Experience Sharing Program of the “Coronavirus Resilient Villages” (CRV) Initiative

May 10, 2021

Welcome by Badiul Alam Majumdar, Country Director for The Hunger Project (and moderator for this program). 

Welcome to the experience sharing meeting on the Coronavirus Resilient Villages (CRV) initiative. Nearly 500 of our volunteers from all over the country have joined today’s event. Quite a few experts from different disciplines have also joined us.

In April 2020, we initiated our CRV initiative in 1200 villages around the country during the outbreak of the pandemic. The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Canadian High Commission, and some of our partners in Australia and the Netherlands supported this initiative. 

The purpose of this volunteer-driven, community-led initiative, with the participation of local government representatives, is to empower the leadership of the villagers and change their behavior to contain the spread of the virus at the local level. While supporting this initiative we sought to implement the WHO guideline of “Risk Communication and Community Engagement”.

The CRV initiative has a four-step process: (1) Mobilizing the community and creating its ownership; (2) Creating awareness about risk and changing people’s behavior; (3) Patient management; and (4) Supporting those who are in financial distress.

Breaking the chain of this highly contagious virus requires cure as well as prevention. We have attempted to prevent the spread of this invisible enemy in each village through the process of mobilizing people. This process is similar to the actions of our valiant freedom fighters in 1971,  who turned their villages into fortresses to defeat a visible enemy. Our intention is to foment a similar people’s war, or rather, a popular resistance that begins inside the villages.

Changing people’s behavior such as isolating those who are infected, quarantining those who are at risk of infection, and vaccinating individuals– are the means of preventing the spread of the virus to avoid a new wave of infection. We are trying to do such work in the villages.

The CRV initiative has already achieved some successes. For example, in our working area, more people are abiding by health regulations. The rate of mask wearing is double in our areas – nearly 60%. The number of deaths is also lower in our working area. 

In today’s meeting we will first share the process behind creating the Coronavirus Resilient Villages. After that we will listen to the experiences of our volunteers who have worked to spearhead this initiative, and later we will listen to the experts.  

I now request my colleague, Joyanta Kar to share our presentation on CRV.  

(Make the PowerPoint presentation)

Following are the opinions of distinguished experts:  

Taufique Joardar, Consultant, WHO 

I am really overwhelmed. While going through the WHO’s Risk Communication and Community Engagement guidelines, I wondered if we could adopt this in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is well recognized for its nationwide community network (social mobilization). However, we have questioned why we could not set a global example while using this network. It was a missed opportunity. But I am elated, inspired and energized by today’s discussion. It will be unfortunate if we fail to demonstrate this initiative to the world. This is an extraordinary, wonderful and unique initiative undertaken during a pandemic. You must document it. I have only one request: you must not deprive the world of its knowledge.

Dr. Abu Zamil Faisal, Public Health Specialist

It goes without saying that the CRV model is real, and it can be implemented. We now need to think of ways to apply it in urban areas. If we could apply it to an urban setting, it could really set an example. Let us use this experience to implement the model in cities. 

Dr. Mustuq Husain, Advisor, IEDCR 

The Hunger Project’s initiative to spread the health messages through local representatives is very impactful. People feel / are empowered if they receive messages from leadership as opposed to solely hearing what we say on TV. Messages from Union Parishad members and councilors are more effective. You have engaged the community to make people abide by the health regulations. Community engagement is needed to ensure that everyone is vaccinated, especially in the villages. Since not everyone is skilled in using modern technology, they must be helped with registration. 

Dr. Mahmudur Rahman, Former Director, IEDCR 

We should replicate this initiative in other places. Since we do not have enough rooms in hospitals for every patient, we must pay more attention to preventive measures. Despite the challenging environment in cities, I feel that this initiative can be replicated in smaller areas. 

Professor Nazrul Islam, Former Vice-Chancellor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital 

Although it is called “Coronavirus Resilient Villages” initiative, it is a holistic and comprehensive program. If this initiative is implemented in every village of this country, then we can call our villages “golden villages”. If we can apply this effective program in cities, then we would be able to control the sources of infection. 

Dr. Abdur Rahman, Former Director, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine

This sharing will be most useful for all. Replication should not turn into duplication. Whenever we have a good program going, we make a mess trying to copy it. This must not be done. 

Dr. Be-Nazir Ahmed said, Former Director, IEDCR

My congratulations and hats off to those who are creating Coronavirus Resilient Villages. From my extensive experience of working in the public health sector, I can say that all of your activities are very valuable. The overall effect of your initiative is far-reaching. If we are unable to engage people, it will be difficult to win battles in the health sector. We have seen this deficiency. An administrative decision will not autocratically lead to its implementation. The work that is done by THP is the real work. If we could provide more manpower and resources, we would be more successful in containing the Coronavirus. If various entities assist them and if it is applied in cities, it will be good for us.

Prof Muzaherul Huq, Former adviser, WHO 

I want to express my greetings to everyone from your organization because their actions are a source of pride for the country.  The WHO has been saying from the beginning that the initiatives of community engagement and awareness creation can save us from this pandemic. Your project is an ideal initiative and can be a trailblazer for containing the virus. The government will have to learn how to work with this initiative and how to build a public-private partnership. I urge you to continue this initiative. 

Rashedul Islam said, DG, NGO Affairs Bureau

I salute those who are involved with this work. They are doing this work in an excellent manner. Your Hunger Project’s Coronavirus Resilient Villages is a wise initiative that must be commended. You have started an excellent initiative, for which I thank you. I express my gratitude. I like your involvement of the local administration, Union Parishads and communities in the initiative. Your approach is excellent. You are identifying those who have been under distress and assisting them. You are catalyzing resources through community mobilization (philanthropy) and combining those with available government resources in order to stand by the people which is very important. NGOs are not adversaries of the government but rather partners, big partners. The success of your project, which you presented, is a real example of that. I hope this will be a model for the whole world. The world community will follow this model to become corona-free. Bangladesh will become an excellent example.


Dr. Ahmed Mushtaque Reza Chowdhury, Bangladesh Health Watch

I have heard from your volunteers. You are doing an excellent job in an innovative way. I congratulate you for creating this unique example of community engagement. You are currently doing it in 1161 villages. The next step will be to upscale it. We must inform the world of the work we have done in Bangladesh. Its international dissemination is urgently needed. 

Shishir Moral, Journalist, Prothom Alo

The work of The Hunger Project and others, and the work of others who are doing similar work on a smaller scale, needs to be documented. It would be nice if Mushtaque Bhai can arrange, through WHO, an international experience sharing event that includes the experiences of India and Latin America. Lastly, I urge The Hunger Project to replicate, in any area of Dhaka, what they have done in the whole country. 

Mamunul Haque, UNICEF

Coronavirus Resilient Villages is an excellent initiative that is  rural-based and local government-based. We must initiate it in our cities. THP is an important player in the RCC pillar and their work is very important. I hope that we will be able to proceed well with the CRV initiative.

THP contributes to Civil Society Report

September 22, 2020

This new report by USAID and FHI360 acknowledges significant input from our global vice president and country director Prof. Badiul Alam Majumdar.

Why localization of SDGs is important

April 5, 2020

Translation of a Bangla article written by Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, following his visit with a team to Gangni upazila, Meherpur district, mobilized by The Hunger Project. He published it in The Daily Ittefaq (2 April 2020), one of the largest circulated newspapers in Bangladesh. For those not familiar with Bangladesh, the administrative structure from largest to smallest are: Division, District, Upazila, Union, Ward, Village.

It is not possible to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) solely by the UN and national level programs at the call of the world or government leaders. These multifaceted development goals have to be achieved by participation of local leadership and local people with the use of local resources. Transparent, effective and accountable institutions have to be established at all levels of the society, where the decision-making process will be participatory. If the 2030 global agenda is implemented at the local level on the basis of partnership with people of all segments of the society, a massive socio-economic, environmental and ecological development will occur and the targets of SDGs will be easily achieved. (SDGs localization plan would be a quick yielding panacea to counteract the COVID-19 fallout both in the medium and long term.)

It is important to note that since 2016, the Government of Bangladesh has taken many important initiatives at the national level for the successful implementation of the SDGs. In the meantime, a national work plan has been prepared by assigning the functions of the ministries and departments based on the targets and indicators of the SDGs. In order to achieve the SDG targets, Data Analysis has been done to identify the data gap and a report on the ‘SDG Monitoring and Evaluation Framework’ has been prepared for evaluation and monitoring of implementation progress, and accordingly the first evaluation report of the SDG has been published in 2018. The goals and targets of the SDGs are reflected in the Government’s ‘flagship development plan’ i.e. in the seventh five-year plan (2016-2020).

In this context, an ‘SDG Localization Framework’ has been formulated by the General Economics Division (GED) of the Bangladesh Planning Commission, through which a working plan was prepared for the localization of the SDGs in all the upazilas of Bangladesh. There are several important steps in the SDG localization framework developed by the GED. It is clear from the SDG localization framework that the first stage of localization is to formulate an SDG-centered local annual and five-year plans in order to determine the amount of money, human resources, infrastructure development that will be needed at the upazila, district and divisional levels to achieve local targets. For this, it is necessary to first create an SDG plan to meet the local priorities and targets. The government is closely involved with the SDG localization process. Hence, it is imperative at the initial stage to plan the localization initiative from the upazila level. Later, these activities could be spread towards unions. It is necessary to start localization work at the district and upazila levels using the existing administrative structure of the government. Therefore, it is necessary to have a manual or guideline for the formulation and implementation of an SDG localization plan at the upazila and consolidated plan at district level. Recently, a committee for the implementation and coordination of SDGs has been constituted at the upazila, district and divisional levels under the direction of the Cabinet Division. Its main responsibility is to adopt the action plan, implement, coordinate, and monitor the implementation of the SDGs, giving importance to the SDG priority list of Bangladesh. Localization of SDGs has already been undertaken in Natore at the district level with the help of the existing committee for SDG localization, but no work plan for localization at the upazila level has started yet. However, some NGOs have taken initiatives to localize SDGs at the union level. In this context, several steps have been taken by The Hunger Project to achieve the SDGs and formulate local level planning in the Saharbati Union Parishad under Gangni upazila of Meherpur district. 

