$30,000 needed of $60,000
This is the second phase of the Bangladesh Kendua program and it builds upon the learning from the first phase and expands to one additional community. Local partner SATHI starts with primary self-help groups of men and women meeting separately. These groups are each represented at the “Union Committee” level and the various union committees come together to form a “People’s Institution”. The People’s Institution and Union Committee both have Agriculture sub-teams and the program is designed to equip those teams to improve community food security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected community life in Kendua despite the success of the first phase. In a recent survey, 92% of respondents reported that their livelihood has been in critical condition due to COVID-19. 53% said they did not have enough food. 78% of respondents had reduced income and 22% had no income. Extreme poverty in the country has increased from 24% to 48%.
The program is working to assist and equip the communities to regain their strength and ability to cope with the crisis while reducing the gaps created because of COVID-19. Farmers groups focused on fish, vegetables and poultry are being established in each union to make a variety of food locally available, even in challenging times.
Program Update: Khadija's Story
“Worming” Her Way To Success
As a successful farmer and businesswoman, Momotaz no longer feels the helplessness that characterized her life before she joined a women’s Self-Help Group in 2017 under the auspices of local partner SATHI. At that time her husband, an agricultural day laborer, was the only wage earner in their family of nine. Despite their poverty and misery, she was not allowed to find work outside the home, so they often had little to eat and found it impossible to cover their many needs.
Momotaz started out learning about organic vegetable gardening, composting, integrated pest management, and raising poultry. She decided to try her hand at vermicomposting: composting with worms whose “castings” (a nice way of saying manure) produce a rich fertilizer that improves soil structure, helps retain moisture, and delivers “time-released” nutrients to plants. The vermicompost worked so well in her kitchen garden and rice field that she was soon selling both worms and compost. Seeing her results motivated her fellow group members to follow her example.
The local Government Agriculture Officer began to buy worms from Momotaz, and the Agriculture Department soon chose her to participate in their Model Farmer training. Now she is preparing a demonstration garden for family essential nutrition using worm compost and organic pest management. She consults with SATHI staff, the agriculture sub-team of the local Self-Help Group federation and the Agriculture Officer to make this vegetable garden a success.
The more Momotaz has contributed to her family’s nutrition, health and income, the more confident she has become. She is delighted to have savings to deposit, and uses the money for a wide variety of family needs as well as purchasing chickens and ducks to raise as an additional income source. It is especially satisfying to her that she can support her children’s education. And, as Model Farmer for her group, she enthusiastically encourages more females to engage in farming activities, thus improving the lives of so many others in her community.
Bangladesh Kendua Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner SATHI