:: GRAUS (Gram Unnayon Sangathon) Organization for Rural Socio-economic Development

Experience and Achievements


Livelihood Development:  In partnership with Helen Keller International, GRAUS set up 25 village model farms (VMF) from 2005 to 2008.  Under each model farm, women from 40 families are formed into two groups, each having a woman leader.  Under the project 1,000 families were provided with seasonal vegetable seeds, poultry, rabbits and technical training, fencing material, medicine, vaccine, and fertilizers.  The model farms were also given water pumps for irrigation purposes.  The beneficiaries were also trained in marketing skills, and the growers were encouraged to do the marketing in a cooperative way.   The agricultural or poultry produce in the group are collected and entrusted with the group leaders for sales in the market.  This helps the very small growers to sell their produce in the market at a good price.  Other villagers also come to the VMF to learn about cooperative growing and marketing techniques.

Disaster Risk Reduction:
In partnership with USAID, UNDP-CHTDF, GRAUS has jointly been implementing “Support implementation of CHT Watershed Co-Management Activity for Bohmong Circle Areas”. The project helped the communities protect 20 Village Common Forests (VCF) in the Bohmong Circle (Rwangchari, Ruma, Thanchi, Lama, Alikadam and Naikkhyongchari of Bandarban District) by working closely with community volunteers, who worked for livelihood development and disaster risk reduction activities.  Relevant stakeholders have been coordinated and our achievements include:

  • Contingency fund for disaster risk reduction was given to 20 VCFs (100,000 taka for each VCF).  The VCFs already developed manuals and action plans for proper utilization of the contingency fund and for disaster risk reduction activities.
  • Livelihood development grants for 182 households (vulnerable women beneficiaries received taka 5,000 each) have been distributed for investments in agriculture and livestock. 
  • 607 general households were given five to ten thousand taka from the revolving fund, for agriculture, livestock and poultry. 
  • 20 VCF committees received 50,000 taka each for their VCF development. 

20 water technologies (7 GFS, 3ring well, 10deep tube wells), were set up after feasibility survey.

Vulnerable Group Development (VGD): GRAUS undertook training sessions on income generation activities under the VGD programme of WFP from 2004 to 2008.  Destitute village women, numbering about 3,450 were trained in IG activities by GRAUS according to individual choices and made to be self-reliant.  The 1,000 vulnerable women after receiving a small grant of taka 6,000 each started their entrepreneurship by investing in small-scale village shops, animal husbandry, weaving, etc. GRAUS played a coordinating role in the project by establishing linkage with line departments, offering capacity building trainings, follow-up, and including them in the mainstream development process of GRAUS.

As a continuation of the programme, Cash for Work was started in partnership with WFP in August 2009.  3000 beneficiaries were covered under the scheme; among them a total of 1000 received the IGA trainings and cash grants for entrepreneurship development, in which the beneficiaries were extremely poor women in the community. 

Emergency Response and rehabilitation:  When the rodent crisis broke out in 2007, miles after miles of hill areas were devastated after the rodents came by the thousands and made the entire area devoid of crops and seeds by gnawing into whatever was available.  The WFP declared the entire Chittagong Hill Tracts as disaster area.  GRAUS in partnership with WFP covered the entire Bandarban Hill District in emergency response and rehabilitation, and took a timely action to stop a great human crisis because of the resultant famine, and also loss in traditional crops and vegetable seeds.  The total number of families covered by the project included 10,300.   As a result GRAUS in partnership with WFP was able to rehabilitate the affected population and regenerate traditional agriculture for food security. 

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