Sitting from left, Ms. Shaheen Anam, Mr. Nurun Nabi Talukder, Prof. Gowher Rizvi; Syed Manzur Elahi, Sarah Cooke, and Priya Powell at the launching ceremony of the “Creating Opportunities for Poor and Excluded in Bangladesh (COPE)” programme at the capital’s Bangla Academy on 28 September 2013. On the occasion, four partner organizations were awarded. The representatives of the recipients are, standing from left, Shale Ahmed of Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), Dhaka; Salima Rahman of RDRS Bangladesh, Rangpur; Raseal Ahamad Liton of SKS Foundation, Gaibandha (middle); and Shyamal Chandra Sarker of Mohidev Jobu Samaj Kalyan Samity (MJSKS). Photo credit: The daily Star.

Mr. Rasel Ahmed Liton, Chief Executive, SKS Foundation is receiving certificate of award on behalf of SKS Foundation from Ms. Sarah Cooke, Honorable Country Representative of DFID Bangladesh on the occasion.  

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a leading development organization promoting human rights and good governance, has undertaken a three-year programme for improving the living conditions of more than 10 lakh poor and marginalized households of the country.

Under the programme, “Creating Opportunities for Poor and Excluded in Bangladesh (COPE)”, MJF along with 120 partner organizations will work between 2013 and 2016 to reduce violence against women, ensure safe working condition for workers and working children with living wages, people’s access to basic services and social safety nets, and defend their land and property rights.

The project funded by British and Australian governments will directly support Bangladesh’s sixth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), “Accelerating Growth and Reducing Poverty”, and enable the marginalized people, including religious and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, to challenge the institutions, which excluded them from developments.

In her welcome speech, MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam said MJF would always put focus on the poor and marginalized people. “Our vision is to see a Bangladesh where the dignity and well-being of all people, especially the poor and marginalized, is ensured.”

She said, “MJF will maintain the highest standards of financial accountability. It will use donor funds judiciously and make sure partner organizations do the same.”

Sarah Cooke, country representative of DFID Bangladesh, said Bangladesh had made significant progress in many sectors but too many people were left behind, and COPE was for those people.

“By December 2016, it will have helped many of them gain access to assets and economic opportunities and have a greater say in decisions affecting their lives.”

Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Prof Gowher Rizvi praised the non-government organizations for their pivotal role in the country’s development especially in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Terming NGOs as development partners of the government, Gowher emphasized their joint role in poverty eradication.

Nurun Nabi Talukder, director general of NGO Affairs Bureau, and Priya Powell, counsellor, Head of Development Corporation, AusAid, Bangladesh, among others, also spoke.

After the first session, Rina Roy and Shamim Imam, directors of MJF; and Moinul Haque and Abdullah Al Mamun, MJF managers; demonstrated different aspects of the programme.

In the session, Executive Director of Transparency International, Bangladesh Dr Iftekharuzzaman, also a member of MJF Board, asked the partner organizations to ensure transparency and accountability of their activities.

Later, Shaheen Anam and Parvin Mahmood, another member of MJF Board, answered the queries of the partner organization representatives.

On the occasion, four partner organizations were given awards as “outstanding organizations for compliance and financial management.” These are SKS Foundation, Gaibandha; Mohidev Jobu Samaj Kalyan Samity (MJSKS), Kurigram; RDRS Bangladesh, Rangpur; and Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS), Dhaka.

At present, SKS Foundation is implementing “Strengthening Capacity of Women to Protest Domestic Violence (PDV) Project” with the assistance of MJF.    

SKS Foundation has won CITI Micro-Entrepreneurship Award 2009 as best Micro-Finance Institution (MFI)

SKS Foundation, a non-government development organization, working in poverty stricken northern part of Bangladesh, has won CITI Micro Entrepreneurship Awards (CMA) 2009 in best Micro-Finance Institution (MFI) category.

The award ceremony was held on 4 August 2010 at Sheraton Hotel. Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, Hon'ble Finance Minister, the Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh, chaired the award ceremony. Among others Economist Prof. Wahiduddin Mahmud, Citi Bank Country Officer Mr. Mamun Rashid and Chairperson of the CMA 2009 Screening Committee and Founder Executive Director of Shakti Foundation Dr. Humaira Islam also presence and spoke on the occasion.