(Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha)

TMSS, formerly known as Thengamara Sabuj Sangha, was established as a Social Development Organization in 1964 nearby the oldest historical city of Bangladesh Mahasthangarh in Bogra. Later on in 1980, it was reformed and took the name Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS). It works for human development focusing mainly women and children. Over the years, TMSS has gradually evolved into a large and multifaceted development activities through out the whole country with the objectives of poverty alleviation and empowering of the women.

TMSS has been operating different social development programs for its members with the assistance of development partners other than PKSF. These support programs have been implementing with the assistance of Sonali Bank, World Fish Center, USAID, ILO, OXFAM, Department of Agricultural Extension, Fourth Fishery and other Development Partners. It is noteworthy that the above support programs have direct favorable impact in creating an enabling environment for operating MF programs successfully.

Human Development and Training Program: Human Resources Division of TMSS offers continuous training facilities to its staff and members from other NGOs for their capacity building in undertaking development activities. These training programs are skill-based and right-based. Beneficiaries are made aware through different programs about water and sanitation, education, health, HIV/AIDS, human rights etc. Post training support and training for appropriate technology among beneficiaries are given on regular basis. Deserving staff members are awarded and recognized for their extra-ordinary performance. Cultural team of TMSS initiates cultural activities to develop their cultural talents and awareness building.

Agriculture and Para Agriculture Program: TMSS has been engaged in agriculture related activities since 1986. The agricultural related activities include afforestation through Social Forestry Program and Village & Farm Forestry Program (3,850,000 saplings planted so far), Plant Nursery program under which 150 farmers were trained who raise average of 50000 saplings per year, Horticulture program to grow fruits and vegetables in own farm houses, Seed Processing & Distribution program through which 9100 kg of seeds of different crops were produced for own consumption as well as for sale at low price among the farmers. There are other technology-based programs under agricultural program also. Para agriculture, with minimum requirement of land and capital, has proven beneficial to many members who were supported by TMSS with credit, technology and marketing. Para agricultural activities include poultry farming, livestock farming, poultry hatchery, fruit and vegetable farming, beef fattening, goat rearing, pisciculture etc. TMSS is supporting the farmers with artificial and natural insemination of cattle heads and fish fries from own hatchery and nursery units. In order to protect local variety of fishes TMSS has established a sanctuary for fishes. A total of 85084 members were benefited from these programs.

Counter Trafficking Intervention TMSS is implementing the Counter Trafficking Intervention in Prevention, Protection and Prosecution for Victims of Trafficking in Persons in Bangladesh project in 3 districts - Joypurhat, Nilphamari and Kurigram under Rajshahi Davison. TMSS will directly deliver the project inputs at the field level to the target clients through mass communication and arranging 7 types of meetings with the project stakeholders. The main objective of the project is to strengthen counter-trafficking interventions in prevention, protection, rescue, voluntary repartition, reintegration and prosecution for victims of trafficking in persons in Bangladesh. The project was started 1st January'06 (date) and up to June 06, 5066 nos people were aware and try to take initiative against trafficking.

Income Generating Activities (IGA) and Job Creation Program: Under this program unemployed poor women are engaged in production of various products like home-textile, handicrafts and various cottage products. The steps include product development and research, training, order procurement, linkage and referral services, out-let and display center etc. TMSS has a number of processing centers in the working areas and about 2000 skilled workers have been engaged in these centers till June, 2004.

Health and Nutrition Services: As per philosophy of TMSS and demand from the beneficiaries, TMSS has established health sector in 1990 to provide health services to its beneficiaries and the poor community people. TMSS, with the support of Terre des Homes of Netherlands, has established a 50 bed Rafatullah Community Hospital (RCH) at Bogra. The programs include Preventive Health-care Services, Curative Health-care Services, Expanded Program for Immunization in northern areas of Bangladesh through RCH and satellite clinics. 3882 children were immunized during 2003-04, Family planning services in the project area, Sub-clinical Services through 18 sub-clinics in operational areas, Satellite/Mobile Clinics, Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water through advocacy and awareness raising activities, Arsenic Mitigation Program to identify and monitor arsenic content in tube-well water. Assessment of Nutrition Status to provide suggestion as an implementing organization of the government’s National Nutrition Project in 9 Upazillas, Campaign for HIV/AIDS prevention among the people by using different tools, Anti Drug movement by organizing seminars, workshop, counseling etc, Modern Diagnostic Facilities at the Diagnostic Center of TMSS, Ambulance Service at RCH at reasonable cost to anybody and Emergency Health Camps for flood victims and victims of cold.

Disaster Management: Bangladesh is in a disaster prone area. Occasional disaster situation like flood, cyclone, draught, monga etc. are the regular features in Bangladesh, which makes many people homeless and penny less every year. Awareness building, disaster preparedness programs, organizing rescue and relief camps, emergency response to natural disaster/relief distribution, emergency assessment of catastrophic situation, preparation of contingency plan, medical support, rehabilitation and long term disaster management are a few of the programs being pursued by TMSS.

