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Dinajpur Programme Unit

Dinajpur District

Area: 492 sq. km
Population: 450,000
Communities: 79
Sponsored children: Around 12,000

Dinajpur is in northern Bangladesh and about 75% of the population lives under the poverty line.

Plan started working in the area in 1994, where most of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

Programme highlights

Creating an enabling environment

Plan works to improve the capacity of communities and build relations with local government and different agencies.

We work with community-based organisations and children's organisations to encourage community participation and ownership. We establish community development projects to stop child marriage and child violence, promote child protection, ensure birth registration and create social protection groups.

Early childhood development

Plan is running an early childhood care and development programme in Dinajpur which focuses on 3 main areas:

  • parenting sessions to help parents develop an understanding of child care and development for children under 3s
  • the creation of 470 child development centres to promote the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of 3 to 5-year-olds
  • the construction of 147 pre-schools for holistic development of 6 year-olds to prepare them for formal primary education

We are also working to improve the quality basic education in primary schools.

Quality primary education

Plan trains teachers in how to engage students, create child-friendly classroom environments and use creative materials to make learning more fun,. This stimulates the students to learn and read well, makes their parents interested in their children’s education and stops them dropping out of school.

Marjina, a mother, said: "We are uneducated but our children are flourishing, making us very happy. Plan is helping us where we were helpless."

Community healthcare

We are running a community healthcare project in partnership with the government, community-based organisations and clinic management committees.

Community clinics are providing support by establishing effective referral links with specialised hospitals as well as better relations with district and sub-district health departments. The aim is to reduce maternal and child mortality and to educate parents on health issues.

We are reducing malnutrition among mothers and children and making adolescents aware of reproductive health and different health-related and social issues. We are also implementing water and environmental sanitation programmes in the community and local primary schools.

Family economic security

Plan supports a family economic security programme which is supporting more than 20,000 people through flexible microfinance services. This enables even the poorest to take a loan and get back on their feet.

We are also training communities in techniques for crop diversification and production increase.

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