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The Jessore district is primarily an agricultural area in the north-west part of Bangladesh. The area has an estimated 2.5 million people and 525,000 families. There is an urgent need for assistance in this area as the literacy rate is just 51% and a majority of people are landless day laborers.

Empower Global chose this area to establish a Training and Microcredit Centre to help alleviate the abject poverty in the area. A 1200 ft deep tube well was installed to provide safe and arsenic free drinking water. The Centre opened in March 2012 and has living accommodations, washroom facilities, and kitchen and dining facilities.

Planned Impact of the Microcredit Program

The main objective of the program is to help families improve their livelihoods by providing access to - financial, social, healthcare and educational services.

A formal Microcredit Program has been approved and we are proceeding with the provision of small loans to qualified beneficiaries to help them build their asset base and thereby improve their livelihoods.

It is anticipted that the mirocredit loans will be used to - buy seed & equipment for gardening & farming - and living assets such as chickens, pigs, goats, cows, etc. Loan repayments are structured to match the business cycle.

Measureable outcomes to monitor the success of the program -
•Improved household income by 20 %
•Improved savings habits evidenced by an increase in assets year over year
•Improved status of women in the home as well as in the community—evidenced by observation and by community involvement
•Underprivileged children are educated—evidenced by the number of children in school
•Improved water & sanitation facilities—evidenced by a reduction in sick days and improved health


HOW YOU CAN HELP Microcredit Funding Needed

Microcredit Funding: $200
Provides a loan to one family to purchase a - cow, chickens,  goats, pigs, etc.

Total Funds Needed: $75,000
To establish a fully funded self-sustaining Microcredit operation.  

We want to provide a ladder for at least 1000 families to climb out of poverty. Microcredit enables micro-entrepreneurs to stabilize and expand their businesses and achieve the outcomes noted above.

2. School for children: $25 supports a child in school for a month
Currently, there are 45 children receiving three grade levels of education. This program will give them a greater opportunity to become self-reliant. The education helps children to become literate as well as receive much needed nutritional and healthcare training.

3. Health and Social training: $300 supports a teacher for a month.
This community development training program includes -
A. Sanitation & hygiene as well as providing access to clean water
B. Benefits of improved nutrition
C. The status of women, and freedom from social isolation through group interaction.
D. Character and values: Cooperation, sharing, integrity, work ethic, ethics, morality, etc
E. Cultural issues: Appropriate training helps to prevent early marriage, dowry, polygamy, animal sacrifices, etc. Training helps to free people engaged in harmful and destructive cultural practices.
F. Freedom from bondage: Economic assistance helps families to avoid bonded child labor & prostitution, and also helps families to avoid the usury rates of money lenders.
G. Personal Empowerment: By helping the poor to help themselves, we give them dignity, self-respect and hope.