During the coronavirus outbreak, Poli faced challenging times running her four-member family with her husband’s meagre income as a day labourer. Having no other means of income, she was looking for an opportunity, a breakthrough, but could not find a suitable income-generating activity (IGA).
In a Prosperity Village Committee (PVC) meeting in early 2022, Poli Rani (34), a PPEPP-EU member from Nawabganj Upazila of Dinajpur district, explored different ideas about engaging in IGAs. Inspired by the project staff and PVC members, she expressed her desire to learn technical skills.
Technical Officer-Community Mobilisation of Gram Bikash Kendra (GBK), a partner organisation of PPEPP-EU, facilitated a group of project members to participate in a skill development programme organised by the Department of Women Affairs. Poli received a three-month training on beautification under the programme at an Upazila-level training centre.
Poli’s struggle for a breakthrough continued even after the training, as she did not have the initial push to set up a parlour. She took out a loan of 40 thousand taka from the PPEPP-EU project and jumpstarted a girls’ parlour in a homely environment near her place.
With continued success, she took out a second-round loan of 15 thousand taka to expand the parlour. Now, Poli earns 5 to 6 thousand taka per month. She also has two cows, six goats, and a few ducks, contributing significantly to her family’s income.
Project staff under the PPEPP-EU’s community mobilisation component work hard to include project members from all regions in various government technical and vocational skills development programmes. PPEPP-EU’s strong relationships with relevant regional government departments, such as the Department of Youth Development, the Department of Women Affairs and the Department of Social Services, help include participants in these programmes to enhance their skill set.
So far, 169 members have participated in the government’s capacity development programmes for various livelihood opportunities, including cow fattening, mushroom cultivation, beautification, tailoring and catering, ranging from one to three months in length.