The CUP (Capacity building of Ultra Poor) project
The Capacity Building of Ultra Poor (CUP) Project, is aimed to improve the livelihood situation of theultra-poorpeopleparticularly women in the charlands of Shariatpur and Chandpur districts. Main components of the Project include mobilization, awareness raising, advocacy, promotion of livelihood, disaster preparedness and non-formal primary education.
Project Objective: Building capacity, increasing livelihood options, preventing domestic violence against women and creating measures for mitigating disaster are some of the mian objectives of this project.
Project Goal: Capacity building of ultra-poor people living in the vulnerable disaster prone areas through promotion of livelihood, developing life skills, resource mobilization and by creating resource provision.
Donor Name: Oxfam Novib
Project Target Group: Ultra-poor people (particularly women), living in the char lands of Shariatpur and Chandpur districts.
Project Working Area: The area covered under the pilot project includes a total of 7 riverbank unions of Goshairhat and Damuddya Upazila of Shariatpur and Sadar upazila of Chandpur districts.
Project Background: Initially SDS started with disaster response & rehabilitation projects but then gradually launched different projects like livelihood, health, income generating activities. In connection with those projects SDS initiated capacity building of ultra poor (CUP) project in the very remote, deprived, isolated riverian char areasnamely Goshairhat & Damudya upazila.
Currently third phase of CUP project is in progress and the project area includes four unions under Goshairhat Upazila and one union under Damudya upazila. CUP project is working with resource less ultra poor women living in remote areas through formation of 120 groups at 103 villages. The ultra poor women groups are the main operational center for most the interventions of this project with the collaboration of other stakeholders such as community people, local government, different government officials, Other NGOs, various local level committees like market committees, school management committees, project implementation committees and so on.
CUP project works with varied components that are aimed to build the capacity of ultra poor people. CUP project hasmobilised and formed 15ultra poor groups in addition to the existing 105 groups (by the end of 2011). CUP project is also working with diversified awareness raising topics such as health concerning issues, modern agricultural practices, disaster risk reduction activities, right based activities, overall capacity building of community and so on. In order to ensure smooth & easy access to government basic services, CUP project is running its’ intervention in close collaboration with GOB & other NGOs.
CUP project strengthening womens’ knowledge, skill,attitude and infrastructure by closely working with them at grassroot level. Cup project also facilitates trainings onconstructing homestead, flood shelter etc. To faciliate educational facilities to the poor students living in remote areas who do not have access to schools, CUP project runs NFPE (Nonformal primary education) at remote inaccessable areas. Currently 420 students are receibing primary education in 14 different non formal schools (year2013).
According to target plan of year-3 of CUP 2nd phase, SDS will continue to work with 120 existing ultra poor women groups with 3585 members. An estimated 5000 people will benefit from this project. In year 2011 a total of 1502 group meeting were organized and in those meetings CUP staffs discussed 16 are major issues like violence against women, reproductive health & HIV-AIDS (i.e. safe delivery and family planning), primary health care, child and mother health, nutrition, hygiene behaviors and practices, disaster preparedness and management, nursery setup and its importance, early vegetable cultivation and homestead gardening, income generating activities, livelihood assets protection etc. Various gender related & right based issueslike child & girl education, dowry, early marriage, birth registration, “kash” land mobilization and its procedure were also discussed. In addition, some need based issues like summer vegetable cultivation; pest & insect management and preparedness from sudden disaster etc. were discussed in details. The picture shows a group meeting at village level.
A number of advocacy issues like “kash” land mobilization, linkage to government services especially health services, agricultural facilities and some awareness raising activities like disaster preparedness & risk reduction task are discussed in group meeting session. CUP project trains people to raise their voice and demand services from local government, receive information from government for increased decision making power and for advocacy and lobbying purposes.
In order to create awareness among the community, CUP project observed a number of national and international days (Violence against women day, World poverty reduction day, International Disaster mitigation day, World AIDS day, National Immunization Day etc) with government at the community & upazila level. These days were observed through rally, brief discussion session on that day, different competition like easay writing etc.
