TUS and UNDEF launch new Access’ to Information project in CHT

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By admin, April 2, 2013

UNDEF logoTrinamul Unnayan Sangstha(TUS) in partnership with The United Nations Democracy Fund(UNDEF), will be in the next two years (01 May, 2012 to 30 April, 2014) implement a project titled “Strengthening ethnic communities’ access to information in Bangladesh”

Group pic of TOT participantsThis project aims to enhance access to information among indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts on public services offered by local government institutions and departments, and NGOs, thus contributing to their active participation in the democratic governance process and to their access to public services for their livelihood and survival. This will be achieved via increasing awareness on the right to information, generating a demand for information, strengthening community-based institutions as a source of information, sensitizing the local government and NGOs about their roles and responsibilities for delivery of information, and strengthening and organizing local print media to cover and advocate for RTI issues.

Indigenous people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have little access to information on public services provided by local government institutions and departments, and by NGOs. This negatively affects their livelihood and survival, and impedes their participation in democratic governance. The underlying problems are  an inadequate awareness among indigenous communities of the Right to Information and the importance of information on local government and public services for their livelihood and survival; the absence of a locally available source of basic information on public services; a lack of awareness and interest on the part of local government institutions and departments, and NGOs, in delivering information on their duties, services and facilities to the community; and a local print media that is not skilled and active in covering and advocating for RTI issues.

In this context, the project aims to enhance access to information among indigenous people of CHT on public services provided by local government institutions (Union Parishads, Upazila Parishads and District Councils), government departments (especially agriculture and livestock, health, education and food) and NGOs, thus contributing to their active participation in the democratic governance process and to their access to public services for their livelihood and survival. The project will a) increase awareness on RTI and the importance of information on public services among indigenous people of 540 paras (villages) in order to generate a demand for information, via monthly education sessions, cultural events, films shows, and IEC materials; b) increase availability of basic information on public services, democratic processes and governance, and citizens’ rights at community level by strengthening community-based institutions (Para Development Committees) to function as the grass-roots source of information at community level; c) increase access to, and availability of, information from local government and NGOs, from union to district level, on public services and facilities,  by sensitizing them about their roles and responsibilities in the delivery of information to communities, via workshops and active dialogues;  and d) strengthen, stimulate and organize local print media to cover  RTI issues, to deliver information on public services and facilities, and to advocate for the implementation of RTI.

The project will be implemented led by Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha(TUS), in partnership with Eco-Development and ASHIKA, in Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati districts of CHT with financial support from UNDEF.

Union Level Workshop

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By admin, November 16, 2012
Mr. Anil Chandra Chakma, Chairmen, Chengi UP giving his speech as Chief Guest.

Mr. Anil Chandra Chakma, Chairman, Chengi UP giving his speech as Chief Guest.

A day long union level workshop on Rights to Information (RTI) and good governance organised on 14 November 2012 at Chengi Union Parishad hall room, in Panchari Upazila. Mr. Anil Chandra Chakma, Chairman of Chengi Union Parishad in Panchari Upazila was present as chief guest of the workshop. As special guests were present Mr. Nagendra Chakma, Karbari(traditional leader), and Ms. Asha Chakma, member, Chengi Union Parishad. Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director of Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha chaired in the workshop and Ms Joshi Chakma conducted the workshop.

There are 30 participants joined from different villages and different stakeholders i.e. traditional leaders (Headmen and Karbari), Opinion leaders, and teachers under Chengi union.

The chief guest said in his speech that we came to know about Right to Information Act 2009 now; we can use it as a tool to establish good governance and reduce corruption. Using the law mass people can be benefited, now we should to aware our community peoples on the law, so that they have access to information. I would like to thanks to Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha(TUS) for taking this initiative”.

There was an open discussion session where the participants were participated from different sections of the stakeholders and Mr Amar Sadhan Chakma conducted the open discussion session in the workshop.

The workshop makes aware the traditional leaders, opinion leaders as well as villagers about their rights to get information and to know services provided by the Local Government (LG) and Non Government Organisation’s (NGO’s).