Institutional linkages are important to implementing the SDGs: The first thing that becomes clear is that there is a difference in SDG implementation approach of the Meherpur NGO experience and the SDG localization framework developed by GED. The GED’s SDG localization structure is mainly upazila-centric; but The Hunger Project’s SDG implementation of Saharbati Union in Gangni upazila of Meherpur is union-centric. Subtle observation shows that in THP’s approach, the upward link between the upazilas and the Union Parishads has not been fully established in the implementation of the SDGs. However, in order to implement the SDGs at the union level, ‘The Hunger Project’ signed an agreement with the Saharbati Union Parishad of Gangni in 2016 to build it as a model ‘SDG union’. A community-led development approach is the core strategy of The Hunger Project for localizing SDGs. The Union Parishad’s involvement in the implementation of the SDGs has been ensured by training them as ‘Animators’ through the Special Animators’ training. The group of trained volunteers created by The Hunger Project include: (1) Animators, (2) Women Leaders, (3) Youth Leaders, (4) Community Facilitators, (5) Members of National Girl’s Advocacy Forum, (6) Participatory Action Research by the ultra-poor (PAR) Facilitators, (7) Trained Women Nutrition facilitators, (8) Volunteer civil society leaders, and (9) a Concerned Citizen Committee. With the leadership of these volunteers, a total of nine village development teams have been formed in Saharbati Union, and village based priority assessment and formulation of plan have been formulated through a baseline study by using social mapping, well-being ranking and problem ranking tools.

There are three main components of The Hunger Project’s strategy of localizing SDGs in the Saharbati Union Parishad: (a) planning, (b) finalizing development priorities, and (c) implementation of activities. The Union Parishad formulates the plan in five steps:

  1. Village-based needs assessment, prioritization and planning; 
  2. Organizing Ward Shavas (Ward Assembly) and gathering information from standing committees’ meetings for identification of priorities; 
  3. Priorities and planning related data collection from government and non-government organizations working at the union level; and
  4. Finalizing union-based priorities and formulating annual and five-year plans in the light of priorities set by relevant stakeholders for SDG localization, which are reviewed by the Union Planning Committee and revalidated at Ward Shavas. 

The second phase in the SDG localization is the formulation of the development vision for the union and the finalization of priorities based on the participation of people of all levels of the society. In localization of the SDGs, Saharabati Union’s vision is to “create a prosperous union by ensuring modern and environment friendly production, improved education and health, social justice and good governance, whereby every woman, man and child can reach their full potential.” The priority areas of Saharbati Union include improvement of education; development of agriculture, livestock and fisheries; development of livelihoods; development of environment and plantation; resolving family disputes and preventing violence against women; communication and infrastructure development; safe water and sanitation; increased efficiency and good governance of the Union Parishad, prevention of drugs, terrorism, and militancy and promote social harmony. It is important to note that the priority areas of the Saharbati Union are similar to the potential action areas identified under the framework proposed by the GED.

In the localization of the SDGs, ‘The Hunger Project’ basically works to mobilize and empower the people at union level. Since 2016 in the Saharbati Union, The Hunger Project conducted 91 `Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops’ with the community people, in which 1,101 women and 837 men participated. In addition, 7 workshops with youth, 4 PAR workshops, 12 RTI workshops and 120 Citizenship workshops have been organized, where 1,530 female and 948 male participated. In addition, 36 workshops on social harmony and 1,520 issue-based campaigns and court-yard meetings on 15 different issues have been arranged, in which 40,373 community members took part.

Required financial resources mobilization to implement the SDG localization program are very important. Among the possible sources of funding identified in the implementation of the plan adopted for the localization of the SDGs in the Saharbati Union Parishad are: the District and Upazila Projects and LGSP; private sector / donors; Kabikha (Food for work), kabita (Taka for work), employment generation schemes; donation from local wealthy; volunteers based social capital; surplus of Union revenue budget, land transfer tax (1%); and the programs/resources of various departments/projects allocated for the Union Parishad. A closer look at these potential sources of financing show close similarity with the five sources mentioned in the ‘Demand Assessment and Financing Strategy for SDG Implementation’ proposed by GED.

Future approaches or recommendations for strengthening SDG implementation at the local level:

From the field visit to observe SDG localization, it is clear that the Upazila Parishad is the first step towards SDG localization. However, since the Upazila Parishad is made up of several unions, the union is the center-point of all connections. In this case, if the government takes the initiative to create ‘SDG Model Unions’, it will be helpful for the Upazila Parishad and other local government organizations to play an important role in implementing the SDGs. For this purpose, in order to strengthen the SDG-related activities at the local level, all government offices and agencies under the Upazila Parishad need to be strengthened with transparency and made accountable for their performance, according to the ‘Local Government Act, 2009’. Upazila administration can be instructed to take integrated steps, (sooner the better). (SDG localization plan would be a quick yielding panacea to counteract the COVID-19 fallout both in the medium and long-term.)

(Sentences or parts of the sentences in parentheses are added by Dr. Alam, which were not in the published Bangla version.) 

Author: Dr. Shamsul Alam
Economist and a Planner

Social media outreach to halt COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Prof. Badiul Majumdar, Global Hunger Project vice president and Bangladesh country director as well as secretary of SHUJAN – Citizens for Good Governance – has hosted two Facebook Live programs, including one with infectious disease expert Dr. MH Chowdhury Lelin. The links to the recorded videos in Bangla are below:

1. https://www.facebook.com/shujan.bd/videos/632083444006834/
2. https://www.facebook.com/shujan.bd/videos/1300826476972473/

Volunteer action for COVID-19 Resilient Villages

Consistent with World Health Organization and government guidelines, THP volunteers across Bangladesh are handing out leaflets, making masks, making hand sanitizer, providing soap to those living in the most extreme poverty and establishing hand-washing stations.

Volunteer “animators”, elders, women and youth leaders work together in more than 1,100 Village Development Teams (VDTs) to identify and meet local challenges. Hunger Project staff maintain remote support for them via WhatsApp, text messages, Facebook and other means.

Mask making in Charghat Upazila
Woman leader Anowara organizes hand washing in Chatra Union
Youth leaders of Rajshahi making hand sanitizer.
Youth leader Maruf of Kabilpur Union distributes soap.
Washing station in Vialaxmipur Union.
Leaflet distribution in Patnitola Upazila

Rapid Assessment of Rohingya Crisis

June 22, 2019

A rapid assessment was carried out by The Hunger Project in October 2017 primarily to identify the violent extremist issues relating to the recent Rohingya influx and the community hosting them. It is clear that the welcoming attitude of the host community toward the Rohingyas is disappearing fast and the prospect of conflict between the two groups is on the rise, partly due to the host community’s feeling increasing threats from the Rohingyas, who greatly outnumber them in some areas. There are also economic pressures on the host community from the recent influx of Rohingyas. The minority and ethnic members of the host community are also experiencing increased threats from the influx of Rohingyas.

Click here to read the full report.

The Peace Ambassador #3

February 7, 2019

October 2013 Newsletter of our peace-building work in Bangladesh

The Hunger Project-Bangladesh in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) launched the People Against Violence in Elections (PAVE) program in 2015, empowering a group of individuals from political parties and the civil society as Peace Ambassadors and members of Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs). It was launched with the support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)Department for International Development (DFID) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The USAID and DFID support for the program continued under the Strengthening Political Landscape (SPL) project, being implemented in partnership with Democracy International (DI). The DFID support for PAVE also continued through IFES under SPP2 project. At present we have 58 PPGs, 1362 PPG members, 174 Peace Ambassadors and 58 PPG Coordinators across 31 districts of 7 divisions of Bangladesh.

Here are some recent stories of Peace Ambassadors and members of the Peace Pressure Groups in action in their communities. They are using their new skills to resolve conflicts, bringing together leaders across political and cultural divides, and holding public events where leaders and communities publicly demonstrate their commitment to social cohesion and peace — setting the foundation for a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive Bangladesh.

International Non-Violence Day observed across Bangladesh, 2 October 2018 (Featured photo above)

Peace Ambassadors celebrated the International Day of Non-Violence across Bangladesh. In 55 upazilas, they mobilized over 7,000 citizens to advance the goal of nonviolence pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi. Peace-building and social cohesion are the cornerstones of Peace Ambassadors’ activities and this issue is close to their heart. They seized the opportunity of this day to promote nonviolent action and make their voices heard.

Peace Ambassadors along with their PPG members celebrated the day for three reasons: one, raise awareness for peace as counter to violence; two, establish non-violence as a proven method for social change; and three, raise awareness that there are many conflicts to resolve.

Local MP led the human chain and signature campaign against violence in Mymensingh – 28 July 2018

Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Nandail, Mymensingh organized a signature campaign and human chain titled “People against all forms of violence” to promote peace and social harmony. Attending the event as Chief Guest, local MP Anwarul Abedin Khan Tuhin said, “This event is very significant and necessary at a time when the 11th parliamentary election is very close. I believe it will truly help create a violence-free environment for everyone”. More than 5,000 citizens signed the petition and attended the human chain event.

