This spring, PCI helped organized community gatherings in Bangladesh to bring people together around a number of important topics, including agriculture, health,nutrition, and ways to reduce the impact of natural disasters. At each venue, different booths were set up so the attendees could earn tokens for participating in activities, which included quizzes and presentations.

Those with the most tokens earned the chance to participate in a larger-than-life Chutes & Ladders game, which provided a fun, interactive way to reinforce educational messages and to strengthen ties among community members around these issues. Upwards of 1,000 people attended events across 23 different sub-districts where PCI works.

About 85 percent of Bangladesh’s population lives in rural areas and continues to depend largely on agriculture for its livelihood. PCI’s programs are helping increase the income of impoverished households by providing trainings that will help farmers enhance productivity, improve agricultural practices and technologies, and gain a better understanding of business marketing strategies.

PCI is also preventing and treating child malnutrition by expanding integrated clinical health services and providing nutritional supplementation for children under two years of age and pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers. Providing education on good nutrition and fostering positive behavior change are both crucial for ensuring long-term improvements in health and community development.

Bangladesh has made great strides in the fight against poverty. Nevertheless, nearly half of its population of 135 million still lives below the poverty line.  The country continues to face numerous obstacles including high rates of stunting and acute malnutrition in children, the constant threat of natural disasters, and poor distribution of health and hygiene services. Most Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture and, despite steady increases in food production, the growing population continues to place a severe burden on supplies and services, and the country remains dependent on costly food imports.