Strategic Initiatives for Development of Extreme Poor (SIDEP)

Project Period: 2002 to 2007

Project Background

The project was started in the year 2002 aiming at improvement of health and nutritional status of extremely poor and vulnerable people living in the remote area of Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur district. The area located up north adjoining Indian boarder of Meghalaya district and is infamous for recurring flash floods and elephant attack. Then the name of project was LISS (Local Initiative Support Service). High maternal and child mortality in the area was a major concern of government and its development partners. Pidim took many initiatives to improve living condition of the target people. Health education coupled with income generation and linking with government service outlets including hospitals and clinics was central to project concept and strategic considerations. There were 2100 households divided into 90 groups included in the project by the end of 2007. Female heads of the targeted households represented the groups. Project staff delivered as many as 37 health messages on mother and child health and nutrition in-group meetings. They also followed up health education with the women and their family members during house visits helping them recollect messages taught in the class and observing their application in the family. One of the other activities that could create lot of interest among mothers was preparation of PER (Protein and Energy Rich) baby food by mixing pulverised rice and lentils with molasses, Soya-bin oil and water. The food was nutritious, palatable and safe for babies. Moreover the ingredients could be stored in plastic containers separately for many days and used to prepare porridge at any time even when mothers were not at home.