Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) Update

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) Update

Global Ministries, through its partnership with CCDB, is creating opportunities for development in Bangladesh. CCDB has a multitude of programs that build the capacity of and empower communities – communities which have struggled on the margins of society for many years.

Global Ministries, through its partnership with CCDB, is creating opportunities for development in Bangladesh.  CCDB has a multitude of programs that build the capacity of and empower communities – communities which have struggled on the margins of society for many years.  Some of CCDB’s programs are aimed at minority ethnic communities.  Other programs are aimed at women’s empowerment or disaster preparedness.  CCDB has many years of studying the reasons for poverty and cultivating and building programs that demonstrate success at helping people to lift themselves out of the circumstances that limited them.  The Director’s annual reflection for the 2006-2007 programs illuminate how the Commission’s nine programs together rendered services to over 100,000 people – 80 percent of whom were women and children.  Here are a few excerpts and summaries of CCDB programs which Global Ministries is privileged to share in.

Ethnic Community Development Programs

CCDB identifies ethnic communities which are lagging behind the mainstream in their development and works with the community to address key problems.  The methods include five major thrusts:  Formation and Strengthening of the People’s Institution (local self-governance); Promotion of Education; Promotion of Societal Peace and Ethnic Culture; Improvement of Health, Food Security and the Economy; and Conservation of the Environment.  CCDB begins by offering management training to the community leaders so that the People’s Institution will function well.  The methods also include nurturance of the community’s cultural identity and pride by arranging for cultural programs and children’s activities.  In some cases it is essential to provide local schools (some children will not attend school due to language barriers).  The local schools have been highly successful and the drop-out rates are minimal.  Finally, CCDB provides access to livelihood training programs and provides pigs or goats to many families.

Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) Training Program 

In many rural areas of Bangladesh it is normal for babies to be delivered by untrained women.  There are unavoidable risks with such deliveries and many women and babies die every year.  Recent statistics indicate that only 12 percent of rural deliveries are conducted by trained persons.  Trained Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) deliver these 12 percent of babies, but get little recognition and minimal fees for their great service.  The eleven-day Basic training course aims to equip the existing TBAs with skills needed for conducting safe deliveries, managing complications, and ensuring timely referrals to unmanageable cases to nearby health facilities.  This CCDB program has now trained more than 30,000 practicing TBAs.  Continuing education opportunities are provided through Intensive Follow-up Forums. 

Economic Development Program (EDP)

CCDB has created an opportunity for micro savers to invest their savings in small ventures.  The program provides different types of capacity building training and business counseling to help clients minimize their risks.  The EDP arranged Business Creation training courses for 310 rural entrepreneurs and provided business development services and low-cost appropriate technology support.  This appropriate technology support included promoting organic farming and successfully convinced farmers that organic fertilizers are no less effective than chemical ones.  The program has also encouraged the protection of local varieties of rice and other seeds.  With these programs farmers are becoming less dependent on agribusinesses.

Women’s Small Local Organization Program (WSLO)

Since 1989, the WSLO program has been helping women develop management skills through their small local organizations.  Women have proven to have great potential for formulating and implementing development projects and have been successful at mobilizing resources from local and external donor agencies to support their projects.  Many women have grown into leadership roles and are committed to managing their organization in ways that continue to the social-economic uplift of women.  The program has arranged training, workshops, orientations, exposure visits and other collaborative sessions.  Two hundred WSLO representatives participated in these events.  WSLO projects included creating 14 preschools through which 2400 underprivileged children received preschool education.

CCDB believes that without equal participation of men and women, real development is not possible.  Patriarchal values lead to gender discrimination and violence in society.  The WSLO program provided financial and technical assistance to support the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in social, political, and legal contexts.  WSLOs also held 20 workshop discussions on a variety of subjects, including the prevention of human trafficking, human rights, entrepreneurship, HIV/AIDS awareness, arsenic mitigation, legal services, safe water and sanitation, adolescent reproductive health, the importance of birth registration, safe blood transmission, etc.

People’s Participatory Rural Development Program (PPRDP)

Since its inception the PPRDP worked with a huge number of extremely poor people living in different parts of the country. Under this program a total of 327 people’s institutions called “Forum” worked with 33,619 poor people, of them the majority are women. These institutions were able to create a great solidarity among the poor and marginalized people and at the same time create a confidence that they could play a significant role in building their own stair towards development. PPRDP largely contributed to putting these poor people at the center of development.  One of their many programs is the People Managed Savings and Credit (PMSC) program.  PMSC encouraged the forum members to save small amounts of money which would be a handsome amount within a few years. It also encourages the members to borrow money from the forum at a lower rate of interest to invest in any venture. This micro credit opportunity has benefited many families.  Because of this unique savings and credit program people’s dependence on money lenders has reduced significantly.

To learn about a Special Giving Projects in Bangladesh