The first-ever stakeholders’ update session of the Pushti Ambassador Partnership (PAP) was held recently.

The event, held at the Daily Star Centre in Dhaka, saw the consortium partners sharing experiences and learnings of working on this project to date and how the project is impacting the areas of women entrepreneurship and nutrition in Bangladesh, according to a press release.

The Pushti Ambassador Partnership is a consortium of Arla Foods Bangladesh Limited (lead commercial partner), Bopinc (Lead non-commercial partner), Dnet and iSocial, funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

The programme is aligned with numerous UN Sustainable Development Goals, as it empowers women in remote areas with new skills, training, and a sustainable source of income. The programme is also helping the families who previously could not afford nutritious food intake regularly.

Initiated in August 2019, the programme aims to create 200 decent jobs and income opportunities for 5,000 female micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas by 2023.

After the primary target is met, the project will be extended to the rural distribution networks using innovative tools with the ambition to scale up to around 22,000 women by 2030 and serve as a model for economic empowerment through increased income opportunities in Bangladesh and beyond.

The project has onboarded 1,021 ambassadors to date while reaching out to approximately 112,545 people with the goodness and knowledge of nutrition.

The representatives from Arla Foods Bangladesh Limited, Bopinc, Dnet and iSocial along with key stakeholders such as The ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Government of Bangladesh, Nestle, GAIN, SUN Business Network, Care Nutrition, Digital Bangladesh, Digital Healthcare Solutions, and Bank Asia joined the programme.

Emphasising the unique partnership, Muntasir Saqib Khan, managing director of Bopinc, said, “The partnership among Bopinc, Arla, Dnet and iSocial is the most interesting part of this project to me since the four organisations come with four different types of expertise and knowledge.”

But while working for the PAP project, they become one single team to resolve challenges and bring out successful outcomes, he said.

“The Covid-19 had disrupted both people’s income and market price. Additionally, there were pre-existing nutritional imbalances, in urban and rural areas alike. Relying solely on the market will be insufficient and awareness is very important. We believe that the issue is solvable if the female members of rural families have access to knowledge of nutrition and the required food, ” said Ananya Raihan, chief executive officer of iSocial.

One of the Pushti Ambassadors Beby Begum from Jashore stated, “This project has helped me gain confidence and break social taboos of women working door-to-door. I am now more capable of caring for my family. I am thankful for this opportunity.”

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