Lalmonirhat Programme Unit
Area: 288.42 sq. km
Communities: 63 villages
Sponsored children: Around 4,200
Lalmonirhat is in the extreme north west of Bangladesh, where 90% of people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Plan started work in the area in 2001 due to its poverty status, limited development activities and the prevalence of flash flooding and earthquakes.
An early start to education
Plan runs a programme of early childhood care and development in 37 pre-schools and basic education in 44 primary schools. Colourful materials and modern teaching methods are used to engage children and raise parents’ awareness of the importance of education.
Breaking the cycle of poverty
Poverty in Bangladesh, especially in rural areas, is endemic and Lalmonirhat is comparatively less developed with chronic unemployment forcing people to migrate to the cities in search of work.
To alleviate poverty, Plan is providing flexible microfinance services and we are developing communities' skills, improving agricultural technology and maximising milk production.
We are also providing vocational skills training for youth who have dropped out of school and for extremely poor and vulnerable people to help rebuild a financially-secure future for them.
Healthy hygiene practices
In order to improve the health and nutrition of mothers and their children, Plan has been promoting community-managed initiatives and developing quality health services. These include lessons for mothers in safe health practices, screening children's health at school, monitoring the growth of children aged under 2, counselling, worming children and providing antenatal and postnatal care.
We contribute to the sexual and reproductive health and overall wellbeing of vulnerable adolescents by providing life skills training. We also work to raise awareness on proper hygiene practices and the importance of latrine use under our Community-Led Total Sanitation programme.
Strengthening community relationships
Plan builds the capacity of partners and villagers through community development planning. We help create a positive working environment by supporting community-based organisations and children’s organisations in coordination with local government and other non-governmental organisations.
Our focus is on the promotion of child rights, gender and good governance.
Quality health services for mothers and children
Plan supports the local authorities to increase access to quality health services and mobilizes communities through training sessions. Plan supports community clinics and Family Welfare Centers, and also conducts Life Skills sessions with vulnerable youths to improve their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health issues.
Promoting a secure and positive environment for youths and children
To increase realisation of the rights of the children, Plan Bangladesh works with communities to promote children’s rights by facilitating children and youths to raise their voices through discussion forums. Children are taught about their rights and encouraged to discuss their needs and the issues affecting them. This helps secure a safe environment in which children and adolescents can explore their potential.
Community preparedness on preparing for disasters
As Lalmonirhat is an area prone to disasters such as flash floods, cold waves and earthquakes, Plan facilitates schools and organizations to be prepared. Plan helps communities prepare for disasters by staging drills and working with relevant local authorities and organizations to bolster their capacity to react at a time of need. Farmers are now increasingly looking to new technologies and varieties to crop that can cope with climate change.
For disaster preparedness, Plan puts a special focus on children, youths, the elderly and pregnant mothers.
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