Members of a women’s farmer group tend to their communal crops in Durgapur Village, Rangpur, North West Bangladesh. The farmers group is part of the ‘Growing Together Programme’ - a three year partnership between VSO and Syngenta.

Bangladesh

We've worked in Bangladesh since 1974, building healthy communities, strengthening inclusive education systems and supporting people to develop secure and resilient livelihoods. We are currently active in all 30 districts.

90,088

We've supported 90,088 farmers to improve their skills and raise their income.

4,350

We've empowered 4,350 young people to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. 

4,304

We've supported 4,304 young Rohingya refugees to regain a sense of childhood during their time in the Cox’s Bazar camp.

Healthy communities

A group of Bangladeshi young people stand in a circle and place their hands in the centre
Theatre for a Change

Interactive theatre is an effective way of engaging community members with issues surrounding young people's SRHR.

In rural areas in the north- and south-west, we’re partnering with local civil society organisations to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of vulnerable young people – especially girls and young women.

Taking a youth-led and community-based approach, we’re adopting a holistic approach to tackling the root causes of poor youth SRHR by working at a range of levels – from individual young people to entire villages, and from families to healthcare providers. We’re promoting comprehensive peer education, setting up girls’ clubs, and supporting community-led action against child marriage, including through the development of Child Marriage Prevention Committees.

In Birampur and Parbatipur districts, we've trained youth club members to use interactive theatre performances to challenge harmful social norms around child marriage and girls' education. In doing so, we've engaged thousands of families, community members and local decision-makers in the issues that negatively impact girls' health and wellbeing.

Using drama to challenge harmful social norms

Inclusive education

A young Rohingya refugee holds his hand to his face as he plays in a VSO-constructed chilld-friendly space
VSO

Child-friendly spaces in the Cox's Bazar camp give young Rohingya refugees the opportunity to learn and play.

Through our home-based early childhood care and education (ECCE) programme, we’re supporting around 5,000 young Rohingya refugees to reclaim a sense of their childhood in the Cox’s Bazar camp. Building on our proven ‘sister to sister’ approach, we’re training older girls and young women from the Rohingya community to act as teachers, mentors and facilitators, who then open up their homes to young learners.

We’re also building 12 Learning Centres, run by community and youth volunteers, which will provide vital safe spaces for over 1,000 children aged 6-14 to play and learn.

Helping young refugees reclaim their childhood

Resilient livelihoods

Two women harvest tomatoes in a large field in Rangpur, northern Bangladesh
VSO/Qamruzzaman

The Growing Together project supports women farmers to learn new techniques and access better markets.

Through providing targeted vocational training in in-demand trades - including mobile phone repair, solar technology and horticulture - our employability and entrepreneurship programmes have improved the job prospects of over 3,100 women and young people in rural areas, whilst supporting over 100 female and young micro-enterprise owners to develop their business and increase their income.

Growing Together

In partnership with Syngenta, our Growing Together project increases smallholder farmer household incomes through a three-pronged approach encompassing community development, agronomic training, and improved access to markets.

Farmer Centres, led by local entrepreneurs, provide access to training, machinery, agricultural inputs, and financial services. These centres develop invaluable linkages between smallholders and large (inter)national buyers, supporting local producers to benefit from more stable and profitable contracts.

We support hundreds of farmer groups – including those specifically for women or young people – where members discuss and address issues within their community, such as child marriage. Each of these groups maintains a demonstration plot, enabling farmers to test new techniques and – importantly – share their learnings with their peers.

Farmers on the project have seen yields increase by 20%, and incomes increase by an average of 200%. Improved agronomical practices also mean there is less need for expensive and harmful inputs, with a 70% reduction in the amount of fertiliser used per kg of harvest.

Overcoming rural poverty through farming innovations

Contact us

We work with a number of partners including DFID, Bank Asia, Syngenta and RDRS Bangladesh.

If you are interested in supporting our work, or if you have another query, get in touch:

Address: VSO Bangladesh, House #382 (1st 5th floor), Road # 28, New DOHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1206

Tel: (+88) 02 9851462, 9851260
Email: info.bangladesh@vsoint.org

Volunteer with us

We are always looking for more skilled specialists.

Find out more about volunteering with us in Bangladesh


Find out more about our work in:

Two young Rohingya boys sit on the floor of a child-friendly centre in the Cox's Bazar camp, drawing with colouring pencils

Education in emergencies

Building resilient education systems in fragile spaces.

Ugandan female farmer carries grain on her head as part of VSO's YELG project
VSO/Ginny Lattul

Resilient rural livelihoods

Supporting fairer outcomes for agricultural communities.

A student watches intently as her instructor demonstrates machinery in a welding and metal workshop

Employment and entrepreneurship

Ensuring that everyone has access to decent employment and market opportunities.