Skill development and empowerment: A journey to alleviate poverty on a sustainable way

Chittagong Hill Tracts are located in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh and consist of three hilly districts: Rangamati, Bandarban & Khagrachori. There are more than fifteen indigenous tribes (Marma, Rakhine, Mro, Murang, Bawm, Khyang, Tripura, Lushei, Khumi, Chak, Kuki, Chakma, and Tanchanga) living in these areas. Due to various socio- economic reasons and limited scopes, many of them embrace cultivation as their only means of survival and feed their dependents. These indigenous farmers are known as ‘Jhum Cultivators’.

‘Jhum’ Cultivation, also known as shifting cultivation, is a traditional agricultural process being practiced by them for hundreds of years. This cultivating process starts with clearing the slopes of the hills either by slashing, cutting & burning trees. The uncontrolled ‘Jhum’ cultivation process accelerates deforestation and land erosion. It is to be noted that harmful amounts of CO2 and toxic materials are also released to the atmosphere during this type of slash-and-burn agriculture. As many of these tribal people do not have any other skills or alternative options to feed their families, the ‘Jhum ‘cultivation is growing exponentially and even beyond sustainable boundaries.

By having access to education and vocational training, the young generation of these tribes could reduce pressure on ‘Jhum cultivation’ and therefore, help to achieve the sustainable environmental goal. ‘Care Across Communities’ (CAC) will work with local partners to support diversifying skills and increase awareness about the importance of education to keep ‘Jhum Cultivation’ within the sustainable level.

We believe that developing and diversifying skills will help these communities to eradicate poverty on a sustainable way.

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