and Early Childhood Care Development service to 100 waste picking children.
>Providing primary education to100 waste picking children
>Ensuring child protection of 200 waste picking children
# On going own Funded Project
Inclusion of the Nomadic Bede Community in Development Opportunities:
Bede is a nomadic river gypsy group of Bangladesh. They usually move from one place to another by boats and they move through the rivers with their families round the year. At present Bede population are around 800,000. There are few sub groups in the Bede community based on their different types of professions. Some are traditional healers (body pain, teeth pain etc.), some are snake charmers, some are magician, others sells talisman etc. Bede community people have no formal education and modern health care practice is very rare. Early marriage is very common among the Bede community. Bede people are recognized as outcaste community therefore, they are the most vulnerable group outside of mainstream population.
As a part of its development programmes, Grambangla started an education programme for the Bede children in 1999. It was the first such education initiative for the Bede children in the country. GUC started a mobile boat school and operated its non-formal primary education programme. In the later years, GUC operated 21 floating schools, supported by Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and ActionAid Bangladesh, Bangladesh Freedom Foundation, Innovation Grants of the Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education. All of the schools were for the nomadic Bede children who used to gather once in a year at Louhajong, Jhalokati, Gournadi and Bhola upazilas for 1-2 months a year. At present one school is running at Keraniganj upazila.
Grambangla is the pioneer in Bede community’s livelihood initiative. GUC implemented several programmes on tailoring, health education, social awareness, capacity building, alternative livelihood support, etc. As a part of its policy advocacy programme, GUC published `Customary Law of the Bede Headmen’, social awareness posters and facilitated to provide national identity card for more than 400,000 Bede population in the country.
The Executive Director of Grambangla Unnayan Committee, Mr. A K M Maksud is a renowned Participatory Action Researcher on Bede Issue in Bangladesh. He was awarded a Fellowship from Ashoka-Innovators for the Public-USA, an internationally renowned award in 2006.
Abdul Mannan School Project
Abdul Mannan School is an own funded project of Grambangla which is situated at Nalchity upazila under Jhalokathi district in Barisal division. The school was established in 2005. Since the inception, this school is delivering pre-school services to the poor children of farmers, boatmen, craftsmen and lower caste Hindus of the locality.
Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture
In order to engage young people especially the young mothers for economic and social change through sustainable agriculture, Grambangla Unnayan Committee started “Youth Cooperative Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture” in 2015 at Meroher, a remote coastal village of Nalchity upazila under Jhalokathi district. The broad objective of this initiative is to engage young people especially the young mothers for economic and social change through sustainable agriculture.
Human Rights Project in Nalchity
As a human rights based organization in Bangladesh Grambangla Unnayan Committee, is always for humanity. We always try to engage local youth groups in all humanitarian and development activities. 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’.