Bangladesh is a country of different ethnic communities and cultures. Indigenous people with their distinct traditions, livelihood and living have enriched the cultural diversity of the country. But like many other countries in the world, indigenous people in Bangladesh continue to be disproportionately represented in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, experiencing a history of discrimination and marginalization. The situation for indigenous people in plain-land districts of north-western Bangladesh are worse; there remains a very high rate of poverty, landlessness and absence of targeted development interventions. Their livelihood options are very limited, and many indigenous families have been removed from their
ancestral homesteads by locally influential land-grabbers. This situation is further aggravated when the issues of human rights and policy negligence become constant realities in their daily life. BRAC’s integrated development programme for indigenous people aims to empower them through improved livelihood opportunities, protecting and promoting indigenous cultural practices, building leadership capacity and advocating for indigenous peoples’ issues among the wider community.
Goal and Objectives:
The goal of the IDP-IP project is to Empower the poorest and most marginalized communities of indigenous peoples living in the plains of Bangladesh gain greater access to and control over resources, decisions and actions. To achieve the goal, following objectives are envisioned:
- To improve livelihood conditions of indigenous persons through skill development, relevant entrepreneurship, and other supports (improved socioeconomic condition).
- To promote greater unity, cultural integrity, organizational capacity, voice and dignity among communities of indigenous peoples (improved social position)
- To create awareness on and advocate for indigenous peoples’ issues among non-indigenous community, service providers and policy actors at different levels (improved governance/create enabling environment)