Its core activities of work are:
The Major Current Projects of Light House:
Urban Primary Health Care Service Delivery Project (UPCSDP): Light House has initiated the implementation of the UPCSDP at Rangpur City Corporation since August 2019. The project aims to (i) improve access and utilization of urban primary health care services for the poor, women, and children in Rangpur city, (ii) provide cost-effective quality essential services delivery package (ESD) aligned with UPHCSDP-II efforts to enhance health status, and (iii) enhance institutional sustainability of urban primary health care services centers in Rangpur city by improving utilization and health care financing for the urban poor. The project serves a total population of 366,600 (Male-186,966, Female-179,634), with 39,226 under age 5 children and 87,617 adolescents.
Shukhi Jibon, Accelerating Universal Access to Family Planning supported by USAID, Pathfinder: Light House has been implementing this project since May 2021, which will conclude in November 2023. The project aims to change harmful social norms related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education for vulnerable youth and adolescents, including RMG workers, transgender individuals, and lesbian feminized MSMs. The project focuses on the 3-city corporation area of Dhaka (north and south) and Gazipur city and district. Activities under the project include training volunteers on SRHR issues, facilitating health education sessions, orienting health service providers, distributing brochures, organizing cultural shows and advocacy meetings, conducting community dialogues, developing resources, and engaging in media advocacy and policy dialogues.
Promoting Peace and Justice- Bogura, Meherpur, and Tangail District: The PPJ-Bogura, Tangail, and Meherpur Projects are supported by USAID through Democracy International. The projects aim to ensure fair justice and promote access to justice services for vulnerable and underserved populations, especially women, adolescents, and poor groups. The projects have activated and functionalized 13 UZLACs (Upazila Legal Aid Committees) and 94 UPLACs (Union Parishad Legal Aid Committees). They have also provided government legal aid services to 740,462 people. The projects have conducted 142 UZLAC and 1,273 UPLAC bi-monthly meetings, 80 quarterly meetings with judges, court staff, clients, and panel lawyers, 82 public hearings and virtual e-dialogues, 44 school debate competitions, and 68 cultural programs on government legal aid. As a result, most Union Parishads have allocated a budget for the promotion of legal aid activities. They have initiated campaigns with billboards, leaflets, and festoons, and have established legal aid corners in the Union Parishad buildings. Under the PPJ-Bogura, Tangail, and Meherpur projects, 2,041 cases have been referred to the DLAC (District Legal Aid Committee) office, with 510 cases resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Light House has been implementing the Promoting Peace and Justice (PPJ) program in Bogura, Tangail, and Meherpur since July 2019.
Responsive Local Govt Units for Marginalized People (Responsible): With financial support from FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) and under the overall supervision of the MJF (Manusher Jonno Foundation), Light House is implementing the ‘Responsible’ Project to ensure the rights of excluded people. The project is being implemented in 9 unions and 2 municipalities of Kahaloo and Dhunat Upazila in Bogura district. The project has two branch offices in Kahaloo and Dhunat, with a total staff of 11 (6 male, 5 female). The project provides support and assistance to widows, destitute individuals, older people, ethnic minorities, Dalits, people with disabilities, extreme poor, and youth to access government services. A total of 17,649 people will directly benefit from these services, including 7,457 widows and destitute, 5,801 older people, 654 people with disabilities, and 3,737 extreme poor and youth. The project covers various services such as social safety nets, primary health care, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, income-generating activities, and skills improvement training. The project has formed 112 Citizen Support Groups at ward, union, and Upazila levels, with a total of 1,788 members. These groups have been provided training on social accountability tools and service simplification to raise their voices and conduct monitoring. Additionally, 99 community groups have been formed at the ward level. The project has also made formal institutional committees, such as Health Management Committees, UP Standing Committees, and agriculture and social safety net committees, active and effective through regular meetings. The project has established close networking among the LGIs (Local Government Institutions), government departments, and Citizen Support Groups by providing guidance and necessary support. Various activities like trainings, awareness meetings, tax assessment campaigns, community scorecards, social audits, and governance capacity and performance assessments have been conducted under the project.
Urban Primary Health Care Service Project:
Light House has started Urban Primary Health Care Services project at Bogura under the leadership of Bogura municipality with technical assistance from the USAID local Health System Sustainability project (LHSS) that signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 25th June 2023, this strategic collaboration with Light House marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of accessible and quality healthcare in the municipality area. Light House and Bogura Municipality will jointly play a role for providing accessible and quality primary health care in the municipality area.