3. Awareness rising
Awareness raising particularly important for people living in isolated “Char-lands” as they are familiar with different govt.& private services on fundamental issues such as health, education, food security etc. CUP project arranges day long training sessions on reproductive health, family planning, HIV-AIDS, safe delivery, and hygiene behavior etc.
4. Promotion of livelihood activities:
Livelihood promotion interventions play vital role in terms of food security and income generation for the distrtessed people. CUP project arranges multi-dimensional activities to uplift the community food security. Details are given below:
Early vegetables training and support to project participants:
In order to used the blank space of household area CUP project supplies different kinds of vegetable seeds to the training particiants at end of the training sessions.This helps them to not only meettheir family nutrition needs but also purchase some daily essentials through selling the vegetables in local market. Their neighbors and relatives also benefit from these cultivation.Some of the participating familites took initiative to continue these projects using modern seed collection & cultivation practices.
Demonstration plot set up:
CUP project helps establishing demonstration plot that consists with different crops like potato, maize, tomato, bangi, watermelom, groundnut, carrot & okra. All the plots are are at vegetative stage and farmers are taking care of it very much as they benefit much from these plots. Maize, carrot are new variety to the locals and watermelon & bangi were also not very popular among the lcoal fermars. CUP project provids seed, fencing, fertilizer, insecticides, spray machine for ecah & every demo plot with regular counselling & technical support indeed.
CUP helps establishing nurseries, until year 2011 7 nurseries has ben set up with the direct nvolvement of CUP and SDS. All the nursery participants earned money through selling vegetable seedlings, sapling of fruits, medicinal plants& woody plants. Project agriculturist frquently given advice & suggestion t the participants.
Cow and goat rearing training:
CUP project provides trining on cow-goat rearing & management trinings, so far 64 project participants received such training and waiting for meteria support (Data:year 2011).
Shallow machine Distribution:
CUP project distributes shallow machines to different groupsin order to support the ultra poor groups access the irrigation facilities at 3 unions after checking feasibility.The distribution ceremony took place in the presence of Upazila Chairman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Agricultural Officer and respective Union Chairman. The agriculture officer briefs the farmers about importance of irrigation and how successfully operating this machines will help them generate income.
5. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate change
During this reporing period cup project implemented a variety of activities regarding awareness raising on DRR and created coping mechanism on disaster risk reduction and climate change as illustrated below:
Latrine with super structure:
CUP project faciliatites suchinterventions every year to save people from different diseases. By year 2011, 50 sets of hygiene latrines have been installed for 50 households. More than 500 peoples are benefitting from these facilities. Due to such interventionsuse of open/pit latrine is gradually decreasing.
Raised Deep Tubewel:
Scarcity of pure drinking is a major issue in isolated charlands. SDS-CUP project installed deep tubewells with raised platform in Kodalpur, Alaolpur & Kuchaipatti union under Goshairhat upazila. About 35 households who used to carry water from distant areas are benefitting from each tubewell. Some of those people used to drink river and pond water and used to fall sick frequently with various water borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid etc. Currently, they are safe from such diseases and are saving on treatment costs.
6. Non formal primary School (NFPE)
CUP project is currently running 14 non-formal primary schools where 420 students are receiving non formal primary education.Picture is showing the students getting lesson in a class room at Charjanpur under Kuchaipotti union.
Beneficiary name: Fatima Begum
Husband’s name: Md. ChunnumiyaSaradr
The old life of Fatima Begum: Fatima Begum used to live with his husband, 2 sons and one daughter in a remote and isolated Charland. She used to live well below the poverty line and had no ways to generate income for her family. Since in river eroded areas day laborers are not that popular her husband used to fish is the river using a rented finishing net. Few days later Fatima Begum came to know about SDS CUP project and signed up in CUP-PRODEEP group.
Though the meetings in PODEEP group Fatima Begum learned about how to eradicate poverty by rearing cattle, goats, how to cultivate vegetables before season for extra profit. With the concern of all 30 members of PRODEEP group CUP provided her with fishing net. She and her husband were extremely grateful for this, as meeting the demand for food was their primary problem. With the finishing net her husband could save on renting a net. Later Fatima also started growing vegetables in front of her house for extra income. Now her aim is to send her children to school and become more financially solvent.