ChangeMaker aims to develop the knowledge, capacity and access to services of marginalised people, especially women and children. Founded in 2000, it has expertise in developing markets for small enterprises, enhancing the capacity of NGOs and local government, promoting alternative energy and environmental technologies, empowering women, promoting good governance, environmental conservation, information/communication technology, and promoting corporate social responsibility and community security.
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ChangeMaker works on security policies that focus on the protection and security requirements of the individual and society through promoting both freedom from fear and freedom from want. By applying a human security and safety perspective to national, regional and international problems, ChangeMaker aims to energise political processes aimed at preventing and solving armed conflicts and promoting peace and development. This includes work on the control of small arms and light weapons, armed violence, the protection of children and women in armed conflict, human rights education, promoting a culture of peace and tolerance, and addressing implementation gaps in humanitarian and human rights law.
Based on this experience in 2008 ChangeMaker and Saferworld together developed an innovative approach to community security that has been adopted in ward 5 of Kamrangirchar. This is one of nine wards (local government areas electing a member to the local council) that make up Kamrangirchar. ChangeMaker engaged in awareness-raising and carried out key informant interviews and group discussions with women, men, youth, business people, land owners and service providers to help the community identify their local safety concerns. Following this, a further ‘validation workshop’ prioritised the key issues and the development of an action plan to address them began. A small action committee of community members (mostly high status individuals such as school teachers) was established to oversee the implementation of the action plan.
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The committee and the youth group provide the direction for future activities, while ChangeMaker acts as a facilitator. ChangeMaker also looks after the day-to-day management of the child safety centre set up as part of the project, although this is also overseen by the action committee. In 2010, ChangeMaker extended the project to two neighbouring wards (2 and 3). A similar process of awareness-raising, group discussions and action planning was carried out in these wards. Because the three wards are adjacent and have very similar safety concerns, it was decided to run the three areas’ community security projects as one larger piece. Thus, community meetings were held across all three wards, and the action committee was enlarged to include representatives from the new sites.
- ChangeMaker also works with different international organisations, particularly the United Nations, to build a just and peaceful order.
- ChangeMaker is a pioneering Bangladeshi organisation in this regard, and has developed a National Forum to Work on Peace and Security issues in Bangladesh.
Social Enterprise Competition: British Council And ChangeMaker To Launch A Social Enterprise Support Programme In Bangladesh
The British Council, in partnership with ChangeMaker, is going to launch a Social Enterprise Competition under the theme “Innovate, Incubate and Grow (IIG): A Social Enterprise Support Programme” in Bangladesh, a statement sent to Future Startup said. The competition, first of its kind in Bangladesh, aims to inspire, educate, and support young people to start and build social enterprises in Bangladesh.
“The purpose is to inspire and enable people to come up with solutions for problems we have in our society along with sustainable business model, a British Council spokesperson said in a statement to Future Startup. “While the program will provide education and training to successful participants, it also plans to help some of the winners to take their ventures off the ground.”
British Council has been promoting the idea of Social Enterprise for a while now. The organization is now planning to put together more ground level practical initiatives at work. IIG, a distinct social enterprise support Programme in nature, is designed to enhance the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills for solving social and environmental problem with a sustainable business model. IIG aims to develop the capacity of young and potential social entrepreneurs by raising awareness and understanding of social enterprise. The programme will provide them the essential knowledge of harnessing the immense possibilities of social enterprise that can substantially contribute towards supporting opportunity for inclusive and sustainable economic models focusing on social impact as well as financial returns. The Competition, like any other business plan competition, will be inviting innovative, unique and pragmatic ideas developed by promising young social entrepreneurs, which will be supported to become bona fide businesses.
The programme, nationwide in scale, is a part of British Council’s Social Enterprise Capacity Building and Business and Investment Readiness Programme (BiR). The competition will run raising awareness campaigns, organize boot camp, business modelling workshop, and national pitch day and for the winners there will be a mentoring programme and a business model showcasing opportunity at the British Council policy dialogue event in 2016.