Dhaka Programme Unit
Area: 1,530 sq. km
District and communities: 10 zones of Dhaka City Corporation
Population: 12 million inhabitants
Sponsored children: 5,924
The Dhaka Programme Unit (DHPU) launched its operations in 1995 with a sponsorship programme to support children and mothers in slum areas affected by poverty. The programme unit has expanded subtantially since 1995 with programmes including:
Creating a protective environment for vulnerable children
The major activities of this programme include fostering children’s participation, capacity building, providing counselling and legal aid, and hosting cultural activities including Theatre for Development (TfD) and musical shows. We work with 48 children’s organisations and create awareness on child rights, early marriage, nutrition and education, among others. We are trying to improve the quality of life of adolescents & youths by providing skills training and job security through the Youth Economic Development (YED) project. In 3 years 2,608 youths have successfully benefited from the YED project. In a positive attempt to encourage micro-enterprise development for youth, the DHPU is currently running a project on Youth Micro Enterprise Development (YMED).
Quality primary education
Plan Bangladesh is facilitating a School Improvement Programme (SIP) as a model which will ensure participation of all children in education and successful completion of primary education. Child centred pedagogy, inclusiveness, parental involvement, capacity building and strengthening of co-curricular activities are the key strategies of SIP.
“We love Plan, because Plan works for our children”, says father of Sumaiya, a student from a local Primary School. 9,370 children, aged 3 to11 years old, and within 20 primary schools are receiving quality education under this project.
To ensure inclusion of all children regardless of sex, race, ethnicity or physical challenge, DHPU is implementing an Inclusive Education project that enhances school capacity to include and address needs of children with disabilities.
Through gender-friendly Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) facilities at school, children are now more comfortable to attend school and use gender-specific facilities, ensuring that boys and girls are growing up with a healthy habit of hygiene practices.
Providing health services
DHPU is providing primary health care services through 5 static clinics and 10 satellite clinics at community level. The health services raise awareness about mother and child’s health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation and also provides basic health services such as immunization, health check ups for pregnant mothers and children’s health monitoring. As a result, child and maternal mortality rates are on the decline; roughly 46,516 children and mothers received support from the clinics in 2013.
Developing disaster resilient schools and communities
This project focuses on awareness building, training and mock drills for children stemming from 35 children’s organisations and 80 schools. Theater for development and folk songs are some of the key methods used for awareness raising. Following the training, the children spread their knowledge and awareness about fire and earthquake preparedness to their family, the community and school mates. The programme is also implementing climate smart solutions for the slum dwellers of Dhaka city to reduce climate change vulnerability.
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