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Archive for June, 2008

TREE believes that if we keep continuing with our heritage we can preserve our culture. With this views TREE started its culture and development activities and also using folk media in other development activities. In 2002 TREE started to work with the potter community to know their culture, heritage and changes in livelihood.

Technical and Marketing Support for Traditional Crafts of Bangladesh
Crafts people of Bangladesh have a long tradition and cultural heritage, which also has enrich our national culture and heritage. But in the course of time and due to non-patronization of Bangladeshi crafts a large section of occupational groups are on the verge of extinction. Concerned about the situation TREE has started a network and is supporting a market access program for skill development of traditional handloom and crafts producers with particular emphasis on women, which will help them to develop relation with wider world and get entry with their products into the world market so that we can make a bridge with the global market and world heritage. In 2005 we have provided training to 40 women on different trades i.e. boutique, stitching, cutting and small business management. The aim of the activity is to explore the potential and skill development of women in rural settings. TREE supports all these activities from its own fund.

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Capacity Building of Women through ICT 
The goal of the project ‘Including the Excluded’ and Capacity Building of Women in Bangladesh’ is to create space for women to participate and learn about ICTs and its applications and to assist in developing improved information network for high human capital, endowments and confiscating opportunities what would lead to significant increase in cash flow. Findings show that a model of women empowerment can be developed through building their capacities and get them connected with wider information network by harvesting benefits from ICTs; and through accessing cyber space a collaborative women development program can be initiation. Findings also show development of a small-scale women network at local level that would be linked to the global networks will enhance inwards outwards information flows for them. Creation of affordable and viable income generating activities and micro enterprise development by women based on ICTs; setting up of specific tailored ICTs applications and service programs including equal access to ICT-related education, training and entrepreneurship opportunities and equal access as producers and consumers of ICTs through public and private partnership for women can benefit them. Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology of Bangladesh funded the project. For implementing the next phase of the project TREE is looking for other development partners.

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Success case

Beauty’s mother is a construction worker. Her 5-members family lives hands to mouth. One day one local fellow proposed beauty’s mother to send her to Dubai and assured her that he would provide a very attractive job with high salary. She was convinced and taking preparation for flying away to Dubai. Anxious Beauty came to TREE and told the whole story. One of the TREE volunteers counseled her mother for near about two months and finally succeed in saving her from taking a suicidal decision.
(Beauty is a member of the Learning for Life Center)

Learning for Life Center:

A Process to Human Rights Education and Empowerment of the root level People
“TREE tries to meet the needs of the children, but definitely it is the children’s decision on how it can be met.” Such was the quote of the TREE team as there was a presentation at a local education institute Gakulnagar School at Savar area on initiatives of TREE with children. The program was initiated on September 2005. This message affirmed an overall orientation of the project, to support the autonomy and choice of the children in the process of promoting democratic culture in the community. The project was developed under the guidance of teachers, community leaders and respective guardians of the children. It was initiated to help alleviate what was perceived to be a widespread condition of either ignorance or confusion over the content and meaning of human rights in Bangladesh. The core of the project entails development and piloting, as well as infusion of human rights education. The community, teachers and other related activities that were demonstrated to 5 schools, 5 communities and 1 special school for the disadvantaged and disabled in Bangladesh in September-October 2005.

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Human Rights

Awareness Raising Program on Prevention of Trafficking and Human Rights
It is clear from available data and research findings that Bangladesh is one of the safest places in the world for the traffickers. It’s a source country or route for them. Again poverty is the main cause which opens avenue for the traffickers. Poor women and children are prime victims here. From the very beginning TREE has been focusing on stopping human lifting from the society. On this topic TREE organized a workshop with local elites and schoolteachers at Savar area. It also organized training workshops with adolescents, schoolteachers and students to make them aware of the prevalence of the problem.

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In general terms, Governance denotes “how people are ruled, how the affairs of the state are administered and regulated as well as a nation’s system of politics and how these function in relation to public administration and law.” According to the Constitution every citizen of Bangladesh is equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of law, and there cannot be any discrimination on the ground of religion, race, sex, etc. and no one can be detrimentally affected in life, liberty, body, reputation or property except in accordance with law. But patriarchal society of the country encourages the subjection of women. In principle we believe in the quality of the people from each and every status group by their rights by birth and humanity. However, at present we are covering ‘human rights’ with specific focus on health, education, environment, women empowerment and income generating activities.

