A Milestone in the Economic Empowerment of Human Trafficking Survivors
On 12 September 2021, ACI Limited and Winrock International's Ashshash project formally signed a pivotal 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MoU) that will extend support for skill-based employment opportunities and self-employment prospects for human trafficking survivors. ACI Limited will be able to widen the coverage and geographical footprints of their products via adept sellers and distributors across Ashshash's key operational districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Jashore, Chattogram, and Cox's Bazar; by employing the project's beneficiaries (i.e. the survivors). Additionally, Ashshash's beneficiaries will also be able to increase the company's productivity and profitability with their skill set and training. In turn, ACI Limited will be able to facilitate the economic and financial empowerment of Ashshash's beneficiaries by developing their capacities as micro-entrepreneurs, providing guidance on business development, providing one-time in-kind support, and ensuring their sustainable wage-based employment.
On this groundbreaking collaboration, Md. Quamrul Hassan, Business Director, Salt & PC, ACI Consumer Brands, noted that 'ACI Limited's core objective to continually improve and empower the livelihood of vulnerable groups through sustainable employment and business-support, are perfectly aligned with the Ashshash project's vision to restore dignity, ensure well-being, and enable self-sufficiency for the men and women who have escaped trafficking'. ACI Limited actively aims to develop the capacity and competence of its 'sellers' and 'distributors' to eventually help widen the coverage and geographical footprints of it's consumer products. Moreover, another subset of the beneficiaries will be provided decent, wage-based employment at their factories and manufacturing plants across the key districts; based on the demand trend for skilled workforces. Ashshash will provide a steady stream of skilled sellers, distributors, and workforces to expand the footprint of ACI products across its key operational districts.
In observance of the signing ceremony were Md. Quamrul Hassan, Business Director, Salt & PC, ACI Consumer Brands; Shahed Kamal, General Manager, Sales Development, ACI Consumer Brands; Md. Amanullah Aman, Sales Manager, Institutions, ACI Consumer Brands; Dipta Rakshit, Team Leader, Ashshash, Winrock International; Md. Omar Faruk, Training and Employment Manager, Ashshash, Winrock International; and Md. Ashraful Islam, Private Sector Engagement Manager, Ashshash, Winrock International.
About ACI Limited and Winrock International's Ashshash Project: Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Limited, is one of the largest conglomerates in Bangladesh with a multinational heritage. 'ACI Consumer Brands' is adding value to the daily life of consumers through its Toiletries, Home Care, Hygiene, Salt, Flour, Foods, Rice, Tea, etc. 'ACI Agribusinesses' is the largest integrator in Bangladesh in Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Farm Mechanization. Winrock International's 'Ashshash' project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Winrock International. The project aims to combat human trafficking in all its forms; by setting an inaugural goal to enrol 4,500 men and women under its counselling and training processes, whilst engaging 250,000 individuals from various community levels via awareness-raising activities.