Drug Abuse Resistance and Understanding Project: Light House Consortium (Light House along with three CSOs) has developed 23 Community Action Groups (CAG), 10 Youth Brigades, and 2 district-based CSO-led networks to reduce drug demand. The CAG and CSO-led networks have worked closely with the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) on the implementation of the Narcotics Control Act 2018. Advocacy meetings, round table discussions with local journalists, policy development for early prevention, and national-level advocacy efforts have been conducted to reduce existing drug treatment rules. The project aims to strengthen CSO management, orient CSO-led networks, collaborate with print and electronic media for enforcement of laws, and raise awareness for drug abuse control. This project has complemented and expanded multi-sector advocacy networks on drug abuse and established collaboration between civil society and local government to implement social accountability mechanisms. The project operates in Rajshahi and Natore districts. The consortium has successfully advocated for two policy directions from DG-NGOAB (Directorate General of NGO Affairs Bureau) and DG-DNC (Director General of Department of Narcotics Control) and contributed to the passing of rules for the Drug Treatment Act 2005.
Strengthening Organizational Capacity of Dealing with SRHR Project for Young People supported by FK Norway/Norec: Light House has been implementing the “Strengthening Organizational Capacity of Dealing with SRHR Project for Young People” project since March 2021. It is a regional initiative where Community Support Groups (CSGs) from Nepal, LIGHT Institute from Bangladesh, and Vietnam are working together with Light House. The project aims to facilitate interaction among young volunteers, youth leaders, and the young population to share knowledge and cultural diversity across the South-South region. The project includes online training on sexual and reproductive health rights and gender equality, e-dialogues or e-clinics for psychosocial health support, ICT training for volunteers and staff, and the development of digital communication materials on SRHR and gender equality. Light House has extensive experience working with deserving partners in the young key population through different projects in Bangladesh. They have implemented the “National Volunteering Program” and the “Active Citizens Youth Leadership Training Program” in three districts of Bangladesh under the British Council. Light House is also implementing a volunteer exchange project with three partners: CSG in Nepal, AMA (Aye Myanmar Association) in Myanmar, and LIGHT Institute in Vietnam.
Excluded People’s Rights (Piloting GRS Intervention): With financial support from FCDO and the overall supervision of MJF, Light House is conducting the Piloting GRS Intervention program in Dhunat Upazila. The program aims to raise awareness among the general public about the grievance redressal procedure of the Bangladesh Government. The government introduced the online Grievance Redress System (GRS) in 2015 to ensure accountability, improve the quality of public services, and provide hassle-free access to government services. The project’s main objective is to increase public awareness and understanding of the grievance redressal mechanism. Activities include awareness-raising and demonstrations on GRS at the union level, awareness campaigns at the college level, orientation for government officials on GRS at the Upazila level, community-based help camps for online support in submitting complaints, assessment surveys, GRS sharing meetings with journalists, learning-sharing workshops with stakeholders, and training on GRS for Union Uddakta (representatives).
Strengthening Acid Survivors Network (ASN) to Eliminate Acid and Other Forms of Gender-Based Violence: With financial support from the Australian High Commission and technical assistance from ASF (Acid Survivors Foundation), Light House has been implementing the project since January 2023, scheduled to end in December 2023. The project focuses on three major aspects: capacity building of acid survivors, raising awareness in the community, and improving access to services. The project aims to establish a framework to achieve a long-term reduction in gender-based violence.
Repatriation of traffic victims: With the goal of repatriating traffic victims so that they may return to their home country with dignity and access human rights, Light House has been implementing the project since 2014 by establishing a strategic partnership with the Madras Christian Council of Social Service (MCCSS) in Chennai, India. So far, a total of 41 individuals, including 11 males and 31 females, have been repatriated. Most of them were victims of sex trafficking and sex trade, coerced and blackmailed by perpetrators.
To reunite traffic victims with their families and enable them to live together, Light House conducts home inquiry visits to collect victim information and applies to the Home Ministry of Bangladesh for approval of repatriation. Madras Christian Council of Social Service (MCCSS), Chennai, India, on the other hand, hands over the victims to Light House after completing the necessary paperwork. Light House provides mental health counseling and creates referral linkages to other health services if needed. They also offer family counseling and temporary shelter to help the victims integrate better into society and their families.
Light House is actively involved in establishing social awareness to prevent trafficking and engages in advocacy with local administration. They conduct advocacy meetings with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, follow up with victims, and refer them to government and non-governmental service providers. Light House is a member of the district anti-trafficking committee and works collaboratively on safe migration and prevention of trafficking.
Microfinance Program (MFP): Light House has been working on a Microfinance Program as a social business initiative to assist small-scale entrepreneurs in nurturing their own thoughts and initiatives for growth. The program was initiated on September 1st, 2014, covering four unions in Kahaloo Upazila (Bogra district), six unions in Rangpur Sadar & Kawnia Upazila (Rangpur district), and Chilmari Upazila (Kurigram district), utilizing the Bank loans and organization’s own funding. Light House implements Income Generation Activities (IGA) to empower landless and disadvantaged poor villagers, particularly women, in both urban and rural areas. Assistance is provided to beneficiaries to promote income-generating activities. Currently, Light House operates the program through 177 women’s groups, with a total of 3,591 members. The outstanding loan amount is 65,790,815/- BDT (Principal), benefiting 2,923 loan recipients. Additionally, the microfinance program members have deposited savings amounting to Tk 15,842,897/-. Light House ensures regular verification of loan utilization for appropriate trade/projects, achieving a recovery rate of 98% and providing benefits to group members.