Development Program for Char (raised land in river strips) Dwellers: The people in the char areas, who are constantly exposed to flood risks, are one of the most vulnerable in the society and are classified as the hard-core poor. TMSS is engaged in right based and income based activities for the hard-core poor of the char areas.

Ethnic and Tribal Development Program: TMSS has regular and continuous Social Assistance Program for tribal population. At present 31000 tribal people from Dinajpur, Naogaon, Rajshahi and Sirajganj are involved in this program

Comprehensive Social Development Program: TMSS is now implementing Social Assistance Program- a sub-component of Social Investment Program Project (SIPP) financed by the Bangladesh Government with assistance from IDA. On the basis of unemployment situation as well as socio-economic condition in Bangladesh occupational skills training and employment assistance is one of the important package activities among four packages of social assistance services in about 60 villages of Gaibandha district.

Women, Children and Gender Development Programme: The activities of TMSS revolve around capacity improvement of women so that they can participate in decision making process to mitigate their poverty. For the purpose of women, children and gender development, the TMSS activities include i) Baseline survey/social survey, ii) Assessment of need of the beneficiaries, iii) Linkage of credit/service programs with the development programs, iv) Special workshop, seminar for gender awareness, v) Rehabilitation of children at four centers at Bogra, Dhaka, Joypurhat and Rajshahi, vi) Prevents women and child trafficking by conducting awareness and training programs in the northern region of the country, vii) Child care centers for the children of working mothers, viii) Rehabilitation of old persons at two old homes at Bogra and Dhaka ix) Sheltering of distressed women at two shelter homes and x) Housing of working women at two hostels at Bogra and Dhaka.

Education Program: Education is one of the highest priority projects of TMSS. The programs are of three types, such as i) Formal Education, ii) Non-Formal Education (NFE) and iii) Technical Education. TMSS has been operating and executing a number of Primary Schools Kindergarten Schools, Secondary Schools, Colleges, Pundra University of Science and Technology, Technical College and Art. NFE is one of the major educational programs of TMSS. The organization executes NFE programs for 200,000 illiterates through 3205 centers and the rate of achievement is 92%. 3200 teachers are involved in this program. TMSS received many national awards and certificates as the best NGO in the NFE sector. TMSS has been conducting technical education programs for skills improvement of the beneficiaries. Formal, training centered education and field level training approaches are followed by TMSS for technical training.

Human Rights and Legal Support: TMSS, with the motive of establishing good governance in the society, is devoted to the establishment of human rights in the society from the very inception. TMSS has been working to establish human rights at the grass root level by raising awareness, by providing legal support, food, boarding, medical support etc. to the distressed, divorced and victimized women and children until dispute is resolved, arrange arbitration by involving local leaders to resolve some disputes, uses all the campaigning tools to uphold human rights, advocacy and counseling to change the attitude of the leaders of society etc. TMSS is also involved in cooperative networking with North Bengal NGO Forum consisting of about 150 members to provide legal assistance and relief and rehabilitation support.

Entrepreneurship Development Program: Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) is the business development window of TMSS. It has been organizing training courses on different need based trades for its beneficiaries. Under EDP TMSS has conducted 113 training courses involving 49 trades and 1027 trainees during 2003-2004.

Researches, Planning, Documentation and Publication: Action research to test/experiment efficiency of certain approach, conventional/academic research, organizational development research for internal improvement of organization, short, medium and long term planning, documentation of the activities of TMSS and publication of reports, TMSS Barta, books and campaigning materials are being done on regular basis.

Local Resources Mobilization and Utilization: Identifying of local resources, making of the same for utilization by engineering department and hand over the same to the beneficiaries and others and land development for proper utilization are a few of the activities of TMSS under this program.

Networking and Collaboration: TMSS has built up a networking collaboration with the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, national and international NGOs, Development Partners/Donors and Development Organizations at home and abroad.

Micro Finance Program: TMSS started micro-financing in the year 1987 with the objective of reducing the poverty of the poor women by empowering them, by utilizing their own resources for income generating activities, to create employment/self employment opportunities for the poor people and to initiate creativity of the poor family. TMSS recognizes four target groups for micro-financing, which are, Ultra-Hard Core Poor, Hard Core Poor, Poor and Progressive Members class. The product lines are well defined with specific loan period, payment frequency, grace period, maximum loan amount, interest rate per annum, etc.

The main objective of the NGOs involved in Micro-credit programs is to seek out the poor with potential self-improvement capabilities. Micro-credit program operators aims at empowering the poor by providing them a little amount of credit, train them on the best way to use the credit amount and motivate them to save and pay in small installments, which they are capable of paying without affecting their standard of living. The target group of people has never been the favorites of the commercial banks and has always been the target of village moneylenders with ill motives, which make them poorer. More than 80% of the people of Bangladesh live below the poverty line and significant portion of this population is hard-core poor with no address of their own and depends on others for food and clothing.