Own Village Advancement (OVA) was established in 1981 to implement development work for people in poverty through socio-economic programs. OVA is the joint effort of local young men and women social workers from various academic disciplines. The organization is situated in Lalmonirhat district, one of the remotest and most-disaster prone regions of Bangladesh.
OVA’s mission is to create self-employed and self-empowered communities with increased capabilities by providing need based services and support like awareness raising. the organisation promotes participation in socio-economic development, women empowerment, social security, disaster mitigation, water and sanitation, health, and education.
Kushamari and Patgram upazilla in Lalmonirhat district have both suffered widely publicized anti-minority attacks in the past. In December 2013, a group of young attackers descended on Hindu homes and shops in Bawra Upazilla, looting at least 18 buildings. Given the recent conflict, OVA identified the need in these communities for non-violence messaging.
In Kushamari, organizers held a well-attended cultural performance that spoke directly to the issue of political and communal violence. In Patgram Upazilla, organizers formed a human chain in a busy intersection calling for an end to political violence and fundamentalist fuelled attacks.
This organisation believes that effective change can be possible if root level population is considered as the main focus of the overall peace-building endeavour.