It is our great pleasure to state that we have passed glorious 30 years from birth in 1986. We during these three decades have faced people’s problems, sufferings and facilitated to their development in a holistic way. Women, children who are deprived of opportunities have been benefited by our activities. Char, plain land, flood plains, coastal as well as riverine char areas are the areas we have covered by our programs. Our assignments have made the poor and ultra poor people attain social, economical as well as political empowerment.
We, in principle, abide by some core values with respect to people’s development. We maintain order, and follow systematic approaches to implement activities. We believe that people’s development is in people’s hand. Thus, we have mobilized the community and provided training to enhance beneficiary’s knowledge, awareness and capacity as well on different issues including leadership and management. We have implemented our programs involving the beneficiaries in project implementation process i.e. problem assessment; need identification, planning, implementation and monitoring. We set off the activities through people-centered development approach that means, the people are in the centre that played pivotal role in leading the development process. We, as outsider, facilitated them. In the end, the process has helped empower the disadvantaged people and built up their commitment.
Achievements: In last 30 years we have worked in 26 districts, 69 Upazila and 327 unions of different geographical locations. We have undertaken as many as 67 projects during this period, provided services to more than 122, 70, 000 beneficiaries. Among them some 61, 22,730 are men and 61, 47,270 are women, some 8, 31, 111 are adolescent boys, 8,24,732 adolescent girls and 20,85,900 children. We have achieved considerable success that has contributed to improvement in lives and livelihoods, empowerment and poverty alleviation. Program-wise achievements are inscribed underneath:
Education and training program: During these 30 years, about 5250 children have received education through our ECD program. As many as 49012 children have been graduated from our NFPE program. We have opened numbers of primary schools in the community. From those schools, two schools have been transformed in to high school. About 7255 student have already received education from those high schools. Similarly, our two high schools have been transformed in to colleges in two areas. About 300 students get admitted in those colleges every year. As many as 3150 students have passed HSC from those schools as of today. We have operated as many as 1055 Khelipori Schools for poor children’s education at their early age. Some 70,312 children have received education from these schools. It is our great achievement that 45 khelipori schools have been taken over by the government to mainstream with its primary education programs.
Women empowerment: Our women empowerment program has worked with 24, 54, and 000. Around 100000 women manage their community’s development through self-help approach. They are negotiating with Union Parishad for their development and get the ultra poor women enrolled in the different safety-net programs. Women are taking part in budget preparation process at Union Parishad and get their issues incorporated. Already 12 (Twelve) women beneficiaries have been elected to Union Parishad as members contesting in direct poll. The women also are taking part in other electoral process like election campaign, candidate selection etc. Women are taking part in social events like arbitration, local Salish, village courts in LGIs. We by this program have stopped early marriage at Kathali Union of Jaldhaka Upazila in Nilphamari district. Simultaneously dowry practice, divorce etc. in all of our working areas have been reduced. Nilphamari district have been reduced. One of our women leaders has received Joyeeta Award for her outstanding contribution to society.
Food security & livelihood: As of today we have given support to about 30,67,500 people by our food security program. At least 70% of the total beneficiaries have gained food security in different areas. Simultaneously; they own assets. For example, we have provided 21057 women with assets (cow, goat, and poultry) for generation and regeneration. Our food security program has not only helped in food production, but it has also assisted people in developing fruit village. Many villages in Nilphamari Sadar Upazila turned in to fruit villages. They meet nutritional demand and earn money by selling fruits. A total of 626000 HH people manage to improve food security through home gardening and agricultural activities. Some 20000 HHs beneficiaries belong to assets such as cow, goat and poultry etc.
WaSH: About 14 districts, 33 Upazila and 208 Unions have been covered by our WaSH program. We have installed TWs, Hygienic latrines, climate resilient latrines, platforms and worked for hygiene promotion. About 141 Unions declared open defecation free areas. About 40 lacs (4.00 millions) people are enjoying safe, hygienic water and sanitation facilities in different districts.
Our WaSH program encompasses many components. We apart from installation of TW, DTW, and Hygienic latrine at Community, bazaar, and schools with menstrual hygiene facilities work with Menstrual Hygiene Management. We work with Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). The women are given education about MHM, SRHR. We also provide ANC, PNC services to the women; train TBAs and mothers on reproductive health and child feeding.
Climate Change and Disaster Management: Our contribution in Climate change and disaster management is noteworthy. This program has covered around 12, 27, 000 people in the affected areas. We have undertaken relief and rehabilitation program and some 3,20,000.00 families could manage to return to their normal life. We have constructed Cyclone shelters at Kutubdia and Banshkhali.
Last 30 years were as bright as gold for UST. We have gained honor, supports and dignity. We have achieved prestige; and above all reorganization in the development sector. UST has contributed to poverty alleviation creating access to food production. Its achievements still twinkle and attract others as models to follow for sustainable development.