Together with the Friendship Foundation, the GSRD Foundation provides Char (nomadic island) women in northern Bangladesh with literacy and vocational training to increase their employment opportunities. Through these trainings, the partnership aims to effectively provide educational facilities to adult women to improve their employment and income generating opportunities and to contribute to reducing poverty in the Char areas.
In the first part of the project, women receive literacy training; in the second part of the project they learn different professions. One group of women are trained in weaving and dyeing, and will be employed or receive a loan after successfully completing the training. Another group is trained in agriculture and will receive a loan to fund their first harvest and to purchase agricultural pumps.
A third group receives livestock training and will receive a loan to purchase a cow. To ensure the cows receive proper care, some women are trained to become veterinarian nurses. A fourth group is trained in vegetable and sandbar cropping.
Friendship is a value-based organization founded in Bangladesh in 2002 that identifies and reaches out to the poorest and most marginalized communities. Its initial focus is on the Char population and riverbank areas of northern Bangladesh; places where basic healthcare or education was unavailable. Over time it expanded geographically to the coastal belt of Bangladesh and also from providing primary and secondary healthcare to education, income generation, relief and rehabilitation programs, and most recently, an innovative risk sharing loans which includes insurance and savings schemes and governance projects for empowerment. Friendship deeply believes that “the poor cannot afford poor solutions” and thus bases the organisation on the values of integrity, dignity, empathy, quality and hope. Read more about Friendship.