Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country The people of Bangladesh make their livings from agriculture, textiles, garments, jute products, seafood processing, fertilizer production, sugar, tea, leather and ship breaking for steel. Many of the people are landless and are forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land.
Periodic severe flooding during monsoons has been exaggerated due to global warming. Climate change and severe weather issues impact the lives and livelihood of Bangladesh people. We have two partners in Bangladesh, the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh and the Church of Bangladesh who is working to help the lives of Bengalis people.
The Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh is helping to transform lives through their poverty reduction program. This program works best in forum groups. Global Ministries was able to visit several forums and we were able to learn how this program is helping to change multiple communities into thriving and growing neighborhoods. At a forum group, we met women who have received microcredit loans. These forums play a significant role in increasing household income as well as poverty reduction. Micro credits are provided to men and women who want to create a business but need low-interest loans. With the microcredit loans, people can start their businesses that range from farms, grocery stores, jewelry, snack and candy making, and more.
In one forum group, women from a Muslim community have effectively come together to change their community. Women can sell milk and other products at bulk and at a fair value that allows for a greater return on their investments, allowing them to be able to send their children to school. Working together has proven to benefit these women. The women pay a monthly fee to be a part of the forum, this fee allows them to do community activism and development. The forum can support children by awarding scholarships for school, providing nutritional meals, and offering blankets for children in the community. The program works to prevent child marriages in Bangladesh, where 60% of marriages are child marriages. Another issue that women are facing is domestic violence. The forum provides education on domestic violence for women and men. Most of the women farmers are also organic farmers who use sustainable farming techniques for their produce. Both men and women farmers are working to eliminate greenhouse gas mitigation through cooking and farming. In this specific forum, women have grown to such prominence in the community that one was recently elected to a local political position.