JILAF visited Dhaka and Khulna in Bangladesh from June 25 to July 2 to observe the third Working Group (WG) meeting and a life support seminar in Khulna being held in accordance with plans for the Bangladesh SGRA (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) project in the current fiscal year.
The third WG meeting was an expanded meeting attended also by members of the Regional Working Groups (RWG) newly established in the current fiscal year. In the meeting, the participants discussed and confirmed the concrete schedule for bridging to vocational training programs in sewing, welding, and so on offered by the government and nongovernmental organizations, which is the central activity of the project in the current fiscal year, as well as the respective roles of WG and RWG members.
The life support seminar in Khulna, which was organized by the WG, was held for 30 informal-sector workers in that city. After an opening address by WG members, Mr. Saito from JILAF explained the purpose and objectives of the SGRA project and emphasized the importance of network building to improve and upgrade the lives of informal-sector workers. Dr. Murshed, health officer of the city of Khulna, then delivered a lecture on the basic human rights of Bangladeshi people and the primary health care that informal-sector workers can receive (health education in general: mother-child health; prevention of contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS; response to mosquitoes, diarrhea, burns, etc.; securing of essential medical products; etc.). The participants asked various questions, such as “Please tell us what to do when bitten by a snake, because at this time of the year snakes often enter houses in slums.” Finally, Ms. Kazal from ‘Durjoy’, a microcredit organization, gave a lecture on the method of establishing cooperatives, their functions, and their advantages, and much expectation was expressed for the establishment of SGRA cooperatives and shops in and after fiscal 2014. At the end of the seminar, each participant was handed a network card.
As well as Khulna, the above-mentioned life support seminar was held in Bogra and Chittagong as well, and altogether 90 informal-sector workers obtained information contributing to the improvement of their lives. From now on these informal-sector workers (“network members”) are scheduled to receive vocational training in programs organized by the government and others.
|06/27||Thu||3rd WG meeting|
|06/28||Fri||Life support seminar (Khulna)|