Political Leaders signed Code of Conduct (CoC) in Kurigram, Habiganj and Kushtia – 17 September 2018

Peace Ambassadors brought political party leaders in Ulipur, Kurigram; Habiganj Sadar and Kushtia Sadar to sign Codes of Conduct (CoC) for peace and harmony in their communities. ‘Dignity, Security and Diversity’ are the core values of the Code of Conduct. These values form the basic requirements for establishing a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society. In a tremendous show of unity and willingness to cooperate for the greater good, the Codes of Conduct were so far signed in 15 upazilas by the senior leaders of the main political parties, including the Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Communist Party.

political party leaders in Ulipur, Kurigram; Habiganj Sadar and Kushtia Sadar to sign Codes of Conduct (CoC) for peace and harmony in their communities. ‘Dignity, Security and Diversity’ are the core values of the Code of Conduct. These values form the basic requirements for establishing a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society. In a tremendous show of unity and willingness to cooperate for the greater good, the Codes of Conduct were so far signed in 15 upazilas by the senior leaders of the main political parties, including the Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and Communist Party.

Commitments of the Code of Conduct include:

  1. Avoid violence and uphold democratic values and civic rights;
  2. Respect for individual’s dignity and right of self-expression;
  3. Recognize diversity and pluralism;
  4. Resist ethnic or religious extremism and intolerance; and
  5. Promote conflict resolution through peaceful dialogue.;

The current toxic political environment and intense political rivalry create an ideal fertile ground for the growth of extremist and militant activities in Bangladesh. The signing of the Code of Conduct has been lauded by many observers as an unprecedented and unique milestone reflecting a way to overcome the current toxic political situation.

PPG members hold Democracy Olympiads to educate first-time voters – 8 October 2018

To build a democratic society, it is important to raise awareness and mobilize youth for democracy, development and good governance. With this realisation in mind, PeaceAmbassadors and PPG members have organized Democracy Olympiads in several educational institutions around the country.

Peace Ambassadors of Jhenaidah, Avoynagar and Monirampur of Jessore and Mohadevpur of Naogaon districts have organized democracy olympiads in their respective communities. About 1,500 students attended these events which featured a quiz competition and interactive discussions with governance experts. Attending one of these event, Mr. Arifur Rahman, a college principal from Naogaon said, “True democracy is not only a political process but also a way of social, religious, moral and economic life. Through this innovative event, the young people are learning about democratic ideas and values.”

PPG members, local teachers, political leaders, elected representatives, media and parents attended these events.

The Hunger Project volunteers receive PAVE training to bring peace activism to the village level.
5 September 2018

Peace Ambassadors and PPG members have been clamoring for a long time to bring the PAVE program down to the village level in order to create an infrastructure for peace and harmony from the ground up. Several peace ambassadors have successfully organized “Social Harmony” workshops in different communities at the grassroots. Based on their experiences, The Hunger Project and IFES have jointly expanded the existing PAVE program to village level. A total of 260 villages and 123 educational institutions from seven upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Sunamganj, Meherur and Kishoreganj districts have been selected for this intervention. As part of this expansion, the Peace Ambassadors will form Peace Facilitator Groups in 38 unions. They will work with Village Development Team (VDT) members and students in each union, already mobilized by The Hunger Project, through Social Harmony workshops and knowledge events to promote peace and social cohesion.

The VDT is a group of village-based volunteers who lead the implementation of The Hunger Project’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Union strategy in their communities. On September 25-27 2018, a three-day Training of Trainers on PAVE Harmony was held for the key volunteers of these 38 unions, led by The Hunger Project and IFES staff. The training focused on SDGs, social harmony, social mobilization and youth engagement. The training ended with an extensive work-plan for the next 12 months.

PAVE program expanded to Barisal Division.
9 October 2018

The PAVE program expanded to five upazilas of Barisal division from September 2018.

The upazilas included are: Babuganj and Agailjhara upazilas of Barisal district, and Jhalokati Sadar, Nalchity and Kathalia upazilas of Jhalokati district. Two orientation programs were already organized in Kathalia and Nalchity on September 28 and 29, 2018. Peace Ambassador Saiful Islam Badsha from Rajshahi facilitated these two orientations.

“In Search of Peace”: a new documentary on Peace Ambassador Saiful Islam Badsha –September 15, 2018

Saiful Islam Badshah

The Hunger Project Bangladesh released a new documentary highlighting a very successful  Peace Ambassador, Mr. Saiful Islam Badshah, from Rajshahi. Mr. Badshah has long been a political activist and teacher, but he was not comfortable with partisan fights among people and was looking for a way out of this politics of annihilation. He realized that the PAVE program gave him the hope to overcome this situation. Mr. Badshah gave up his political career and became a Peace Ambassador to promote peace and harmony in his community and throughout the country.

It may be noted that the first CoC was signed in his upazila in June 30, 2016. Please click the link to view the story of Peace Ambassador Saiful Islam Badshah: 

We mourn: PPG member Sardar Bahadur Ali is no more… June 2018

Sardar Bahadur Ali, PPG member, Monirampur, Jessore passed away on June 7, 2018 at the age 76. Sardar Bahadur was one of the most active PPG members in his community. He has been a political leader and local government chairman for 25 years. During his tenure as chairman, he had accomplished 100% sanitation, eliminated illiteracy, and eliminated child marriages in his union. For this outstanding work, he received the Prime Minister’s award for Best Performing Chairman. He has been a teacher for 40 years and founded a number of schools, libraries and community organizations.

Mr. Bahadur joined the PAVE program as a PPG member in 2015. He was instrumental in ensuring peace during in his community during the 2016 Union Parishad election. At that time, a group of his supporters tore down the election poster of the opposition candidate. When Mr. Bahador heard about this incident in the middle of the night, he stepped out of his house while it was raining and rushed to the spot. He apologized to his rival for the excesses of his supporters and hung posters of his opponent on top of his posters. Everybody in the community was surprised by this courageous action of Mr. Bahadur to defuse a potentially violent reaction. As he claimed later, for this extraordinary action, his vote share increased. His story has been one of the important cases discussed in all PAVE trainings.

Sardar Bahadur Ali will always live in our hearts and memories!

Bare Foot Researchers (GGS) Convention at Patnitala, Naogaon

July 28, 2018

Mahmud Hasan Rasel
Joutho Chinta, Joutho Shokti, Sanggathane mukti’ keeping this slogan in front of GGS leaders arrange a convention in Patnitala Upazila, Naogaon. 1454 members came from 160 GGS of 12 unions. 322 peoples came out of these GGSs.

Patnitala is one of the Upazilla where THP working with all Unions. This Upazila constituted with 11 Unions under Rajshahi region. Also, there has another union from Mohadevpur  Upazila.  THP Bangladesh has been started working at Patnitola from 2008 and PAR program introduced in 2010.

Participatory action research method was used to scale up GGS (Gono gobesona Sangathan) leadership from community level to Upazilla level for better coordination between all GGSs of Patnitola. In last reflection (December-2017) one of their important issues was GGS Upazilla convention. All GGS leaders who joined reflection meeting has made a consensus to organize the convention. The most important thing was that the financial contribution for the convention was only from GGSs. Also, GGSs leaders have joined convention from the remote village of Patnitola by their own expenses.

Opening session:

Upazila GGS foram president Shahinur Rahman presided over the convention. Whip Shahiduzzaman Sarkar (Member of the parliament) was the chief guest.  Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar country director of THP Bangladesh was the special guest. Gonggachara Upazila GGS forum president Nazmunnahar and vice president Nishat Choudhury has joined to learn at their own cost. Also UP chairmen, Government officials and local civil society leaders also joined the convention as a guest.

Convention started at 9.30 with a chorus of National Anthem. Then convention president Sahinur Rahman took a seat with guests. GGS forum secretary kept a well come speech. Later on, GGS leaders shared their experiences with the audience and to the guests. One after another GGS leaders being explained, How PAR helps them to change their life, How they solved social and economical problem through practicing PAR and using organizational unity, Why and How they developed GGS, How benefited from GGS, What kind of potentiality generated by the development of GGS to make poverty and hunger free community as well as Gangni Upazilla, What are the challenges of PAR and GGS, How they solved it, What is the vision of GGS and What type of cooperation needs from government and non-government offices, institutions and officials.

We have developed GGS through PAR. Now we know where we are and what we have to do. We have to develop Patnitola as a model Upazilla of inclusive development with a peaceful society. We will develop an alternative market chain for our products for fair market price. We shall have a walk together for a long way to reaching our goal. – Sahinur Rahman. President, GGS forum.

Few of remarkable shared experiences mentioned below-

`It was very challenging to develop GGS within our community after PAR workshop. But I have overcome those challenges successfully and develop many GGS in our area. All the GGSs are doing very well. We have capital which we save day after day, little by little and now we are not dependent for money on our husband, family or money lenders. We lend money from our GGS and invest for income generation. Now we are self-reliant by our own savings’. – Shimu khatun,Moheshpur GGS.

`We want to develop our village Chemical fertilizer free through GGS. We have started produce vermin compost and cultivating vegetables in homestead to fulfillment our nutrition. I would like to call you of GoB officials who are present here- you have many resources and services. Please stand beside me; we need more skill training to make skilled people for creating more employment’.  -Julfikar Ali, Daul barbadpurGGS.

`We have developed GGS to achieve self-reliant and we are on the right way to self-reliant’. -Lata Rani dash, Milon tithi GGS.

`I came here only to learn. I feel good to see all leaders. Now strongly  I believe that I am not alone’.-Selina begum, Dochai GGS.

`I know how I achieved success in my GGS, so I know all of your history of success. Once we were dependent, powerless, vulnerable and neglected in the society and by the society even though famil;. But now we stand strongly by our joint knowledge and spirit, unity and organization, savings and investment, dignity and power’. – Lovely Chowdhury,Shapla GGS.

`I am a tribe. I don’t have an opportunity to go out anywhere from my house. But today I am here. it was my dream. my vision has expanded a lot through joining this convention. I think its a great opportunity for me’.-Basonti Rani, Nodhuli Gazipir Mohila GGS.