Training of Trainers(TOT) program

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By admin, November 16, 2012

To understand the PDC  leaders on RTI act 2009, to enhance access to information among ethnic communities, and to  increase access to, and availability of, information from local government and NGOs, TUS conducted 3 day long Training of Trainers(TOT) for Para Development Committee(PDC) leaders from 21 to 23 October 2012 at TUS hall room in Khagrachari Sadar upazila. There are 30 trainees participated from different PDCs and unions i.e. Baibonchara, Perachara, and 1 No Khagrachari union. Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director of TUS inaugurated the training program and Mr. Amar Sadhan Chakma, Ms Joshi Chakma and Mr Masud parvez facilitated the training.

There are six Key topics Covered in training which as follows; 1. Rights, Human rights and Good governance, 2. Information and rights to information, 3. International backgrounds of rights to information, 4. Way to establish rights to information in Bangladesh, 5. RTI act 2009, 5. Importance of Rights to information on the context of CHT, 6. The basic information on Local Governance(LG) and Public Services .

Group disscussion, TOT batch-2

Group discussion session

The training is very effective for the PDC leaders as well as for the villagers. The training will make aware the villagers about their rights to get information and helps them to know about all the services provided by the Local Government (LG) and Non Government Organisation’s (NGO’s) and make them aware to claim information and about their rights to get those services that help them to participate actively in democratic government process.

Picture-2

TUS conducted 2nd batch 3 day long Training of Trainer(TOT) program for PDC leaders from 11 to 13 November 2012 at TUS hall room in Khagrachari Sadar upazila. There are 30 trainees participated from deferent PDCs, Unions and Upazilas i.e. Kamalchari and Golabari under Khagrachari Sadar upazila; Sinduchari and Keyanghat union under Mohalchari Upazila. Mr. Muhammad Asadujjaman, Upazila Nirbari Officer, Khagrachari sadar upazila inaugurated the training programme and Mr. Amar Sadhan Chakma, Ms Joshi Chakma and Mr Rinal Chakma facilitated the training.

An inception workshop on Strengthening Ethnic Communities Access’ to Information in Bangladesh Project

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By admin, November 9, 2012

A day long inception workshop on the “Strengthening Ethnic Communities Access to Information in Bangladesh” Project of Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha has been conducted at Upazila Parishad Hall Room in Khagrachari. Mr. Kujendra Lal Tripura, honorable Chairman of Khagrachari Hill District Council(KHDC) was present as chief guest of the workshop. As special guests were Mr. Nirapad Talukdar, Vice chairmen, Upazila Parishad, Khagrachari Sadar, Ms. Lalasa Chakma, ED, Kabidang, Mr. Shanti Jiban Chakma, Chairmen, Latiban Union parishad, Mr. Kazi Shahidul Islam, Assistant commissioner(land), Mr. Dilip Chowdhory, President Khagrachari Press Club and Mr. Zohurul Alam, representative of Daily Purbokon, Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director of Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha has chaired in the event.

DSCN4430The chief guest opinioned in his speech that “the government of Bangladesh passed the Right to Information Act 2009 at Parliament to strengthen democracy and establish good governance through ensuring the rights to information towards build digital Bangladesh. For this law the people who live in remotest and hard to reach areas will be benefited, aware on the law, they have access to information, ensured transparency and accountability as well practicing democracy to be ensured good governance. I would like to Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha(TUS) taking initiative a demand driven task by launching this project and requesting all of you to extend your hands to them”.

There was an open discussion session where the participants were participated from different sections of the stakeholders i.e. Mr. Dhiman Khisa, social activist, Mr. Suiching Aung Marma, development activist, Mr. Chaithowai Marma, Journalist, Mr. Khagen Tripura, development worker, Mr. Soikat Dewan, Journalist, and Mr. Milon Chakma, social activist were express their opinion. Mr. Amar  Sadhan Chakma, has delivered an presentation on SECAIB project of TUS and Ms. Rally Chakma has facilitated the workshop.

Inception workshop in Bandarban district

An Inception workshop in Bandarban district

In Bandarban, a daylong inception workshop conducted on 7 October 2012 at Eco Development Hall Room. Ms. Yasmin Parvin Tibriji, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Bandarban sadar upazila was present as chief guest of the workshop. Mr. Aungshathui Marma, Executive Director of ECo Development chaired in the said workshop.

