Washim Mia, Staff Reporter: SNV Netherlands Development Organization organised a Project Dissemination event on 28th September at Le Meridien, Dhaka. The theme of the event was ‘Inclusive Business Program Sharing and Learning’ which marked the conclusion of ‘Working with Women – 2’ project that has been running since 2017. More than 150 participants from Government, NGOs, private sector, garment factories, brands, media and other development partners attended the event.
Mr. Mostafa Jamal Pasha, Director, BKMEA; Mr. Md. Shahidullah Azim, Vice President, BGMEA; Dr. Ahmed Al-Kabir, Founder and Chief Advisor, RTM International; Ms. Mushfiqua Zaman Satiar, Senior Policy Adviser, SRHR and Gender, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; and Mr. Md. Aminul Islam, Director (Finance) and Line Director (FP-FSD), Directorate General of Family Planning were present as special guests.
The event was started with the welcome speech by Ms. Fartheeba Rahat Khan, Team leader, RMG Inclusive Business Programs.
Then, the representatives of partner organisations shared their interventions and achievements from the project. Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) shared their experience regarding workplace laws and policies, Phulki expressed their share of learnings through implementation of MHM model in garment factories. Likewise, Sajida Foundation, UCEP, Alpha Islami Life Insurance Ltd. and Pragati Life Insurance Ltd. had respectively shared their work under the project.
Guests of the event visited every and collected information of the partner organisations through different communication materials. All the 6 implementing partners had given a stall for showcasing their work. There were 3 other stalls that belonged to the 3 New IB Pilots: Ella Pad, Moner Bondhu and CMED. At the beginning of 2019, 2020 and 2021, an advertisement was circulated for submission of IB solution for Health and Wellbeing of RMG workers where new IB pilots were selected through a competitive process. One from each round was selected for presentation and stall display.
Afterwards, spokesperson from 6 factories implementing Health Insurance Plus Model, Power Plus Model, and MHM Model shared their experiences and the benefit they received. This was followed by a short presentation by Ella Pad, Moner Bondhu and CMED.
The closing session started with the recorded speech of Ms. Ismene R.A.C. Stalpers, Country Director, SNV Bangladesh. The special guests also conveyed their praise for SNV to come up with such innovative Inclusive Business models in the RMG sector of Bangladesh with this project since 2014 to improve the health and wellbeing of the workers, with a particular focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
Finally, at the end of the event all partners were recognised for successful implementation of the interventions. Ten factories (Alpha Clothing Ltd., Tusuka Jeans Ltd., Ever Smart Bangladesh Ltd., NR Group, Comfit Composite Knit Ltd., Auko- Tex Group, Southern Garments Ltd., South East Textiles Ltd., Renaissance Apparels Ltd. and Essential Clothing Ltd.) received the crest. The 6 implementing partners, BILS, Sajida Foundation,UCEP Bangladesh, Phulki, Pragati Life insunance ltd., Alpha Life insurance ltd. were also recognised with crests afterwards.
Later, crests were handed over to the 8 strategic partners- Department of Population Science (University of Dhaka), Health Economics Unit (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), ILO – Better Work Bangladesh, BGMEA University of Fashion Technology, Fair Wear Foundation, Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DBCCI), Institute of Health Economics (University of Dhaka), and The RMG Times, official Media Partner of the project.
Meanwhile 02 factories, Pandora Sweater Ltd., Millennium Textiles (Southern) Limited, who are continuing Health Insurance programs and MHM program even after the closure of SNV’s funding support were given special recognitions for being champions in worker health and wellbeing initiative.
The program came to end with vote of thanks.