Elimination of Extreme Poverty and Food Insecurity through Community Empowerment (EEPFICE)

With an aim to eliminate extreme poverty and food insecurity through community empowerment, PBK started EEPFICE project in 2013. The project period is 5 years; it is funded by Heifer International Bangladesh and implemented in Bhairab upazila of Kishoreganj district. PBK is to provide 250 original and 750 POG families that are organized into approximately 40 self-help groups with loans through the microfinance program for purchasing cattle. All SHGs are women only, and they received values-based holistic community development trainings. They will be organized into cooperatives and federations. Each of the original SHGs will form and co-mentor three POG SHGs in the exponential POG method. The project is grounded on the premise of Heifer’s theory of change improvement in the livelihood of poor and vulnerable communities is achieved only when there is positive change in income and assets, improvement in food security and nutrition, improved environment, women empowerment.

This project integrated micro-finance with the Heifer’s social capital development. This posits on the hypothesis that micro-finance combined with social capital development process will produce exponentially higher impact than traditional microfinance alone. Socio-economists from the Agriculture University are documenting the process as part of action research. The empowered communities are scaling up IGAs, have formed cooperatives to carry out business and welfare activities. Communities are resilient to vulnerability and seasonal shocks. Producers will be linked to non-exploitative value chain process through cooperatives.

Project objectives

Objective 1:

By the end of the project period 100% of the project participating families have moved above the poverty line of US$2 a day and 85% have sustainable livelihoods

Objective 2:

Project participants have improved health, sanitation and nutritional behavior and practices.

Objective 3:

By the end of project, participating families and groups have adopted environment friendly practices

Objective 4:

By the end of the project period 100% project families are organized into farmer organizations with increased solidarity and harmony

Objective 5:

By the end of the project period, credible evidence of project impact is available for sharing with relevant development communities

Project strategies

Formation of project management committee

Formation of project management committee Project Management Committee will be formed in each village comprising of SHG representatives, project partner staff and community facilitator. This committee will help the groups to identify good-quality goats and cattle. The Project Management Committee will also be involved in organizing the trainings at the local level, organizing the POG, and other important activities related to the project

CAHW/CAVE service charges

CAHWs/CAVEs will be selected from the local villages and they will be given training on animal management and para-vet training to support the project participants in treating animals. They will also be trained in other commodities and the use of agricultural inputs. They will serve as model farmers and they will charge for their services.

Clustering and federating SHGs

In order to lend strength to the SHGs, it is important to give them more support, especially after the project is over. In this light, it is important to cluster them in number of 3-4 or village wise and then federate these clusters.

Networking and linkage establishment

Through this project implementation, possible networking and linkages will be established with MFIs for financial support and technical departments for technical support and mobilize resource to support the community. Strong linkage would support the community in the end and community itself will have sufficient strength to mobilize resources for their need.

Community managed disaster risk reduction

Focus will be on awareness generation and education, training and capacity development for mitigation and better preparedness interms of disaster risk management and recovery at the community.

POG process

This project will ensure support to many more marginalized families through three generations of “passing on the gifts” based on exponential POG model

Achievements (as of June 2016)

- 124 members have received bullocks as physical input from PBK and fund has been made available to provide more

- 964 members have received saplings of fruit trees from the project

- Sanitary toilet sets have been distributed among 156 members already

- Moreover, at least one member in a group is growing fodder for the cows of other group members

- Various techniques such as vertical vegetable gardening, vegetable growing in sack, hatching pot etc.innovative ideas are being introduced among the members

- Training such as cornerstones training, group management training, gender and justice training training on backyard poultry rearing and homestead gardening have been provided

- Two Veterinary Doctors were trained in collaboration with the upazila livestock office to look after the cows provided