Chief guest Whip sohiduzzaman sarkar(Parlament member) said.` Any type of development is impossible without GGS. All of you are those change makers, who are working for changing the society . Through your GGS activities Bangladesh will develop day by day. I am glad to say that you the GGS members not only increase your money but also  increase  dignity by solving social problems.`

 Special guest Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar said, ‘Gonogobeshoks are today’s freedom fighter. ; you are the fighter for poverty free Bangladesh. After completing this convention, you will back to your GGS and seat together on how can you remove poverty by your own way. We are with you all the time. `

Union Chairmen, civil society representatives, Government officials gave commitment that they will stay beside GGS and help them as much as possible.

Notable aspects of the convention:

  • Professor Anisur Rahman wrote: PAR “is a process of ‘praxis’– the cycle of action and reflection that transform not only of the relations of production but also of the relations of knowledge in society for people’s liberation.” It is an art of dialogical method to articulate existing knowledge and innovation new knowledge on basis of community identified problems and agendas towards better and real solution. PAR explores human spirit on the way of searching of the cause behind the cause of the poverty of present situation diagnosis and historical background of human beings with a history of evaluation as mankind. Through PAR poorest identified that main cause of the poverty is social exploitation and unjust. They also identified GGS through PAR process and GGS creates space for poor to stand against all kinds of social, economic, political and cultural exploitation and discrimination. In this way, GGS is a real platform for rural poor of Bangladesh to eradicate all kinds of hunger and poverty by creating social inclusiveness within and outside of the community. Gathering of GGS members indicates that this platform can solve any type of problem by their collective initiative.
  • Participants of the convention are mainly from poorest of the poor of the community.
  • From the early of GGS evolve one of the common activities was savings small amount of members. Savings create the capital of poor members for taking economical initiatives for solving their economic problems as firm and non-firm IGA. The savings of GGSs increase consistently. For that reason the poorest member of GGSs taking many initiative to solve their economic difficulty at the same time they decrease their dependency of the local moneylenders and micro-credit NGO’s.
  • GGS is their own organization, they develop it, they manage it and full control over its funds and function.
  • Poor have some natural individual and community skills, knowledge and resources that they identified through PAR. GGS utilize all those for creating their new economic opportunity as IGA initiative. Some of IGA initiatives of GGSs are Swing, hand bag, parts, showpiece making, cap making, vermin compost, organic fertilizer and pesticides, organic agriculture and livestock. These IGAs initiatives create employment and increase the income of GGS members.
  • Culturing of vermin compost had reduced the cost of agriculture. It creates the ultimate result of eco-friendly sustainable agriculture. Farmers are habituated on organic fertilizer and pesticides instead of dependency on chemical fertilizer and pesticides that are destructive for ecological diversity.
  • GGS members collect the money from each GGSs donation. Also from selling the ticket of the lottery.
  • To organize the convention successfully volunteers to divide into a small group and do their duties punctually. For that reason, whole day seems discipline in the convention.
  • Most of the time GGS members told about their success which increase encouragement of all.
  • Attendance of government and non-government officials proof that this it is also their conference. To develop this upazila there is no alternative to working together.
  • Three of four of the total number of the participants were female. They are from root level. Most of them came first time in their life without the help of their husband only for this conference.
  • The whole day the conference was lively. GGS members participation was spontaneous.
  • Through PAR researchers identified various kinds of individual, community and social cause of the poverty. They also identify how to eliminate causes and take collective actions to solve them, helping them to achieve lives of greater fulfillment and dignity. In this process, they change themselves individual mindset, attitudes, views, values and thinking process. As a result, increase personal relationships with family members and neighbors and reduce conflict and quarreling within family and neighbors. The need of collective action to solve every imbalance of poorest life evolved GGS that is a new discovery of their life they found on the way of PAR process. GGS is a commonplace of poor to thinking, working and acting collectively that is made them transform of every member as an individual, the community as well as society. In GGS they identified all their problems nobody can hide their faults. They elected leaders of the GGS as management committee with full democratic manner. They also develop their by-laws as principles and activities.
  • Team work of PAR unit, regional staffs and volunteers was really fantastic. Which brings energy to make the conference successful.
  • At last, their plan of creating new GGS through PAR practice indicates all believe that GGS is their most important part of life.

GGS representatives arrange a cultural show and showing their own performance. They sang, they danced together and joking with huge entertainment. They also arrange a lottery.

More than 25 journalists from national and local electronic, print and online media were present to cover the convention. Few links are available here-

  1. https://bit.ly/2OqtKnZ
  2. https://bit.ly/2NSjzaS
  3. https://bit.ly/2OpPdhd
  4. https://bit.ly/2K3KzSj
  5. https://bit.ly/2K4dpSD
  6. https://bit.ly/2LHykjm
  7. https://bit.ly/2ven6Zd
  8. https://bit.ly/2mO7x6T
  9. https://bit.ly/2LtgxwV
  10. https://bit.ly/2LtgSjb
  11. https://bit.ly/2AilTWH
  12. https://bit.ly/2mR8qf2
  13. https://bit.ly/2uTTscm
  14. https://bit.ly/2NSVeS7
  15. https://bit.ly/2v9MeR2
  16. https://bit.ly/2OpARNI
  17. https://bit.ly/2mN67tf
  18. https://bit.ly/2NSRi3X
  19. https://bit.ly/2LWCRLD
  20. https://bit.ly/2NRmctk
  21. https://bit.ly/2vbXGvq
  22. https://bit.ly/2LTlwDn
  23. https://bit.ly/2NSjzaS
  24. https://bit.ly/2LKyq9K

Moreover, GGS convention is a big get together for GGS leaders and a big space for reflecting their experiences and learning. It is a larger platform for practicing democracy. They also practice a very complex and challenging process for selecting leadership. Convention makes stronger their unity and empowering them. Finally, Convention is a big step to move forward to end hunger and poverty with achieve self-reliance.

 

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The Peace Ambassador #2

July 15, 2018

July 2018 Newsletter of our peace-building work in Bangladesh

The Hunger Project-Bangladesh launched the People Against Violence in Elections (PAVE) program in 2015, empowering a group of individuals from political parties and the civil society as members of Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) and Peace Ambassadors. It was launched with the support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)Department for International Development (DFID) and in partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Democracy International (DI). At present we have 58 PPGs, 1362 PPG members, 174 Peace Ambassadors and 58 PPG Coordinators across 31 districts of 7 divisions of Bangladesh.

Included here are the activities of the PPG members and Peace Ambassadors in their communities. They are using their new by acquired skills to resolve conflicts, bringing together people across political and cultural divides, and hold public events where leaders and communities publicly demonstrate their commitment to social cohesion and peace — setting the foundation for a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive Bangladesh.

Peace Ambassadors contribute to a peaceful city corporation election in Khulna, 21 June 2018

The Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election was held on May 15, 2018. A total of 192 candidates contested mayoral and councilor races. Peace Ambassadors and PPG members of Khulna city corporation along with SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance carried out a month-long campaign for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. These efforts of Peace Ambassadors and PPG members created a greater sense of tolerance among candidates, paving the way for interactions between citizen and political leaders.

Below are campaign highlights:Below are campaign highlights:

15 April 2018
A Press Conference was held in Khulna Press Club highlighting the roles of all the stakeholders – the Election Commission, law enforcement agencies, political parties, candidates, media and the civil society for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. The speakers highlighted that a peaceful election day does not necessarily reflect peaceful election. The election is a process; the whole process needs to be fair and the stakeholders must play their desired roles for a Peaceful and credible election.

28 April 2018
All five mayoral candidates were invited to a “Meet-the-candidate Forum” in Shaheed Hadis Park, Khulna. After a brief presentation about their election manifesto, all candidates took an oath before the voters that they would follow the electoral Code of Conduct, not misuse the power if elected and accept the election results if it is held in a transparent and credible manner.

More than 3,000 voters participated in the event. Voters also asked them questions which they answered.

The whole event had a festive mood and it allowed the voters to know more about the candidates for making informed decisions.

Following the success of the mayoral forum, Peace Ambassadors and SHUJAN organized similar events during May 3 to 12, 2018 in 14 wards with councilor candidates.

12 May 2018
Human Chain was organized at Shibbari More, Khulna to remind all the stakeholders about their role for promoting free, fair and peaceful election. The speakers also urged voters to vote for honest, capable and clean candidates.

May 1-12 2018
A cultural team was formed to run a Cultural Campaign to promote voter awareness. The cultural team went to every nook and corner of the city to create awareness among voters to vote for clean candidates and to renounce violence in the election.

April 1- May 13, 2018
A Social Media Campaign using Facebook (www.facebook.com/shujan.bd) was launched to engage voters, especially the first time voters. The social media profiled video interviews of all mayoral candidates. It also featured comparative statements of the antecedents of candidates, highlighting their assets, liabilities, education, criminal records to help voters to make informed choices.








 





May 1-12 2018
A cultural team was formed to run a Cultural Campaign to promote voter awareness. The cultural team went to every nook and corner of the city to create awareness among voters to vote for clean candidates and to renounce violence in the election.

April 1- May 13, 2018
Social Media Campaign using Facebook (www.facebook.com/shujan.bd) was launched to engage voters, especially the first time voters. The social media profiled video interviews of all mayoral candidates. It also featured comparative statements of the antecedents of candidates, highlighting their assets, liabilities,  education, criminal records to help voters to make informed choices.

The Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election was held on May 15, 2018. A total of 192 candidates contested mayoral and councilor races. Peace Ambassadors and PPG members of Khulna city corporation along with SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance carried out a month-long campaign for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. These efforts of Peace Ambassadors and PPG members created a greater sense of tolerance among candidates, paving the way for interactions between citizen and political leaders.

Below are campaign highlights:

15 April 2018
A Press Conference was held in Khulna Press Club highlighting the roles of all the stakeholders – the Election Commission, law enforcement agencies, political parties, candidates, media and the civil society for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. The speakers highlighted that a peaceful election day does not necessarily reflect peaceful election. The election is a process; the whole process needs to be fair and the stakeholders must play their desired roles for a Peaceful and credible election.