There was an open discussion session where 75 participants (male-55, female-20) were participated from different sections of the stakeholders i.e. PDC leaders, Traditional leaders, UP members, Journalist, Social Activist etc. and they had participated in discussion session and expressed their opinion. During workshop, a documentary film on RTI was shown and a short brief on the activities of the project and RTI related issues were given. The news on the workshop is flashed on the daily newspaper named “Daily Nuton Bangladesh.”  In fact, the inaugural workshop has been a success.

Training on plastic cane handicrafts for Women

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By admin, September 21, 2012

The women of Chittagong Hill Tracts are famous for their colorful and nicely crafted clothes and basketry. The tradition of craft making enriched the cultural heritage for generations. Other than clothes, the baskets and household items were primarily made with bamboo. But bamboo became rare after the bamboo flowering which started from 2007 and left huge bamboo plantations dead. This impelled the craftsmen to take up plastic canes instead of bamboo canes.

Manusher Jonno Foundation has been funding TUS for the promotion of Handicrafts since 2009. Around 200 women were in income through the use of revolving fund provided by CANDL project. In recent past, the price hike of thread increased the price and eventually reduced demand for traditionally woven back strap loom clothes. Furthermore, women of Khagrachari usually do not go for weaving in rainy season. Thus, a significant amount of time was not used for craft making.

For utilizing the leftover time of craft making women  in rainy and other seasons around the year, TUS organized a training on plastic cane handicraft. It was organized by CANDL project funded by MJF. In the training, 10 women from 5 villages were carefully chosen as participants. 2 of them had some knowledge on plastic cane works but others were new to this. 2 resource persons were chosen from the small number of women with proper expertise, vast experience in craft making, selling and training. It was a residential training that run from 9 am to 9 pm. All participants went on with painful fingertips and cramped muscles but full of spirit.  The topics of the training included: basics of plastic cane craft making; troubleshooting ; use of materials and tools; designing and use of color; product finishing and Practical training.

At the end of the training, each participant was able to produce a finished plastic bag. For shared learning, there were bags of different designs and color combinations. One of the bags were sold on the spot ! MJF program manager Tandra Chakma met the participants during training and  encouraged them. The trained women were happy and confident enough to start with the new skill at individual and group level. They are dreaming for regular orders for the crafts and enhanced income . In the `Handicrafts Schools' going to be opened in near future, they will be the proud mentors.

A B C D of Environment: Joint Publication of TUS

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By admin, June 11, 2012

On 5 June 2012, the World Environment Day, a  booklet was jointly published by TUS, ZKS, KMKS and CDP on the basics of Environment. In the booklet `A B C D of Environment’ edited by Mathura Bikash Tripura, the basic ideas and information on environmental issues were presented in small verses arranged alphabetically. It was published in Bangla Language for promoting access of environmental information to wide range of readers.

CANDL Boi-Sa-Bi Food Festival

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By admin, April 20, 2012

Community Action on Natural Resource Management for Decent Living -CANDL team arranged a Food Festival as a part of Jumma Samajik-Sanskritik Samsad Boi-Sa-Bi Festival organized from 9-11 April 2012 at the field annexed with TEWFA school at Sanirvar area of Khagrachari Sadar.

CANDL staff in Food Festival CANDL stall for FOOD FESTIVAL Genhuli

CANDL project with support form Manusher Jonno Foundation constructed a traditional Adivasi House-Jum Ghar which was decorated with traditional clothes and crafts. The Jum Ghar was also used as a selling center and stage for the Chakma traditional folk singer Genhuli. 14 beneficiaries of CANDL project participated in the festival and sold a number of traditional food items like curry cooked in bamboo, traditional cakes and pitha-buiskits. The Jum Ghar was at the center of attention of all the guests and visitors. In spite of the interruption by heavy rainfall on 9th and 10 April, the Festival was crowded with thousands of peoples who visited the Jum Ghar, enjoyed foods, sports events and music.

