MJF moves to help 10 lakh disadvantaged families
Sitting from left, Shaheen Anam, Nurun Nabi Talukder, Gowher Rizvi, Syed Manzur Elahi, Sarah Cooke, and Priya Powell at the launching ceremony of the “Creating Opportunities for Poor and Excluded in Bangladesh (COPE)” programme at the capital's Bangla Academy yesterday. On the occasion, four partner organisations were awarded. The representatives of the recipients are, standing from left, Shale Ahmed of Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), Dhaka; Salima Rahman of RDRS Bangladesh, Rangpur; Raseal Ahamad Liton of SKS Foundation, Gaibandha; and Shyamal Chandra Sarker of Mohidev Jobu Samaj Kalyan Samity (MJSKS). Photo: Star
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a leading development organisation promoting human rights and good governance, has undertaken a three-year programme for improving the living conditions of more than 10 lakh poor and marginalised households of the country.
Under the programme, “Creating Opportunities for Poor and Excluded in Bangladesh (COPE)”, MJF along with 120 partner organisations will work between 2013 and 2016 to reduce violence against women, ensure safe working condition for workers and working children with living wages, people's access to basic services and social safety nets, and defend their land and property rights.
The project funded by British and Australian governments will directly support Bangladesh's sixth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), "Accelerating Growth and Reducing Poverty", and enable the marginalised people, including religious and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, to challenge the institutions, which excluded them from developments.
The launching ceremony was held at the capital's Bangla Academy yesterday with Chairperson of MJF Board Syed Manzur Elahi in the chair.
In her welcome speech, MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam said MJF would always put focus on the poor and marginalised people. “Our vision is to see a Bangladesh where the dignity and well being of all people, especially the poor and marginalised, is ensured.”
She said, “MJF will maintain the highest standards of financial accountability. It will use donor funds judiciously and make sure partner organisations do the same.”
Sarah Cooke, country representative of DFID Bangladesh, said Bangladesh had made significant progress in many sectors but too many people were left behind, and COPE was for those people.
“By December 2016, it will have helped many of them gain access to assets and economic opportunities and have a greater say in decisions affecting their lives.”
Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Prof Gowher Rizvi praised the non-government organisations for their pivotal role in the country's development especially in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Terming NGOs as development partners of the government, Gowher emphasised their joint role in poverty eradication.
Nurun Nabi Talukder, director general of NGO Affairs Bureau, and Priya Powell, counsellor, Head of Development Corporation, AusAid, Bangladesh, among others, also spoke.
After the first session, Rina Roy and Shamim Imam, directors of MJF; and Moinul Haque and Abdullah Al Mamun, MJF managers; demonstrated different aspects of the programme.
In the session, Executive Director of Transparency International, Bangladesh Dr Iftekharuzzaman, also a member of MJF Board, asked the partner organisations to ensure transparency and accountability of their activities.
Later, Shaheen Anam and Parvin Mahmood, another member of MJF Board, answered the queries of the partner organisation representatives.
On the occasion, four partner organisations were given awards as “outstanding organisations for compliance and financial management.”
These are Mohidev Jobu Samaj Kalyan Samity (MJSKS), Kurigram; SKS Foundation, Gaibandha; RDRS Bangladesh, Rangpur; and Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), Dhaka.