28 April 2018
All five mayoral candidates were invited to a “Meet-the-candidate Forum” in Shaheed Hadis Park, Khulna. After a brief presentation about their election manifesto, all candidates took an oath before the voters that they would follow the electoral Code of Conduct, not misuse the power if elected and accept the election results if it is held in a transparent and credible manner.

More than 3,000 voters participated in the event. Voters also asked them questions which they answered.

The whole event had a festive mood and it allowed the voters to know more about the candidates for making informed decisions.

 

Following the success of the mayoral forum, Peace Ambassadors and SHUJAN organized similar events during May 3 to 12, 2018 in 14 wards with councilor candidates.

12 May 2018
Human Chain was organized at Shibbari More, Khulna to remind all the stakeholders about their role for promoting free, fair and peaceful election. The speakers also urged voters to vote for honest, capable and clean candidates.


May 1-12 2018
A cultural team was formed to run a Cultural Campaign to promote voter awareness. The cultural team went to every nook and corner of the city to create awareness among voters to vote for clean candidates and to renounce violence in the election.

April 1- May 13, 2018
Social Media Campaign using Facebook (www.facebook.com/shujan.bd) was launched to engage voters, especially the first time voters. The social media profiled video interviews of all mayoral candidates. It also featured comparative statements of the antecedents of candidates, highlighting their assets, liabilities,  education, criminal records to help voters to make informed choices.

The Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election was held on May 15, 2018. A total of 192 candidates contested mayoral and councilor races. Peace Ambassadors and PPG members of Khulna city corporation along with SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance carried out a month-long campaign for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. These efforts of Peace Ambassadors and PPG members created a greater sense of tolerance among candidates, paving the way for interactions between citizen and political leaders.

Below are campaign highlights:

15 April 2018
A Press Conference was held in Khulna Press Club highlighting the roles of all the stakeholders – the Election Commission, law enforcement agencies, political parties, candidates, media and the civil society for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. The speakers highlighted that a peaceful election day does not necessarily reflect peaceful election. The election is a process; the whole process needs to be fair and the stakeholders must play their desired roles for a Peaceful and credible election.

28 April 2018
All five mayoral candidates were invited to a “Meet-the-candidate Forum” in Shaheed Hadis Park, Khulna. After a brief presentation about their election manifesto, all candidates took an oath before the voters that they would follow the electoral Code of Conduct, not misuse the power if elected and accept the election results if it is held in a transparent and credible manner.

More than 3,000 voters participated in the event. Voters also asked them questions which they answered.

The whole event had a festive mood and it allowed the voters to know more about the candidates for making informed decisions.

 

Following the success of the mayoral forum, Peace Ambassadors and SHUJAN organized similar events during May 3 to 12, 2018 in 14 wards with councilor candidates.

12 May 2018
Human Chain was organized at Shibbari More, Khulna to remind all the stakeholders about their role for promoting free, fair and peaceful election. The speakers also urged voters to vote for honest, capable and clean candidates.


May 1-12 2018
A cultural team was formed to run a Cultural Campaign to promote voter awareness. The cultural team went to every nook and corner of the city to create awareness among voters to vote for clean candidates and to renounce violence in the election.

April 1- May 13, 2018
Social Media Campaign using Facebook (www.facebook.com/shujan.bd) was launched to engage voters, especially the first time voters. The social media profiled video interviews of all mayoral candidates. It also featured comparative statements of the antecedents of candidates, highlighting their assets, liabilities,  education, criminal records to help voters to make informed choices.

Political Leaders signed Code of Conduct (CoC) in Dakshin (South) Sunamganj, Sunamganj
12 May 2018


Political Leaders signed Code of Conduct (CoC) in Dakshin (South) Sunamganj, Sunamganj
12 May 2018


Political Leaders signed Code of Conduct (CoC) in Dakshin (South) Sunamganj, Sunamganj
12 May 2018



Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila brought together political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad) along with local civil society and media representatives to sign a Code of Conduct (CoC), committing to a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society.
The CoC includes commitments to: avoid violence and uphold democratic values and civic rights; be respectful of individual’s dignity and right of self-expression; recognize the existence of and be respectful to diversity; promote pluralism; resist ethnic and religious extremism and intolerance; and resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue.

Ataur Rahman, Secretary Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila Awami League said about the CoC, “We are committed to have a violence-free national election and ensure peaceful coexistence in our community.” Similar views were echoed by Faruk Ahmed, President, Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila BNP and stated, “Such events should be replicated all over Bangladesh.” 


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila brought together political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad) along with local civil society and media representatives to sign a Code of Conduct (CoC), committing to a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society.
The CoC includes commitments to: avoid violence and uphold democratic values and civic rights; be respectful of individual’s dignity and right of self-expression; recognize the existence of and be respectful to diversity; promote pluralism; resist ethnic and religious extremism and intolerance; and resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue.

Ataur Rahman, Secretary Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila Awami League said about the CoC, “We are committed to have a violence-free national election and ensure peaceful coexistence in our community.” Similar views were echoed by Faruk Ahmed, President, Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila BNP and stated, “Such events should be replicated all over Bangladesh.” 


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila brought together political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad) along with local civil society and media representatives to sign a Code of Conduct (CoC), committing to a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society.
The CoC includes commitments to: avoid violence and uphold democratic values and civic rights; be respectful of individual’s dignity and right of self-expression; recognize the existence of and be respectful to diversity; promote pluralism; resist ethnic and religious extremism and intolerance; and resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue.

Ataur Rahman, Secretary Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila Awami League said about the CoC, “We are committed to have a violence-free national election and ensure peaceful coexistence in our community.” Similar views were echoed by Faruk Ahmed, President, Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila BNP and stated, “Such events should be replicated all over Bangladesh.” 

 
 
 

Political Leaders sign CoC in Jamalganj, Dinajpur
15 May 2018


Political Leaders sign CoC in Jamalganj, Dinajpur
15 May 2018


Political Leaders sign CoC in Jamalganj, Dinajpur
15 May 2018


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Jamalganj Upazila invited forty-seven (47) political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad), elected local government representatives, government officials, CSO and media personalities to a ceremony to sign a Code of Conduct. Attending the event, Faruk Ahmed, President, Jamalganj Upazila Jatiya Party said, “We all have to work together to keep the next election free from violence.”  Abdul Malik, Secretary, Jamalganj Upazila BNP said, “Without the commitment of the ruling party, the upcoming national election will not be free and fair. However, we do not want conflict in our Upazila.”

Abul Hashim, Officer In-charge, Jamalganj Police Station said, “The law enforcement agencies will play a neutral role during the election and will support the efforts to maintain peace in the area”. Shamim Al Emran, Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, “I am really happy to see leaders from all political parties come together to sign a peace treaty for establishing peace and harmony in their community.” 
Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Jamalganj Upazila invited forty-seven (47) political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad), elected local government representatives, government officials, CSO and media personalities to a ceremony to sign a Code of Conduct. Attending the event, Faruk Ahmed, President, Jamalganj Upazila Jatiya Party said, “We all have to work together to keep the next election free from violence.”  Abdul Malik, Secretary, Jamalganj Upazila BNP said, “Without the commitment of the ruling party, the upcoming national election will not be free and fair. However, we do not want conflict in our Upazila.”

Abul Hashim, Officer In-charge, Jamalganj Police Station said, “The law enforcement agencies will play a neutral role during the election and will support the efforts to maintain peace in the area”. Shamim Al Emran, Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, “I am really happy to see leaders from all political parties come together to sign a peace treaty for establishing peace and harmony in their community.” 
Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Jamalganj Upazila invited forty-seven (47) political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad), elected local government representatives, government officials, CSO and media personalities to a ceremony to sign a Code of Conduct. Attending the event, Faruk Ahmed, President, Jamalganj Upazila Jatiya Party said, “We all have to work together to keep the next election free from violence.”  Abdul Malik, Secretary, Jamalganj Upazila BNP said, “Without the commitment of the ruling party, the upcoming national election will not be free and fair. However, we do not want conflict in our Upazila.”

Abul Hashim, Officer In-charge, Jamalganj Police Station said, “The law enforcement agencies will play a neutral role during the election and will support the efforts to maintain peace in the area”. Shamim Al Emran, Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, “I am really happy to see leaders from all political parties come together to sign a peace treaty for establishing peace and harmony in their community.” 
 
 
 

Inter-Party Peace Dialogue in Derai, Sunamganj
23 May 2018


Inter-Party Peace Dialogue in Derai, Sunamganj
23 May 2018


Inter-Party Peace Dialogue in Derai, Sunamganj
23 May 2018



Peace Ambassadors and PPG members organized a peace event titled “Inter-Party Peace Dialogue”. More than 50 political leaders from all major political parties attended the event. The dialogue was interactive and people shared their diverse opinions publicly. Below are some notable quotes from the event:

“To have a free, fair, credible and violence-free national election, the EC should apply its power with neutrality.” 
-Joynal Abedin, President, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu

“Awami League believes in the free, fair, credible and violence-free election. The Election Commission should strictly play its desired role.”
-Advocate Shohel Ahmed Soil Mia,Senior Vice-President, Derai Upazila Awami League

“BNP will not indulge in any non-democratic or violent action during the election.” 
-Kamruzzaman, President, Derai Upazila BNP

“During the national election, the government should act neutrality for the sake of democracy and people’s right.” 
-Rashid Mia, Secretary, Derai Upazila BNP

 

“Participation of all political parties must be ensured in the upcoming national election and there should be a level playing field for all.”
-Shiraj Daula, Vice-president, Derai Upazila Awami League

“Firstly, we need the participationof all political parties in the national election. Secondly, we need neutral EC, administration and law enforcement agencies. We also have to avoid the use of muscle power in elections.”
-Aminul Islam Amin, Secretary, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu,

Facilitating the interactions, Peace Ambassador and President of Derai Press Club, Shamsul Islam Sarder said, “The EC should be a totally independent institution to ensure a free, fair, credible and violent free election. It must ensure the participation of all political parties in the election.” 