Since its establishment, Light House has been working to assist the poor and marginalized affected by devastating floods, droughts, severe cold, tornadoes, and other disasters. To address the needs and demands of flood-affected people in Bogura, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sirajganj, Natore, and Pabna areas, Light House focuses on disaster preparedness, risk reduction, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation programs. As a non-governmental voluntary development organization, Light House is a pre-qualified partner of UN agencies like UNDP for implementing early recovery and disaster response in Bangladesh. The organization has collaborated with CCDB, GTZ, CARE Bangladesh, VSO, and Proshika. Light House has established its own Disaster Management Committee (DMC) at the head office and disaster-prone Upazila (sub-district) level. Over 213 staff members have been trained and gained experience in disaster management, and there are 230 volunteers in its working areas.
Distribution of Relief and Rehabilitation Materials: Since 1988, Light House has been actively involved in relief and rehabilitation efforts, utilizing its own resources and receiving support from donors such as CCDB, GTZ, BRAC, Action Aid, VSO, and corporate sectors during major floods and other disasters. Light House has played a significant role in responding to relief and rehabilitation needs during major floods in Bangladesh, including the years 1988, 1998, 2004, 2016, and 2019.
Rohingya Humanitarian Response: In response to the influx of Rohingya refugees, Light House has made strategic decisions to address the multifaceted challenges faced by both the refugees and host communities in Ukhiya, Teknaf, and Cox’s Bazar sub-districts under Cox’s Bazar district. With funding support from UNHCR, Global Fund/Save the Children, and internal funding sources, Light House has taken initiatives to protect the most vulnerable women and girls from trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence. Five comprehensive service centers have been established in Ukhiya, Leda of Teknaf, Teknaf Sadar, and Cox’s Bazar Sadar, where MHPSS counseling for GBV victims, legal support, and healthcare services are provided to both host and refugee communities. Light House has also set up a Safe Home for GBV and trafficking victims, supporting 130 GBV and VoTs (victims of trafficking) in 2019. It actively participates as a member of the Anti Trafficking Working Group and other sectors led by ISCG. Light House has submitted a funding appeal for protection activities in the Joint Response Plan 2020. With a unique approach, Light House has registered 4,550 women, girls, and adolescent girls who are at high risk and provides protective services through linkages, advocacy, and social networking. There are plans to establish another safe home in Ukhiya for victim support.
Disaster Preparedness and Capacity Development of DMC: Recognizing the importance of disaster preparedness for the sustainable livelihoods of the community, Light House organizes training sessions and workshops on disaster management in Bogra, Jaipurhat, Natore, Sirajganj, Pabna, and Gaibandha, which are prone to disasters. Additionally, Light House conducts training programs for young volunteers and members of the Disaster Management Committee (DMC) in its working areas, focusing on disaster preparedness and recovery issues. Community members, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), local leaders, school teachers, and others are trained by Light House. The organization also facilitates the establishment of early warning centers, organizes meetings, seminars, and workshops on climate change and disaster risk reduction, and supports the development of risk and resource mapping.
Light House School of Learning and Diversity:
In early 2016, Light House took the initiative to establish the “Light House School of Learning and Diversity” to provide modern technology-based and scientific education for rural students in West Bogra. The school is located in Muruil village of Kahaloo Upazila, situated 6 km from Bogra town. The foundation stone of the school was laid by eminent writer and novelist Selina Hussain and Ekushe medal laureate Palan Sarkar.
The main objectives of the school are to create opportunities for rural and grassroots students, support meritorious students, provide quality education, promote learning and diversity, and ensure access to inclusive and equitable education for rural students to become well-rounded and competent individuals. The school commenced its operations in January 2022 with 150 students enrolled up to Class X.
Light House School of Learning and Diversity started its journey in October 2017 as a unique educational institution in Muruil village, Kahaloo Upazila, Bogura. It operates as a non-profit and service-oriented institution, aiming to provide modern educational facilities to grassroots students in West Bogura. The foundation stone of the institution was laid on December 30, 2016, by Ekushey Padak laureate novelist Selina Hossain and renowned social activist and Ekushey Padak laureate Late Palan Sarkar.
Academic activities in the school commenced on January 1, 2018, offering education from pre-primary to tenth grade. Currently, the school has 11 teachers and staff members conducting teaching and learning activities. The vision of the school is to transform into a modern and high-quality institution that meets the educational needs of the 21st century. Its mission is to provide inclusive, equitable, and work-oriented education.
The Treatment, Research, and Rehabilitation Centre (TRRC) for Drug Users is an initiative by Light House aimed at providing detoxification, treatment, and rehabilitation services for individuals struggling with drug addiction. BARACA has provided technical support to ensure the sustainability of this initiative. TRRC focuses on delivering individualized, high-quality treatment services to help clients become drug-free. This includes providing life skills training, psychosocial support through counseling, and implementing an integrated approach that incorporates therapeutic methods and the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous (NA).