The Chandpur Total Community Development Centres (TCDC) project has been running for nearly three years. Julian Doorey and the staff of Baptist Aid in Bangladesh have been carrying out a review of the project. Some statistics:
• 424 children enrolled in the pre-school programme.
• 437 children in the school tutorial programme. Children attending government schools in Bangladesh are required to have out-of-school tuition, which is often too expensive for poor families. The project provides tuition groups for children from these families.
• 1372 adults have taken part in adult literacy courses and joined the self-help groups. The programme includes primary health care, hygiene, sanitation and waste disposal, and projects to increase family income.
This is a total of 2233 people directly helped by the project. We are very pleased that the project has been accepted for a further three years funding by the Aid Programme of the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. We have received $217,300 from MFAT for the current year. BANZAid has to raise a further $30,000 as our annual commitment to the project.
In April we submitted two new projects for possible funding. The first of these is for a second TCDC-style project. This would again be run by Baptist Aid, and work in the tribal areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It would be similar in scale to the Chandpur project, work in 10 village centres, and be called HELP – Hilltracts Economic Livelihoods Project.
The second is a pilot project to open a new area of activity in Bangladesh. This application is for funds to help an MPIL company set up the manufacture and distribution of a solar lighting unit that they have developed for use in rural areas of Bangladesh. It is a very small project – the application is for just under $177,000 – but if successful it will open the way for further BANZAid/MPIL partnerships. John and Paul met with MFAT staff to discuss the concept, and they encouraged us to go ahead with the application. We should hear the results of these applications later this month.
As reported previously, BANZAid is researching projects in the Pacific region that can be assisted to meet the requirements for NZ Government funding schemes. Paul Thompson and Neil Perry will visit Papua New Guinea in August to meet with Baptist Union of PNG development staff about possible projects there. We are also in discussions with possible projects in Vanuatu.
For more information on BANZAid programmes, visit www.banzaid.org.nz.
• Paul Thompson, BANZAid manager