11,109 people were reached by our work improving smallholder household income from agriculture, and tackling early marriage in 2015/16
Almost half of Bangladeshis rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. But climate change, land scarcity and poor access to markets keep 36% of people in rural areas below the poverty line.
Too few smallholder farmers grow enough food to satisfy themselves and their families, let alone sell any surplus for profit. Food security is a growing cause for concern.
VSO and Syngenta are working together on a three-year partnership to sustainably improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Bangladesh. The project harnesses our collective expertise in agricultural techniques and value chains to grow smallholder farmer household incomes.
- 10,000 farm families have been intensively trained in good agricultural practice
- 90% of poor farmers have reported a 50% increase in their income
- The establishment of ‘farmer hubs’ that have allowed the majority of farmers to secure contracts with private sector companies that guarantee purchase at an agreed price
Early marriage, sexual health and rights
Bangladesh has the world's fourth highest rate of children entering into forced ‘marriages’. Three quarters of girls in rural areas are married before the age of 15.
VSO harnesses local and international ICS youth volunteers to work with young people and elders in target communities. They deliver critical information with a focus on the risks to health of young girls and legal protection for child rights. Their innovations include safe spaces where girls can discuss issues, and supporting the development of anti-child marriage committees.
- More than 900 people have new skills to challenge forced child marriage
- Target communities have made commitments to ending forced marriage
- Training local youth to develop peer education and outreach prgrammes on youth sexual and reproductive health
“My daughter’s learnings made me realize how brutal child marriage is and what health hazards a girl can face because of it. Now I don’t think of my daughter as a burden, I consider her as an asset who will do something for the people of my community.”
Father of Shapla, a girl in Durgapur, who resisted early marriage after being supported by VSO ICS youth volunteers
farm families have been intensively trained in good agricultural practice
have new skills to challenge forced (child) marriage
women and youth entrepreneurs have received support that has lead to increased employment, income or improved employment conditions.
VSO's distinct contribution in Bangladesh
VSO has been working in Bangladesh since 1974 to ensure that marginalised women and men in some of the poorest districts can participate in, contribute to and benefit from the country’s economic and social development.
Our progress has been made through VSO's people-centred approach to development using a volunteering-based impact model. Evidence shows that results achieved through volunteering offer increased sustainability and value for money.
VSO volunteers are a diverse pool of experienced professionals. They collaborate with their host communities to find innovative, local solutions. They provide continuous training, coaching and mentoring to our partner organisations.
Our projects are making real progress and we’re excited about the opportunities for further development. If you’d like to support our work and be part of the transformation in Bangladesh, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Simon Brown, country director
“Working for an international company, I have worked in many multi-cultural teams, but this experience has added a new dimension as we learn to collaborate across the business and development sector. There’s a strong sense of partnership, which is really exciting. Most importantly, it could ensure sustainable and scalable outcomes for vulnerable people and communities.”
Jonathan Richards, Syngenta supply chain manager who volunteered in Bangladesh as part of our Growing Together project
VSO’s valued funding partners in Bangladesh include Accenture, Big Lottery Fund, BSRM Group, DFID, Syngenta and UNICEF.
We have good relationships with Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), Department of Agriculture Extension, National Institute of Local Government, Department of Youth Development.
Interested in finding out more about our work in Bangladesh? We’d love to hear from you.
Email the VSO Bangladesh team
VSO Bangladesh, House # 382 (1st & 5th floor), Road # 28,
New DOHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1206
Tel: (+88) 02 9851462, 9851260
In accordance with the Bangladesh Right to Information Act, VSO Bangladesh provide a number of policies, budget documents, governance and structure information.