From all these discussions a consensus emerged that all participants will work together to make the upcoming Parliament election free and fair and maintain peace in their area.


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members organized a peace event titled “Inter-Party Peace Dialogue”. More than 50 political leaders from all major political parties attended the event. The dialogue was interactive and people shared their diverse opinions publicly. Below are some notable quotes from the event:

“To have a free, fair, credible and violence-free national election, the EC should apply its power with neutrality.” 
-Joynal Abedin, President, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu

“Awami League believes in the free, fair, credible and violence-free election. The Election Commission should strictly play its desired role.”
-Advocate Shohel Ahmed Soil Mia,Senior Vice-President, Derai Upazila Awami League

“BNP will not indulge in any non-democratic or violent action during the election.” 
-Kamruzzaman, President, Derai Upazila BNP

“During the national election, the government should act neutrality for the sake of democracy and people’s right.” 
-Rashid Mia, Secretary, Derai Upazila BNP

 

“Participation of all political parties must be ensured in the upcoming national election and there should be a level playing field for all.”
-Shiraj Daula, Vice-president, Derai Upazila Awami League

“Firstly, we need the participationof all political parties in the national election. Secondly, we need neutral EC, administration and law enforcement agencies. We also have to avoid the use of muscle power in elections.”
-Aminul Islam Amin, Secretary, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu,

Facilitating the interactions, Peace Ambassador and President of Derai Press Club, Shamsul Islam Sarder said, “The EC should be a totally independent institution to ensure a free, fair, credible and violent free election. It must ensure the participation of all political parties in the election.” 

From all these discussions a consensus emerged that all participants will work together to make the upcoming Parliament election free and fair and maintain peace in their area.


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members organized a peace event titled “Inter-Party Peace Dialogue”. More than 50 political leaders from all major political parties attended the event. The dialogue was interactive and people shared their diverse opinions publicly. Below are some notable quotes from the event:

“To have a free, fair, credible and violence-free national election, the EC should apply its power with neutrality.” 
-Joynal Abedin, President, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu

“Awami League believes in the free, fair, credible and violence-free election. The Election Commission should strictly play its desired role.”
-Advocate Shohel Ahmed Soil Mia,Senior Vice-President, Derai Upazila Awami League

“BNP will not indulge in any non-democratic or violent action during the election.” 
-Kamruzzaman, President, Derai Upazila BNP

“During the national election, the government should act neutrality for the sake of democracy and people’s right.” 
-Rashid Mia, Secretary, Derai Upazila BNP

 

“Participation of all political parties must be ensured in the upcoming national election and there should be a level playing field for all.”
-Shiraj Daula, Vice-president, Derai Upazila Awami League

“Firstly, we need the participationof all political parties in the national election. Secondly, we need neutral EC, administration and law enforcement agencies. We also have to avoid the use of muscle power in elections.”
-Aminul Islam Amin, Secretary, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu,

Facilitating the interactions, Peace Ambassador and President of Derai Press Club, Shamsul Islam Sarder said, “The EC should be a totally independent institution to ensure a free, fair, credible and violent free election. It must ensure the participation of all political parties in the election.” 

From all these discussions a consensus emerged that all participants will work together to make the upcoming Parliament election free and fair and maintain peace in their area.

 
 
 

All Party IFTAR for Harmony in Rajshahi
May 2018


All Party IFTAR for Harmony in Rajshahi
May 2018


All Party IFTAR for Harmony in Rajshahi
May 2018


In the spirit of self-discipline, self-purification and charity of the holy month of Ramadan, the Peace Ambassadors and the Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) members of Rajshahi district invited political leaders to Iftar for Harmonygatherings in their Upazilas. Invited by the PPGs of Puthia, Paba and Mohanpur Upazilas, about 100 political leaders, including Presidents and Secretaries of major political parties as well as civil society leaders and media representatives gathered in their respective Upazilas. Peace Ambassador and Secretary, Puthiya Upazila Awami League Md. Abdul Malek, Peace Ambassador and Mayor of Nawhata Municipality Sheikh Mokbul Hossain from Paba PPG and Peace Ambassador and Assistant Professor of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali from Mohanpur PPG organized these events. The events were intended to promote inter-party interactions and fellowship.

Attending the event, Peace Ambassador and Awami League leader Md. Abdul Malak said, “Thepeacebuilding movement is our own responsibility. We have to spread the movement to Union levels and we will form Peace Pressure Groups in all unions of Puthia.”
Peace Ambassador and Teacher of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali said, “To strengthen thepeacebuilding movement, we will have to keep involving more influential political leaders.”
In the spirit of self-discipline, self-purification and charity of the holy month of Ramadan, the Peace Ambassadors and the Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) members of Rajshahi district invited political leaders to Iftar for Harmonygatherings in their Upazilas. Invited by the PPGs of Puthia, Paba and Mohanpur Upazilas, about 100 political leaders, including Presidents and Secretaries of major political parties as well as civil society leaders and media representatives gathered in their respective Upazilas. Peace Ambassador and Secretary, Puthiya Upazila Awami League Md. Abdul Malek, Peace Ambassador and Mayor of Nawhata Municipality Sheikh Mokbul Hossain from Paba PPG and Peace Ambassador and Assistant Professor of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali from Mohanpur PPG organized these events. The events were intended to promote inter-party interactions and fellowship.

Attending the event, Peace Ambassador and Awami League leader Md. Abdul Malak said, “Thepeacebuilding movement is our own responsibility. We have to spread the movement to Union levels and we will form Peace Pressure Groups in all unions of Puthia.”
Peace Ambassador and Teacher of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali said, “To strengthen thepeacebuilding movement, we will have to keep involving more influential political leaders.”
In the spirit of self-discipline, self-purification and charity of the holy month of Ramadan, the Peace Ambassadors and the Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) members of Rajshahi district invited political leaders to Iftar for Harmonygatherings in their Upazilas. Invited by the PPGs of Puthia, Paba and Mohanpur Upazilas, about 100 political leaders, including Presidents and Secretaries of major political parties as well as civil society leaders and media representatives gathered in their respective Upazilas. Peace Ambassador and Secretary, Puthiya Upazila Awami League Md. Abdul Malek, Peace Ambassador and Mayor of Nawhata Municipality Sheikh Mokbul Hossain from Paba PPG and Peace Ambassador and Assistant Professor of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali from Mohanpur PPG organized these events. The events were intended to promote inter-party interactions and fellowship.

Attending the event, Peace Ambassador and Awami League leader Md. Abdul Malak said, “Thepeacebuilding movement is our own responsibility. We have to spread the movement to Union levels and we will form Peace Pressure Groups in all unions of Puthia.”
Peace Ambassador and Teacher of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali said, “To strengthen thepeacebuilding movement, we will have to keep involving more influential political leaders.”
 
 
 

Social Harmony Festival in Charghat, Rajshahi
7 June 2018


Social Harmony Festival in Charghat, Rajshahi
7 June 2018


Social Harmony Festival in Charghat, Rajshahi
7 June 2018



The Peace Pressure Group (PPG) at Charghat Upazila of Rajshahi district organized a Harmony Festival. The event was attended by members of SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance, Unleashed Women Network, Village Development Team members, and Youth Ending Hunger. The event was presided over by Peace Ambassador and member, Rajshahi district Awami League Md. Saiful Islam Badshah, while Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh attended as the Chief Guest. Upazila Chairman and Chargat BNP President Md. Abu Said Chand and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Charghat Ashraful Islam, General Secretary of Charghat Upazila Awami League Fakrul Islam, President of Charghat Upazila Jatiyo Party Md. Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury also attended the event as special guests.
The speakers at the event recognized that people of Charghat are peaceful with a strong tradition of peaceful past. But due to overly partisan politics at the national level, they became divided. Now the time has come to reunite – not only unite the political leaders but also the people, especially women, youth and civil society groups.

 

Attending the events, BNP leader Md. Abu Said Chand said, “We will support the movement initiated by PPG Charghat to ensure peace and harmony among and within the political parties.” Local animator and president of Village Development Team member, Jhoaz Uddin said, “I have organized people to form village development teams. We are uniting the people at the grassroots for peace and prosperity.” 

The Hunger Project animators highlighted their peace-building efforts along with their attempts to engage youths for building community resilience against curses of child marriage and drug addiction. Shammi (Grade 9) expressed her experience at the event by saying, “Many of my friends took drugs out of their curiosity, and now some of them have become addicted. I am afraid that they might become the threat for us. If we can help them overcome their addiction, we could expect peace and harmony in our community.” 


The Peace Pressure Group (PPG) at Charghat Upazila of Rajshahi district organized a Harmony Festival. The event was attended by members of SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance, Unleashed Women Network, Village Development Team members, and Youth Ending Hunger. The event was presided over by Peace Ambassador and member, Rajshahi district Awami League Md. Saiful Islam Badshah, while Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh attended as the Chief Guest. Upazila Chairman and Chargat BNP President Md. Abu Said Chand and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Charghat Ashraful Islam, General Secretary of Charghat Upazila Awami League Fakrul Islam, President of Charghat Upazila Jatiyo Party Md. Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury also attended the event as special guests.
The speakers at the event recognized that people of Charghat are peaceful with a strong tradition of peaceful past. But due to overly partisan politics at the national level, they became divided. Now the time has come to reunite – not only unite the political leaders but also the people, especially women, youth and civil society groups.

 

Attending the events, BNP leader Md. Abu Said Chand said, “We will support the movement initiated by PPG Charghat to ensure peace and harmony among and within the political parties.” Local animator and president of Village Development Team member, Jhoaz Uddin said, “I have organized people to form village development teams. We are uniting the people at the grassroots for peace and prosperity.” 

