Village Development Committee for Community Empowerment

"We are really happy to contribute to a better service for the community and will continue our services as per our capacity", says a member of Village Development Committee.

Community participation and community leadership are a must for a positive communal level change and sustainability. Save the Children launched the idea of active community participation through Village Development Committee (VDC) while running a five year Nobo Jibon program.Taherpur is an example of this kind of village and its Village Development Committee is one of the 1156 VDCs Save the Children has
started in the Southern part of Bangladesh, the Barisal Division.

Each VDC consists of 15 members. In Taherpur the committee was founded in October 2011. The village's total area is seven square kilometers, with a population of 1277 in 243 households. Taherpur has been involved in Nobo Jibon program since 2011.

The main purpose of the VDC is to involve the community in actively participating in the development of the village. Speed Trust, an NGO partner, contributes and provides capacity building training with related other training to improve the capacity, skills and knowledge of the VDC members.

After the training, the members are involved in social activities for community empowerment like action plan and community needs together with Nobo Jibon. VDC members play an active role in motivating for and involving in community participation. Members help to identify program participants and try to support them in nutrition matters, income generating activities. Every two months the VDC leader
conducts and facilitates meeting with members, subcommittees as well as discusses questions relevant to community people with the assistance of a Nobo Jibon Field Facilitator. They maintain a VDC meeting resolution book.

With the guidance from Nobo Jibon, a center for VDC multipurpose social activities, monthly meetings and was set up. Rezaul Sikder is a VDC member and a wealthy person who donated two decimals of land for the construction of a house. The donation was done without any conditions. Other contributors were the local UP Chairman, a female member, VDC members and its subcommittee, villagers, BRDB and forest officials.

VDC members occasionally assist and monitor different activities. They have helped many people to get rid of extreme poverty. VDC members like Halima Begun and Yasin Mridha also look out for extreme poor people who are not Nobo Jibon beneficiaries. They also worked with the forest department for community plantation program, arranged pucca road along the pond's bank and equipped the mosque with
hygienic essentials.

The five year long Nobo Jibon program is over but the trained committee members will remain as a resource in each village.

- Feature prepared by Save the Children in Bangladesh  

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