Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) Program has been implementing by FFDA at Dohar and Savar Upazila under Dhaka District with the financial support of Department of Women Affairs (DWA) under the Ministry of Women & Children Affairs (MWCA) and the project will continue up to December 31, 2020. The VGD is the largest safety net program of the Government of Bangladesh that exclusively targets ultra poor households. The ultra poor household receive monthly food ration for the household and a development support services (inclusive of life skills and income generating skills training, savings and access to credit) for a cycle. To ensure sustainability of the development results and provide women with opportunities to further improve their livelihoods VGD participants are mainstreamed into regular NGO development program after completing the cycle. The aim of the program is to improve the socio-economic status of the VGD women and make all out effort to materialize it and the key objective of the program is to build the income –earning capacities of VGD women and to socially empower them through training on different Income Generating Activities (IGAs), awareness raising, provision of credit and other support services during and beyond the food assistance period. In the program planning, it has been included that that the VGD women shall be graduated into the core development program of NGO after completion of the contract period and NGO shall continue the follow up services to the VGD women for the three years after the completion of VGD cycle.
Main activities performing by the organization are:
- Formation group with VGD women: The specific activities performed by the project staff are, a) Forming group with the members of 20-25 in each group and it has been done through collecting the list from union parishad, b) Ensuring 100% attendance and active participation of VGD women in the group or village organization (VO) meetings with to view to ensure delivery of both the extensive (quantitative) and intensive (qualitative) support services.
- Food Entitlement: Specific activities are: a) Informing/ briefing the VGD beneficiary specifically on their rights of food entitlement, rights of receipt (both quantity and quality), safe custody of food, storage and the receipt of food and b) undertaking and strengthening the advocacy campaign with the participants, beneficiary, community, local government and local administration in order to get support and cooperation of all concerned to ensure food entitlement to the VGD women.
- Training: The objective of the life skills training is to enhance the livelihoods and self-reliance of the poor and ultra poor women and empowering as well as mainstreaming the vulnerable women in the society. The training course planned for the VGD women are:
- Basic and refreshers training on life skills: The objective of the Life Skills training course is to enhance the livelihoods and self-reliance of the poor and ultra poor women. The training covers different awareness issues on the daily life, i.e. Food and Nutrition, disasters and Risk mitigation, HIV/AIDS, Health and Cleanliness and Women Empowerment. The life skills training also includes Personal Hygiene and Cleanliness, Mother and child health, food and nutrition, Gender Equality and women development and HIV/AIDS prevention.
- Basic and refreshers training on income generating skills: The objective of IGA skill training is to enhance the livelihoods and self-reliance of ultra poor women through their increased involvement in income earning activities. By taking in to account the typical involvement of women in IGA at their household level, four generic training on four different income-generating activities, i.e. Poultry Rearing, Kitchen Gardening, Cow and Goat Rearing and Entrepreneurship Development Implementation of this training has two distinct steps. The basic part of the training program is providing the understanding about the knowhow of the particular IGA and the skills required to implement the activities. The entrepreneurship development training, which is the mandatory for the IGA skills training that, will equip the participants with business knowledge including selection, planning and management of income generating activities. Each participant will receive one IGA skills training for 8 days in any optional IGA and all the participants will receive Entrepreneurship Development training for four days, which is mandatory for the VGD women. The second or refreshers part of the course will primarily focus on follow up of the “Wish List” prepared earlier by the participant. The facilitator will follow the matter and ensure materialization of wishes.
Organizing training activities in the Field: For these activities the staff performing the specific activities is: Selection of the training Venue, Seating Arrangement, Preparation of Facilitators and Day wise time and refreshment.