The Hunger Project animators highlighted their peace-building efforts along with their attempts to engage youths for building community resilience against curses of child marriage and drug addiction. Shammi (Grade 9) expressed her experience at the event by saying, “Many of my friends took drugs out of their curiosity, and now some of them have become addicted. I am afraid that they might become the threat for us. If we can help them overcome their addiction, we could expect peace and harmony in our community.” 


The Peace Pressure Group (PPG) at Charghat Upazila of Rajshahi district organized a Harmony Festival. The event was attended by members of SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance, Unleashed Women Network, Village Development Team members, and Youth Ending Hunger. The event was presided over by Peace Ambassador and member, Rajshahi district Awami League Md. Saiful Islam Badshah, while Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh attended as the Chief Guest. Upazila Chairman and Chargat BNP President Md. Abu Said Chand and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Charghat Ashraful Islam, General Secretary of Charghat Upazila Awami League Fakrul Islam, President of Charghat Upazila Jatiyo Party Md. Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury also attended the event as special guests.
The speakers at the event recognized that people of Charghat are peaceful with a strong tradition of peaceful past. But due to overly partisan politics at the national level, they became divided. Now the time has come to reunite – not only unite the political leaders but also the people, especially women, youth and civil society groups.

 

Attending the events, BNP leader Md. Abu Said Chand said, “We will support the movement initiated by PPG Charghat to ensure peace and harmony among and within the political parties.” Local animator and president of Village Development Team member, Jhoaz Uddin said, “I have organized people to form village development teams. We are uniting the people at the grassroots for peace and prosperity.” 

The Hunger Project animators highlighted their peace-building efforts along with their attempts to engage youths for building community resilience against curses of child marriage and drug addiction. Shammi (Grade 9) expressed her experience at the event by saying, “Many of my friends took drugs out of their curiosity, and now some of them have become addicted. I am afraid that they might become the threat for us. If we can help them overcome their addiction, we could expect peace and harmony in our community.” 

 
 
 

Discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony” in Tarail, Kishoreganj
5 June 2018


Discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony” in Tarail, Kishoreganj
5 June 2018


Discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony” in Tarail, Kishoreganj
5 June 2018


Peace Ambassador Rabindra Sarker organized a discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony.” More than 50 community-based opinion leaders, including senior leaders of political parties, principals of colleges, religious leaders, Upazila Nirbahi Officers, Officers In-charge of Police Stations, journalists and representatives of various civil society organizations attended the event.

Sharif Noor Chowdhury, Chairman of Raouti Union Parishad said, “PPG has created such a great platform where anybody can come and express their opinions openly”. Chowdhury Mizanuzzaman, Officer in charge, Tarail Police Station said, “The burden on police will decrease as the PPG function effectively”.
Peace Ambassador Rabindra Sarker organized a discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony.” More than 50 community-based opinion leaders, including senior leaders of political parties, principals of colleges, religious leaders, Upazila Nirbahi Officers, Officers In-charge of Police Stations, journalists and representatives of various civil society organizations attended the event.

Sharif Noor Chowdhury, Chairman of Raouti Union Parishad said, “PPG has created such a great platform where anybody can come and express their opinions openly”. Chowdhury Mizanuzzaman, Officer in charge, Tarail Police Station said, “The burden on police will decrease as the PPG function effectively”.
Peace Ambassador Rabindra Sarker organized a discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony.” More than 50 community-based opinion leaders, including senior leaders of political parties, principals of colleges, religious leaders, Upazila Nirbahi Officers, Officers In-charge of Police Stations, journalists and representatives of various civil society organizations attended the event.

Sharif Noor Chowdhury, Chairman of Raouti Union Parishad said, “PPG has created such a great platform where anybody can come and express their opinions openly”. Chowdhury Mizanuzzaman, Officer in charge, Tarail Police Station said, “The burden on police will decrease as the PPG function effectively”.
 
 
 

Peace Ambassadors led Social Harmony workshops in Bhuapur, Tangail
May 2018


Peace Ambassadors led Social Harmony workshops in Bhuapur, Tangail
May 2018


Peace Ambassadors led Social Harmony workshops in Bhuapur, Tangail
May 2018


Peace Ambassadors Mirza Mohiuddin Ahmed and Shah Alam Pramanik, along with other PPG members, conducted three PAVE Harmony workshops with about 150 community members, especially opinion leaders, women and youth groups. These workshops focussed on the community’s role in maintaining social harmony as part of peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots level.
Peace Ambassadors Mirza Mohiuddin Ahmed and Shah Alam Pramanik, along with other PPG members, conducted three PAVE Harmony workshops with about 150 community members, especially opinion leaders, women and youth groups. These workshops focussed on the community’s role in maintaining social harmony as part of peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots level.
Peace Ambassadors Mirza Mohiuddin Ahmed and Shah Alam Pramanik, along with other PPG members, conducted three PAVE Harmony workshops with about 150 community members, especially opinion leaders, women and youth groups. These workshops focussed on the community’s role in maintaining social harmony as part of peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots level.
 
 
 

New PPG formed and Peace Ambassadors selected in Morelganj, Bagerhat
30 May 2018


New PPG formed and Peace Ambassadors selected in Morelganj, Bagerhat
30 May 2018


New PPG formed and Peace Ambassadors selected in Morelganj, Bagerhat
30 May 2018


The peacebuilding activities in Bangladesh has expanded into a new Upazila on May 2018, resulting in the formation of a new PPG in  Morelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district. Presided over by Md. Shah-E-Alam Bachchu, Upazila Chairman & Vice President of Bagerhat District Awami League, the PPG members unanimously selected three Peace Ambassadors and one PPG coordinator for the newly formed Morelganj PPG. Newly selected Peace Ambassadors are  M. Emdadul Haque, General Secretary, Morelgonj Upazila Awami League, Ms. Azmin Naher, Upazila Vice Chairman & Convener of Upazila Mohila  Awami League and Abdul Mazid Zabbar, President, Morelganj Pourashava Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Md. Zakir Hossain, Assistant Professor & General Secretary of Morelgonj NGO Foundation will act as the PPG Coordinator.

Mr. Bacchu, Upazila Chairman said, “We started a new journey by organizing like-minded, but diverse political leaders to bring peace and social harmony to Morelgonj Upazila.” 

 

Congratulations to the new team in Morelganj PPG! 

The peacebuilding activities in Bangladesh has expanded into a new Upazila on May 2018, resulting in the formation of a new PPG in  Morelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district. Presided over by Md. Shah-E-Alam Bachchu, Upazila Chairman & Vice President of Bagerhat District Awami League, the PPG members unanimously selected three Peace Ambassadors and one PPG coordinator for the newly formed Morelganj PPG. Newly selected Peace Ambassadors are  M. Emdadul Haque, General Secretary, Morelgonj Upazila Awami League, Ms. Azmin Naher, Upazila Vice Chairman & Convener of Upazila Mohila  Awami League and Abdul Mazid Zabbar, President, Morelganj Pourashava Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Md. Zakir Hossain, Assistant Professor & General Secretary of Morelgonj NGO Foundation will act as the PPG Coordinator.

Mr. Bacchu, Upazila Chairman said, “We started a new journey by organizing like-minded, but diverse political leaders to bring peace and social harmony to Morelgonj Upazila.” 

 

Congratulations to the new team in Morelganj PPG! 

The peacebuilding activities in Bangladesh has expanded into a new Upazila on May 2018, resulting in the formation of a new PPG in  Morelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district. Presided over by Md. Shah-E-Alam Bachchu, Upazila Chairman & Vice President of Bagerhat District Awami League, the PPG members unanimously selected three Peace Ambassadors and one PPG coordinator for the newly formed Morelganj PPG. Newly selected Peace Ambassadors are  M. Emdadul Haque, General Secretary, Morelgonj Upazila Awami League, Ms. Azmin Naher, Upazila Vice Chairman & Convener of Upazila Mohila  Awami League and Abdul Mazid Zabbar, President, Morelganj Pourashava Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Md. Zakir Hossain, Assistant Professor & General Secretary of Morelgonj NGO Foundation will act as the PPG Coordinator.

Mr. Bacchu, Upazila Chairman said, “We started a new journey by organizing like-minded, but diverse political leaders to bring peace and social harmony to Morelgonj Upazila.” 

 

Congratulations to the new team in Morelganj PPG! 

Peace Ambassador #2

 

The Hunger Project-Bangladesh launched the People Against Violence in Elections (PAVE) program in 2015, empowering a group of individuals from political parties and the civil society as members of Peace Pressure Groups (PPGs) and Peace Ambassadors. It was launched with the support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)Department for International Development (DFID) and in partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Democracy International (DI). At present we have 58 PPGs, 1362 PPG members, 174 Peace Ambassadors and 58 PPG Coordinators across 31 districts of 7 divisions of Bangladesh.

Included here are the activities of the PPG members and Peace Ambassadorsin their communities. They are using their new by acquired skills to resolve conflicts, bringing together people across political and cultural divides, and hold public events where leaders and communities publicly demonstrate their commitment to social cohesion and peace — setting the foundation for a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive Bangladesh.

Peace Ambassadors contribute to a peaceful city corporation election in Khulna
21 June 2018


The Khulna City Corporation (KCC) election was held on May 15, 2018. A total of 192 candidates contested mayoral and councilor races. PeaceAmbassadors and PPG members of Khulna city corporation along withSHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance carried out a month-long campaign for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. These efforts of Peace Ambassadors and PPG members created a greater sense of tolerance among candidates, paving the way for interactions between citizen and political leaders.

Below are campaign highlights:

15 April 2018
A Press Conference was held in Khulna Press Club highlighting the roles of all the stakeholders – the Election Commission, law enforcement agencies, political parties, candidates, media and the civil society for free, fair, peaceful and credible election. The speakers highlighted that a peaceful election day does not necessarily reflect peaceful election. The election is a process; the whole process needs to be fair and the stakeholders must play their desired roles for a Peacefuland credible election.

