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BACHTE SHEKHA: Learn How to Survive

Angela Gomes founded Banchte Shekha in 1976 in Jessore District to help abandoned women (widow or repudiated by their husbands and however neglected by the society). Nowadays Banchte Shekha is one of the largest organizations of Southern Bangladesh and actively works for the social and economic development of neglected women and children. The long term objective of Banchte Shekha is to increase women awareness and strength, to improve the education level of the children and to reduce the poverty in the most disadvantages areas of Bangladesh. These aims will be pursued by a constructive empowerment of the most vulnerable parts of the population, without creating dependences from charity aids. Banchte Sheka is diffused in Bangladesh inland with offices in nine districts: Jessore, Khulna, Jhenaidah, Kusthia, Narail, Gazipur, Dhaka. During the last 33 years Banchte Shekha distinguished itself for its struggles for women self-determination, creating great interest also in the foreign organizations that analyzed its methods and the impacts on the social network. Banchte Shekha operates to improve social and economic conditions, particularly of women and children, through increasing the respect of their human rights. An improved self-consciousness for the women, a regular school attendance (too often denied) for the children, together with improved social-economic conditions will help the population to overcome the risks of social conflicts, arising from strong social impurities, fundamentalism, natural disasters etc. During these 33 years, Banchte Shekha tried to carry on a great work of social awareness by general mobilization, collaboration with the Institutions, activities aimed to improveme the living conditions, the health conditions and the education. The successes achieved by Banchte Shekha are largely due to the commitment of its staff and of the persons who collaborated with it. Banchte Shekha works both in the rural and urban areas, especially in urban slums, where the risks of social conflicts are more likely. At present, Banchte Shekha is working with 250.000 women and 22.000 organized groups in 978 villages in Dhaka and Khulna Divisions. Indirectly, more than one million people take advantage from the activity of the organization.
Vision: a society which can meet the basic needs of women and children in a context of serenity, peace, justice, in the respect of the natural environment.
Mission: The effort to improve the social and economic life quality mainly for women and children through education, technical formation and increased awareness of the intrinsic value of each human being and of her/his human rights.

SAMS – Sunderban Adibashi Munda Songstha

From several years Father Luigi Paggi is working together with Munda communities (an ethnic minority group) helping them to improve their living conditions and to begin to exert some their human and social rights, which have always been denied. The basic points are education, economic improvement, the recovery of their cultural and social identity and to have their social right recognized. They also need the possibility to access basic resources, such as drinking water, sanitation devices, electricity. To effectively pursue these objectives, the Munda communities living in the Sunderban (the mangrove forest in the costal area of Southern Bangladesh) founded a Community Based Association named SAMS, Sunderban Adibashi Munda Songstha, i.e., association of Muda native population of Sunderban.

SPACE – Society for Peoples’ Actions in Change and Equity

Society for Peoples’ Actions in Change and Equity (SPACE) is a no profit, non politic and non governmental organization (NGO), completely free from religious affiliations. It was founded in 2003 by a group of operators for social development with the aim to help in improving the social and economic conditions of the poorest people, especially distressed and underfed women and children. SPACE main objectives are to ensure the access to food, safe drinking water, shelter; to enhance high quality education, health and proper nutrition, to fight the diffusion of HIV, to increase the knowledge and use of good hygienic practices and the access to sanitation devices; to increase the use of renewable energies and of organic amendants to improve environmental quality. Through these initiatives SPACE tries to transform the “Ideal Community” in reality. The idea of “Ideal Community” is referred to a social model where each person enjoys freedom, dignity, human rights and the possibility to achieve her/his intrinsic potential. All these actions are in agreement with the expectations expressed with the Millenium Development Goals (MDG).