ADRA Receives Best Practices Award
for Women Empowerment Project

Effort helps women, communities in Bangladesh.

BY CHRISTINA ZAIBACK, ADRA International

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been awarded the Best Practices and Innovations (BPI) award for Improving Livelihoods Through Women Empowerment by InterAction, the largest U.S.-based alliance of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

During a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., InterAction recognized ADRA as one of the five leading humanitarian agencies for work in agriculture and rural livelihoods.  InterAction’s selection committee determined ADRA’s Livelihood Through Women Empowerment Project (WEP) best met their criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, gender equity, sustainability, and ability for project replication.

“ADRA’s successful winning of Inter-
Action’s Best Practice and Innovations award reflects a tremendous achievement by ADRA in a focus on livelihood and women,” commented InterAction president and CEO, Sam Worthington.  “It shows to the broader food security [community] that there are practices that can be measured and brought to scale, and ultimately and most importantly, can touch and change the lives of women.”

AWARD WINNER: Elidon Bardhi (right), country director for ADRA Bangladesh, receives a Best Practices award during a ceremony held by InterAction in Washington, D.C. [PHOTO: ADRA Inernational]
This award recognizes ADRA’s ongoing grassroots project in Mymensingh district, Bangladesh, aimed at alleviating poverty through strengthening social and economic status of women and their families. 

“Poverty is very complex, and we need an integrated approach to conquer it,” stated ADRA Bangladesh country director Elidon Bardhi. “Encouraging the entire community to participate in the program activities developed a joint confidence that the program was benefiting the entire community, rather than just segments of it.”

ADRA recognizes the harsh reality many women in Bangladesh live in, and through the empowerment project the agency has improved the lives of 5,400 women and their families. Targeting the poor and vulnerable, the project aided in increasing community literacy, improving health through prevention and good health practices, and increasing household income through training in income-generation activities. 

As a result of ADRA’s training, 80 percent of participants now have the ability to read, write, and actively partake in family-making decisions and manage healthy homes. Also, 70 percent of participants have increased their household income by 20 percent through the income-generating activities, and many more have implemented new agricultural technologies that have increased crop production and diversified the community’s diet.

“ADRA’s recognition in gender empowerment is a testimony to the quality of ADRA’s work and the expertise of our staff,” said Ken Flemmer, ADRA International vice president for programs.




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