28 April 2018
All five mayoral candidates were invited to a “Meet-the-candidate Forum” in Shaheed Hadis Park, Khulna. After a brief presentation about their election manifesto, all candidates took an oath before the voters that they would follow the electoral Code of Conduct, not misuse the power if elected and accept the election results if it is held in a transparent and credible manner.

More than 3,000 voters participated in the event. Voters also asked them questions which they answered.

The whole event had a festive mood and it allowed the voters to know more about the candidates for making informed decisions.

Following the success of the mayoral forum, Peace Ambassadors and SHUJAN organized similar events during May 3 to 12, 2018 in 14 wards with councilor candidates.

12 May 2018
Human Chain was organized at Shibbari More, Khulna to remind all the stakeholders about their role for promoting free, fair and peacefulelection. The speakers also urged voters to vote for honest, capable and clean candidates.


May 1-12 2018
A cultural team was formed to run a Cultural Campaign to promote voter awareness. The cultural team went to every nook and corner of the city to create awareness among voters to vote for clean candidates and to renounce violence in the election.

April 1- May 13, 2018
Social Media Campaign using Facebook (www.facebook.com/shujan.bd) was launched to engage voters, especially the first time voters. The social media profiled video interviews of all mayoral candidates. It also featured comparative statements of the antecedents of candidates, highlighting their assets, liabilities,  education, criminal records to help voters to make informed choices.

Political Leaders signed Code of Conduct (CoC) in Dakshin (South) Sunamganj, Sunamganj
12 May 2018



Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila brought together political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad) along with local civil society and media representatives to sign a Code of Conduct (CoC), committing to a pluralistic, tolerant and inclusive society.
The CoC includes commitments to: avoid violence and uphold democratic values and civic rights; be respectful of individual’s dignity and right of self-expression; recognize the existence of and be respectful to diversity; promote pluralism; resist ethnic and religious extremism and intolerance; and resolve conflicts through peacefuldialogue.

Ataur Rahman, Secretary Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila Awami League said about the CoC, “We are committed to have a violence-free national election and ensurepeaceful coexistence in our community.” Similar views were echoed by Faruk Ahmed, President, Dakshin Sunamganj Upazila BNP and stated, “Such events should be replicated all over Bangladesh.” 

Political Leaders sign CoC in Jamalganj, Dinajpur
15 May 2018


Peace Ambassadors and PPG members in Jamalganj Upazila invited forty-seven (47) political party leaders from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party (Ershad), elected local government representatives, government officials, CSO and media personalities to a ceremony to sign a Code of Conduct. Attending the event, Faruk Ahmed, President, Jamalganj Upazila Jatiya Party said, “We all have to work together to keep the next election free from violence.”  Abdul Malik, Secretary, Jamalganj Upazila BNP said, “Without the commitment of the ruling party, the upcoming national election will not be free and fair. However, we do not want conflict in our Upazila.”

Abul Hashim, Officer In-charge, Jamalganj Police Station said, “The law enforcement agencies will play a neutral role during the election and will support the efforts to maintain peace in the area”. Shamim Al Emran, Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, “I am really happy to see leaders from all political parties come together to sign a peace treaty for establishing peace and harmony in their community.” 

Inter-Party Peace Dialogue in Derai, Sunamganj
23 May 2018



Peace Ambassadors and PPG members organized a peace event titled “Inter-Party Peace Dialogue”. More than 50 political leaders from all major political parties attended the event. The dialogue was interactive and people shared their diverse opinions publicly. Below are some notable quotes from the event:“To have a free, fair, credible and violence-free national election, the EC should apply its power with neutrality.” 
-Joynal Abedin, President, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu“Awami League believes in the free, fair, credible and violence-free election. The Election Commission should strictly play its desired role.”
-Advocate Shohel Ahmed Soil Mia,Senior Vice-President, Derai Upazila Awami League“BNP will not indulge in any non-democratic or violent action during the election.” 
-Kamruzzaman, President, Derai Upazila BNP
“During the national election, the government should act neutrality for the sake of democracy and people’s right.” 
-Rashid Mia, Secretary, Derai Upazila BNP“Participation of all political parties must be ensured in the upcoming national election and there should be a level playing field for all.”
-Shiraj Daula, Vice-president, Derai Upazila Awami League“Firstly, we need the participationof all political parties in the national election. Secondly, we need neutral EC, administration and law enforcement agencies. We also have to avoid the use of muscle power in elections.”
-Aminul Islam Amin, Secretary, Derai Upazila Jashad-Enu,Facilitating the interactions, PeaceAmbassador and President of Derai Press Club, Shamsul Islam Sarder said, “The EC should be a totally independent institution to ensure a free, fair, credible and violent free election. It must ensure the participation of all political parties in the election.” 

From all these discussions a consensus emerged that all participants will work together to make the upcoming Parliament election free and fair and maintain peace in their area.

All Party IFTAR for Harmony in Rajshahi
May 2018


In the spirit of self-discipline, self-purification and charity of the holy month of Ramadan, the PeaceAmbassadors and the PeacePressure Groups (PPGs) members of Rajshahi district invited political leaders to Iftar for Harmonygatherings in their Upazilas. Invited by the PPGs of Puthia, Paba and Mohanpur Upazilas, about 100 political leaders, including Presidents and Secretaries of major political parties as well as civil society leaders and media representatives gathered in their respective Upazilas. PeaceAmbassador and Secretary, Puthiya Upazila Awami League Md. Abdul Malek, Peace Ambassador and Mayor of Nawhata Municipality Sheikh Mokbul Hossain from Paba PPG and Peace Ambassador and Assistant Professor of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali from Mohanpur PPG organized these events. The events were intended to promote inter-party interactions and fellowship.

Attending the event, PeaceAmbassador and Awami League leader Md. Abdul Malak said, “Thepeacebuilding movement is our own responsibility. We have to spread the movement to Union levels and we will form PeacePressure Groups in all unions of Puthia.”
Peace Ambassador and Teacher of Mohanpur Degree College Md. Ashad Ali said, “To strengthen thepeacebuilding movement, we will have to keep involving more influential political leaders.”

Social Harmony Festival in Charghat, Rajshahi
7 June 2018



The Peace Pressure Group (PPG) at Charghat Upazila of Rajshahi district organized a Harmony Festival. The event was attended by members of SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance, Unleashed Women Network, Village Development Team members, and Youth Ending Hunger. The event was presided over by Peace Ambassador and member, Rajshahi district Awami League Md. Saiful Islam Badshah, while Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh attended as the Chief Guest. Upazila Chairman and Chargat BNP President Md. Abu Said Chand and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Charghat Ashraful Islam, General Secretary of Charghat Upazila Awami League Fakrul Islam, President of Charghat Upazila Jatiyo Party Md. Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury also attended the event as special guests.
The speakers at the event recognized that people of Charghat are peaceful with a strong tradition of peaceful past. But due to overly partisan politics at the national level, they became divided. Now the time has come to reunite – not only unite the political leaders but also the people, especially women, youth and civil society groups.

Attending the events, BNP leader Md. Abu Said Chand said, “We will support the movement initiated by PPG Charghat to ensure peaceand harmony among and within the political parties.” Local animator and president of Village Development Team member, Jhoaz Uddin said, “I have organized people to form village development teams. We are uniting the people at the grassroots for peace and prosperity.” 

The Hunger Project animators highlighted their peace-building efforts along with their attempts to engage youths for building community resilience against curses of child marriage and drug addiction. Shammi (Grade 9) expressed her experience at the event by saying, “Many of my friends took drugs out of their curiosity, and now some of them have become addicted. I am afraid that they might become the threat for us. If we can help them overcome their addiction, we could expect peaceand harmony in our community.” 

Discussion meeting on “Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony” in Tarail, Kishoreganj
5 June 2018


Peace Ambassador Rabindra Sarker organized a discussion meeting on“Citizens’ Responsibilities to Promote Social Harmony.” More than 50 community-based opinion leaders, including senior leaders of political parties, principals of colleges, religious leaders, Upazila Nirbahi Officers, Officers In-charge of Police Stations, journalists and representatives of various civil society organizations attended the event.

Sharif Noor Chowdhury, Chairman of Raouti Union Parishad said, “PPG has created such a great platform where anybody can come and express their opinions openly”. Chowdhury Mizanuzzaman, Officer in charge, Tarail Police Station said,“The burden on police will decrease as the PPG function effectively”.

Peace Ambassadors led Social Harmony workshops in Bhuapur, Tangail
May 2018


Peace Ambassadors Mirza Mohiuddin Ahmed and Shah Alam Pramanik, along with other PPG members, conducted three PAVE Harmony workshops with about 150 community members, especially opinion leaders, women and youth groups. These workshops focussed on the community’s role in maintaining social harmony as part of peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots level.

New PPG formed and Peace Ambassadors selected in Morelganj, Bagerhat
30 May 2018


The peacebuilding activities in Bangladesh has expanded into a new Upazila on May 2018, resulting in the formation of a new PPG in  Morelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district. Presided over by Md. Shah-E-Alam Bachchu, Upazila Chairman & Vice President of Bagerhat District Awami League, the PPG members unanimously selected three PeaceAmbassadors and one PPG coordinator for the newly formed Morelganj PPG. Newly selected Peace Ambassadors are  M. Emdadul Haque, General Secretary, Morelgonj Upazila Awami League, Ms. Azmin Naher, Upazila Vice Chairman & Convener of Upazila Mohila  Awami League and Abdul Mazid Zabbar, President, Morelganj Pourashava Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Md. Zakir Hossain, Assistant Professor & General Secretary of Morelgonj NGO Foundation will act as the PPG Coordinator.

Mr. Bacchu, Upazila Chairman said, “We started a new journey by organizing like-minded, but diverse political leaders to bringpeace and social harmony to Morelgonj Upazila.” Congratulations to the new team in Morelganj PPG!