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It is always been a concern for TREE to work for clean and environmentally just society. Over the period of time global environment has changed and due to human intervention, unjust use of natural resources like huge burning of fossil fuels global worming has increased. And rise of sea level is a clear indicator of abrupt change of the climate. In the above context TREE focuses its activities mainly on conducting small-scale researches on environment, training and advocacy campaign and educative programs for local community and schools. Altogether 30 local schools were involved; among those following five schools – Gakulnagar High School, Dusaid AK School, Bidya Niketon, Sikder Kindergarten and High School and Kathgora High School – are the focal points.

 

1. Environmental Education Program

Part of its environmental education program TREE implemented a Waste Management Education Program jointly with BCAS (Bangladesh Center for advanced studies) and the British Council in 30 high schools at Savar. The activities were to train teachers, organize essay competition, debate and community cleaning camp for local community. The main idea was to explore the engagement opportunities of future leaders to develop a hazard-free and environmentally sound society.

 

2.  Occupational Health Problems associated with Shrimp Culture

The study was carried out in the south-western part of Bangladesh to explore the environmental and occupational health problems associated with shrimp cultural. During 1980s there was a trend developed in that area to cultivate shrimp by keeping and using saline water for long. Based on this number of cultivation farms and processing industries have been set up. It crates some employment in the locality and brings opportunities for export earnings, but at the cost of environmental and health hazards. Ministry of Science Technology and Information & Communication Technology of the Government of Bangladesh funded the research. Findings related to the objectives of the study were:

·         gradually diminishing biodiversity, to some extend at a significant level

·         decreased agricultural production

·         scarcity of pure drinking water

·         women and children are more vulnerable to health hazards

they face new types of health problems        

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A 29 years old young energetic man went to Saudi Arabia with huge hope and aspiration of life. He, along with two of his brothers lived there. He had a satisfactory earning for him. His father sold some of his properties to manage the money for the travel agent. Days were passing very well with his brothers in the desert, all in a sudden he had friendship with a nurse (female) who was also alone and came from Ethiopia. Again everything was very nice and full of excitement. Before three months of his deportation to Bangladesh he fall sick and also had problems in his penis. The doctor prescribed some drugs and also advised him to for go some test if medicines don’t work. He had to go for the tests at last and finally the suspicious became true. Soon he was deported to Bangladesh without giving his last three months salary and insurance benefits. Back home the same treatment was waiting for him. His father and brother didn’t accept him.

“To me, mother is the symbol of justice. If my mother were alive I might not have been deserted by my family members and also deprived from the family properties. Now my father is not interested to give me my rights on the lands he owns, he is not even ready to give me back my money I had sent from abroad. They only say they can not show their faces in the society because of me. And as I will die very soon, then why should I need money. It’s inexpressible how I am passing my days, along with my three-year old daughter and my wife. . Now I am living in my father-in-law’s house. It’s unbelievable that I can not share my pain here as you know anyone, who knows that (except people like you) I am HIV positive, just shows his back to me. If I can share the pain I feel better. Can you please help me to get back my rights?

 

2. Advocacy Campaign for Human Rights to reduce HIV Venerability among IDUs 

Bangladesh still seems to have low prevalence of HIV among the South Asian countries. But its geographical location can make the scenario reversal if the country fails to address the problem holistically and of course by addressing specific groups like Injection Drug Users (IDUs). Ninety-five percent of the lives claimed by HIV/AIDS are from developing countries; thereby the disease has potential relation with poverty. Sexual intercourse is the most common way to passing of HIV. But the second way of transmission, injection of drugs, drives the problem to epidemic situation. Like other conservative societies, Bangladesh is pre-dominantly stigmatized and the community upholds violent and discriminating attitudes towards the most vulnerable groups like IDUs and the infected and affected are stigmatized which subsequently inhibit to overcome the problem. Therefore, it creates more endemic of the problem in the society. It is observed that street IDUs were tortured both by police and the community people. Furthermore, they are excluded from families and denied from their rights i.e. land and other family assets. Consequently they become more marginalized and are forced to attain unethical and complex behavior. In our service area we have observed that almost 300 people are drug addict and they are mainly IDUs. The working area of this particular project is an urban pocket where all preconditions prevail to increase the risk of affecting new ones.

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