“Amrao Manush” is a program operated by SAJIDA Foundation to enable extremely marginalized communities of urban poor to access essential services to break free of poverty and live with health, happiness and dignity. The program operates through seven Centres located in Dhaka and Chittagong. This program is supported by Concern Worldwide, Irish Aid and a private donor organization.
Rapid urbanisation has been a key driver in the growth of Bangladesh’s Pavement Dweller communities. With a total population of 162 million, the country’s urban centres are growing at twice the national average. In tandem with this growth has been the rise in urban poverty, with the government recently estimating that one third of the urban population live in slums. To address the issue of extreme poverty and vulnerability among the poorest section of Bangladesh’s urban population, namely those people who live and sleep on the streets of the country’s urban centres. This group of people, referred to herein as “Pavement Dwellers”, live in the least secure shelters of all urban dwellers, and typically sleep on pavements and in public spaces such as markets, bus stands, parks, and railway stations as they cannot afford accommodation in slums or in squatter settlements. As a socioeconomic group, pavement dwellers receive the least attention in the policies and programmes of Government, donors and other development actors. With almost no social capital and little social cohesion, pavement dweller suffer from an extremely low social status and negative perceptions among the general population which excludes them from civic and community life.
Our Pavement Dweller Centres provide
The purpose of the day care is to enable working beneﬁciary mothers to keep their children (2-6 years) in a safe place while they work and contribute to the household income. Children at the day care centers are divided into two age groups (2-4 yrs and 4-6 yrs) for focused education and appropriate curriculum. At each centre, 2 trained instructors teach children in diﬀerent subjects, including the alphabet, popular songs, attitude, behavior, sports, etc. Children are provided nutritious food at the Center to promote good health and their growth is monitored.
Psychosocial counseling is provided to diﬀerent groups of the project including parents, children and adolescents. The counseling is provided in three modes and focuses on the moral development of the participants and development of societal norms towards inclusion into mainstream society.
Most pavement dwellers do not have access to a safe place to keep their savings. A few of them deposit their savings with shopkeepers or moneylenders, putting themselves at risk of extortion and other forms of exploitation. SAJIDA has introduced a savings scheme that allows beneﬁciaries to deposit and withdraw any amount they desire whenever they require.
Pavement dwellers are prone to illnesses particularly due to lack of safe drinking water and sanitation and unhygienic living. Since they cannot aﬀord proper treatment, they often rely on herbal remedies which results in incorrect diagnosis and treatment. Health corners have been established in every PDC to address this gap, open from 9 am to 5.30 pm every day except Friday. Five centers have paramedics who perform consultations, basic treatments and make referrals to health centers and hospitals in the area when more treatment is necessary.
Vocational Training and Apprenticeship support is provided by the project to help engage people in income generating activities or a regular job through linkages with garments, workshops and other small industries. As part of this, 250 grants will be provided and 250 apprenticeship opportunities for micro-business and job placements, IGA training will be provided to 300 women, and saving scheme access for 3000 women and men.
A child who has completed the education program of the day care center is considered a day care graduate. As per the project regulation, children over the age of 6 are either linked with a school or provided education free of cost. All the food, clothing, books, bedding, toiletries and medication needed by the children are provided free of cost. As of April 2017 a total of 170 children have been admitted to formal schools.
|Total No of Pavement Dweller Center||7|
|Total Number of income generating||4,301|
|Total Day Care Service received||1,573|
|Total member received savings interest (BDT)||424,180|
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