Healing Poor Livelihood through Honey Beekeeping

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By admin, May 17, 2011

Manuching Marma, TUS Support and Honey Beekeeping (A Successful Case Study)

Manuching Marma, a 28 years old woman from the village of Thoingha Para in Golabari Union under Khagrachari Sadar Upazial, is a house wife. She has two children, and her husband, who is a school teacher, earns very limited income. With her husband’s income, it was very difficult to them to manage their daily family expenses, including children educational expenditure. To overcome these difficulties, Manuching Marma was looking for an alternative income sources to support her family. However, it was very difficult to her to figure out an alternative income source as she is not educated enough.

In 2008, She was introduced with TUS development activities and received a three-day long apiculture training under the project ‘Community Empowerment and Economic Development’ supported by UNDP-CHTDF.  Through this training, Ms. Marma was first familiar with the technical process of honey beekeeping and received a beekeeping box. After receiving the training, Ms. Marma and her husband were encouraged to begin honey beekeeping, and they are continuing beekeeping with regular technical support from TUS.

Nowadays, Ms. Marma is technically sound on honey bee keeping, and she is thinking to install more bee boxes around her house. This year, she got around 13 kilogram honey, earned 6600BDT, and hopeful to be paid more money by this year. Now, she is a role model in her village, and neighbors are coming to her house and asking about her successful story.

CHT Award of Excellence: TUS -CANDL product marked as QUALITY PRODUCT

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By admin, April 1, 2011

Cauliflower -Tamarind Pickle: A quality product of TUS-CANDL

9 March 2011. A colorful ceremony was organized by UNDP-CHTDF on CHT award of excellence chaired by the state minister of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs, Mr. Dipankar Talukder.

Awarded products and guests at the ceremony on  CHT Award of Excellence
Awarded products and guests at the ceremony on CHT Award of Excellence

In the ceremony, one of the TUS-CANDL products-Cauliflower- Tamarind Pickle was declared  as one of the 15 quality products of CHT. These 15 products were selected by a panel of experienced judges from 75 good products selected at district level from 386 products competing for the Award of Excellence.

This ‘home made product‘ branded as CANDL is prepared by the poor Self Help Group members under the supervision of the staffs of Community Action on Natural Resource Management

Cauliflower-and-Tamarind
Cauliflower-Tamarind

for Decent Living (CANDL) project-a livelihood project of TUS supported by Manusher Jonno Foundation. The formula and  technical support was taken from the Post Harvest Technology Division of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). The product is carefully packed  in sterilized air tight bottles sold @ Tk.120.

If you like this Home Made product, please call at +88037161179. Every penny you spent  is worth  contribution for the livelihood of the poor producers.


Sales & Display Center for promoting community Handicrafts and Processed Foods

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By admin, December 27, 2010

CANDL COLLECTION : Rediscover traditional Handicrafts and locally Processed Foods


Who doesn’t like decorating sweet home ! Specially with the items which tell about art and  traditions of diverse ethnic groups!

If one passes Chengi Square, the famous entry point of Khagrachari town of Bangladesh, up on the 1st floor of Mehebub complex, a sales and display center catches eyes readily. The center is a home for the colorful traditional handicrafts.

TUS established ‘CANDL COLLECTION’, a sales and display center run with support from Manusher Jonno Foundation for help market and promote quality handicrafts and home-processed foods.

some items at CANDL COLLECTION

Some items at CANDL COLLECTION

In the center, we have a good collection of diverse  woven handicrafts like  Cotton and wool blanket, belts,  small quilts from traditional back-strap looms. There are indigenous dress like pinon, hadi, design craft-ALAM, bamboo crafts and various processed foods like banana chips,  pickles, jam-jelly.
We promote the special value of the authentic and unique crafts of long tradition. We are also selling the crafts made with new designs made by the creative people involved in the art of craft making. It is also easy now to go for the real taste and flavor of foods by choosing CANDL processed foods.

Besides direct selling, we collect orders using the  display items and samples of the items we sell. We welcome orders from interested individuals, local buyers and organizations, also from the the large scale buyers or show rooms. To  communicate the orders and interests,  just make a call at +880155326351.

By buying CANDL products, one can help the poor members of the Self Help Groups to earn money for better support themselves and their families, their enterprises and improve their lives. These groups are organized by a TUS project named ‘Community Action on Natural Resource Management for Decent Living’-CANDL.

Buy from CANDL, keep trust in the creative livelihood practices of marginalized communities.

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