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Established in 2007, the Chandpur TCDC project is Banzaid’s longest running programme. The project, managed by Baptist Aid Bangladesh, set out to provide a variety of community development services. A husband and wife team went to live in each village, among the people they were working to help. They began with adult literacy. As they identified the poorest families in the village they then started to work with them to build development activities: community health care; savings groups; training in income generating activity; and things like home composting for kitchen gardens. Alongside this were pre-school groups, and tutorial classes to help older children to be able to attend the local government primary schools.

At its peak the project was working in 12 villages, and had almost 1400 adults enrolled in the self-help development groups, 420 children in the pre-school groups and 430 children in the tutorial groups. They had eight years of strong support from the New Zealand Aid Programme. Now that funding has come to an end.

In considering what to keep, and what to close down, the decision was fairly straight forward – the adult savings groups could continue without our help, but continuing the children’s education programme was a priority. From 2017 it will no longer be the Chandpur TCDC Project, but will change to become the Chandpur Village Education Project. Several of the centres will be closed down, to focus on those that have good enrolments of children in the programme.

The programme will continue to be run by Baptist Aid-BBCF. Baptist Aid-BBCF is the aid and development department of the Bangladesh Baptist Christian Fellowship. Tranzsend Bangladesh staff will work with them in teacher training, and ensuring that they are able to bring the best of modern teaching methods to the programme.

The aims of the revised project will be:

Preschool groups in project villages – There are no other preschool programmes in this area of rural Bangladesh. We will support 240 children in 12 preschool groups designed to give them a good educational start when they go to school.

Tutorial classes – The state education system in Bangladesh relies on students receiving extra tuition outside of class. For the children of poor families this is often beyond what the family budget can afford. We will support 240 students from poor families in 12 tutorial groups with tutorial help to enable them to achieve well in the government education system.

Continued Transitional support for the 48 savings groups established in the original phase of the project. These groups will receive support as they transition to managing their groups independently.

The Chandpur Village Education Project needs $55,000 each year. This will provide staff salaries, staff training, and will provide resource materials for the preschool and tutorial groups in each village centre. This programme will be entirely supported from New Zealand donations. Can your family, your home group, your church, support some part of this? Contact us if you would like to support a village preschool or tutorial group.

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