Thanks and best wishes to everyone involved in CLP2

happy cow

The Chars Livelihoods Programme is now at the end of its journey. After six years, six cohorts and 78,026 participants, the time has finally come.  CLP2 is complete, we have tidied our desks, turned off the lights and closed the doors.  

We leave behind some remarkable achievements: 90% of the extreme poor participants we worked with ‘graduated’ and are on the right journey out of poverty.  Improved water and sanitary latrines saturate chars villages, bringing health and nutrition benefits.  Plinths help protect people’s livelihoods so they can reduce their vulnerability to floods and erosion and raise their standard of living.  Market linkages have been improved, sowing the seeds for future prosperity.  And probably most importantly, the knowledge, skills and self-confidence of tens of thousands of women on the chars has been boosted enormously.  Along with the material assistance they received, these mindset changes will stand them in good stead for the future. These are successes of which everyone can be proud.

Now it just remains for me to say thank-you to all the stakeholders that played such a vital part in the success of the CLP.  

The Programme was sponsored by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD & C), and executed by the Rural Development and Cooperative Division (RDCD), Ministry of LGRD&C, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.  Without their drive, engagement and oversight, the Programme would not have been possible.  

I would also like to extend my thanks to all the participants from other Government departments that took part so enthusiastically in CLP’s Project Implementing Committee and Project Steering Committee meetings.  Your guidance and strategic directions were deeply appreciated.  Also to all of the local government departments and officials that gave so freely of their time and attention to ensure the nitty-gritty local details were not overlooked.

CLP was co-funded by UKaid through the Department of International Development (DFID) and Australian Aid through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).  Over the six years, the relationship with and support for the CLP team from the donors was outstanding.  It played a major part in driving the Programme to continue raising targets, meeting targets, beating targets, and continually aim for higher standards throughout.  My deepest thanks.

To Maxwell Stamp PLC and Maxwell Stamp Ltd Bangladesh and the team of CLP, my deepest gratitude.  I believe it is rare to have the pleasure of working with a team of such committed, professional, hard-working and intelligent people as CLP has benefited from. It was a privilege to work with you and I certainly hope I will meet many of you again in the future.
To the 19 IMOs and 2 Special Service Providers that were at the front end of all of this: many, many thanks.  Your dedication and ability to meet and often exceed the quality standards expected by CLP was truly the foundation of the Programme’s success.  The contribution you have helped make to the extreme poor of the chars will last for many years, and you should be rightly proud of having helped bring about this change.  Thank you!

And in this case, last definitely does not mean least: thank-you to all the participants themselves.  CLP never called its participants ‘beneficiaries’.  That word was felt to assign too passive a role to the participants, too much like they were simply the receivers of assistance. Nothing could have been further from the truth.  CLP worked WITH participants to help them on their journey out of poverty. Without their active, intelligent and persistent efforts, CLP’s results would not have been so impressive.  It is not unfair to say that CLP’s results are, in fact, the participants’ results.  I thank them wholeheartedly and send my deepest wishes for their future health, happiness and prosperity.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with all the actors mentioned here.  Thank you all for your contributions and companionship, it has been a journey of huge achievement and worth.

I will leave the final word with Nill Vanu, a participant from Nungola Village in Gaibandha. We asked her what her plans were for the future, now she had been through CLP’s programme of assistance.

She said,

“No-one wants to stay in the same situation forever.  Now I am clever, I can take some land and

do some productive things.”

I am sure that she, and tens of thousands of CLP participants like her, will do just that.  

And that will be the best thanks any of us could receive.

Matthew Pritchard

CLP2 Team Leader