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A group of young social workforce of Thakurgaon District initiated ESDO primarily in order to support the 1988 flood victims. Afterwards the close association and involvement with the community especially with the disadvantaged section of the society inspired them to feel and realize that a planned and organized effort is imperative to change the fate of the poorest people in general and the women in particular. Out of the urge and their heart-felt realization, ESDO emerged as a Social Institution in Bangladesh.
Micro Finance Program : A successful strategy to fight poverty
Micro-credit is the largest program of ESDO in perspective of staff, financial involvement and belongingness which was started since 1991 during the era of early beginning of journey and has now being winged with 10 sister project to supplementing and complementing income earning scope and opportunities lying at the different strata of business approaches both at the rural and urban community for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and to foster dignity and quality of life of poor, vulnerable, down trodden especially women and men with the partnership of PKSFin the 12 district of Bangladesh. a) Rural Micro Credit (RMC): It has started in 1991 specially designed for rural women and poor by organizing group and establishing savings scheme; including loan distribution for their income-earning activities like different agro-based enterprises small businesses. Up to June 2010, the project has supported 30396 participants of this project have received credit The project is being implemented in 15 upazilas under 09 districts. As of now the participants of this project are engaged with 77 trades with skill and practical knowledge. The project is being funded by PKSF in order to increase the income of urban poor through providing required microcredit support to the urban poor and vulnerable with skills, knowledge and regular follow up support. A total amount of TK. 867544000/- has disbursed by ESDO for Rural Micro Credit Program. b) Urban Micro Credit (UMC): The UMC project has been implemented in Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Panchagarh, Rangpur and Lalmonirhat Pourashavas since 2001 covering a total of 8504 participants up to June, 2010 has received credit support for income generation activities, Accordingly, all these 8504 participants have invested the credit in various IGAs. The project is being funded by PKSF in order to increase the income of urban poor through providing required microcredit support to the urban poor and vulnerable with skills, knowledge and regular follow up support. A total amount of TK. 706768000/- has disbursed by ESDO for Urban Micro Credit Program. c) Participatory Livestock Development Project (PLDP-2): This project has been implemented since 1998 in Thakurgaon Sadar, Ranisankail, Baliadangi, Pirgonj and Haripur upazilas of Thakurgaon district and Boda, Debigonj and Tetulia of Panchagarh district with the financial support of PKSF and Asian Development Bank. The Prime objective of the project is to enable poor and vulnerable increasing productivity and income by receiving microcredit support and required skill training for cow and poultry rearing, beef fattening and breeding. A total of 21083 rural poor and vulnerable families have been served through this project. In 2009-2010 a total of 21000 participants have received training on enterprise development and provided with credit support for investing in new enterprises. A total amount of TK. 94844400/- has disbursed by ESDO for Participatory Livestock Development Project (PLDP-2). d) Micro Enterprise Lending (MEL): This project is developed and implemented with a view to providing knowledge, skill, information and requisite credit support to the small entrepreneurs for creation of self-employment and increase of their income through improving the quality of the products and developing functional linkage with the relevant market actors (buyers). The project is being implemented in 9 districts of Bangladesh with funding support from PKSF since 2001. A total of 1700 entrepreneurs have been served through this project up to June,2010. A total amount of TK. 467540000/- has disbursed by ESDO for Micro Enterprise (ME).e) Financial Services for the poorest (FSP): This project has its specialty in supporting the poorest of the ultra core poor, destitute and extreme poor by providing minimum financial support with facilitative follow-up, training and package support for raising their income and improving the livelihoods. The project is being implemented in 11 unions of Thakurgaon Sadar upazila only with funding support from PKSF since December 2002. The project has served a total of 1198 extreme poor participants while a total of 1957 extreme poor participating households of this project was graduated and entered into Rural Micro Credit project. A total amount of Tk. 47947000/- has disbursed by ESDO FSP. f) Micro Credit for Ultra Poor Program (UPP): This is also a special project for the ultra poor to gaze how they are earning income financially and meliorating livelihoods. This project has been implemented at Thakurgaon Sadar, Ranisankail, Baliadangi, Pirgonj & Haripur of Thakurgaon, Boda, Debigonj, Tetulia, and Panchagarh Sadar & Atowary of Panchagarh and Birgonj & Bochagonj Upazila of Dinajpur district, Nilphamary Sadar, Domar & Dimla of Nilphamari district, Lalmonirhat Sadar of Lalmonirhat district and Sadullahpur, Dhaperhat and Sundargonj of Gaibandha district with the financial support of PKSF. The Project was started in 2004 and only in 2009-2010, it has entered into three new districts namely Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha, while expansion was also made in Panchagarh and Dinajpur districts. While a total of 52540 participants were served up to June 2010 by this project, 25280 of them have received skill development training on different trades and received credit support and disbursed Tk.1137078500/-. .g) Micro Finance For Marginal and Small Farmers Projects (MFMSFP): This project is just to provide agricultural technical assistance and soft loan to the marginal farmers who can’t afford requisite expenditure during cultivation of agricultural crops with a view to enable them increasing their production. The project is being implemented in all five upazilas of Thakurgaon district with a total of 4413 marginal and small farmers with financial support from IFAD and PKSF since 2006. In 2009-2010 a total of 3825 marginal and small farmers have received training, technical support and credit facilities and total amount of disbursement money Tk. 169195000/-. h) Seasonal Loan: This seasonal loan project is being implemented in Thakurgaon Sadar, Baliadangi, Pirgonj, Haripur and Ranisankail upazilas of Thakurgaon district, Panchagarh Sadar, Atwary, Boda, Debigonj and Tetulia of Panchagarh district, Birgonj & Bochagonj of Dinajpur district and Nilphamari Sadar, Domar and Dimla of Nilphamari district. The project has started in 2006 and funded by PKSF and has reached to a total of 498 participants. Based on the demand of the participants, the project has provided credit support to a total of 498 farmers and disbursement amount Tk. 24407000/- i) Livelihood Restoration Project (LRP): The LRP has been implemented in all five upazila of Thakurgaon district, all five upazila of Panchagarh district, Nilphamari Sadar, Domar and Dimla of Nilphamari district and Lalmonirhat sadar of Lalmonirhat district since 2007 with the financial support of PKSF. the project is working mostly with the poor people who have been affected by various natural disasters. In the reporting year, the project has worked with a total of 10640 households received credit support from the project for various purposes like purchasing consumables, medicine, house-repairing, tube well repairing etc. And disbursement amount Tk. 32087600.00 j) Programmed Initiative for Monga Eradication (PRIME): The PRIME is a specialized project designed and implemented to address the unique critical issue of Monga in the north-western districts. The project is being implemented in 19 upazilas under Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha districts with a target of 46,909 households. In 2009-2010, the project has provided skill development training to a total of 25280 participants on different trades and then provided credit on easy terms and conditions. k) Agriculture-Sector Microcredit Project (ASMP): With a view to help the poor and marginal farmers to increase the productivity of their land, ESDO with the financial support from PKSF started a project called ASMP in 2 upazilas of Panchagarh and Lalmonirhat districts as a pilot project. In 2009-10, the project has provided credit sippurt to a total of 132 poor and marginal farmers through 4 branch offices.
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