Monthly Update February 2020
District Workshop in Cumilla:
A district workshop was organized on 27th February 2020 in Cumilla. The objective of the workshop was to bring together all the relevant stakeholders including government officials, non-government officials, CSOs, returnees and their families to sensitize them on reintegration services, safe migration issues including remittance management; thereby strengthening better cooperation and collaboration among the stakeholders to provide sustainable reintegration assistance to the returnees. Deputy Commissioner(DC) and Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Cumilla, District coordination committee members in Cumilla including local government officials, officers from IOM and BRAC attended the workshop and discussed on the service delivery system of the reintegration services under the project ‘Prottasha’ and safe migration and remittance management related issues. The district workshop had two important outcomes, one was the sensitization of the key stakeholders (government officials, CSO representatives, private sectors) to increase their knowledge on reintegration service delivery, safe migration issues to provide reintegration assistance to returning migrants and extended support to the project to undertake awareness-raising campaigns at the district level after attending the district advocacy workshop. Another outcome was to get way forward to increase the scope of referrals to facilitate sustainable reintegration service delivery and to disseminate safe migration information including remittance management at the local level.
Istakul Islam Gets Back His Life through the Prottasha Project
For many in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh, migrating to London is a dream commonly chased. 35-year old Md. Istakul Islam, from Jahanpur Village, South Surma Upazila, Moghlabazar Union of Sylhet, had the same fascination from his early childhood.
Not being able to earn enough to meet family needs, Md. Istak decided to go to England leaving his job in a Thai aluminium company in 2010. Falling into the trap of an unauthorized recruiting agency, he borrowed five lac taka from friends and family to get a student visa with work opportunities in England.
He reached his dream country on 11 March 2011. But the reality there was completely different from what the recruiting agency had offered him. Not only the working opportunity was insufficient, he had to often do over-time, though he was allowed to work for a maximum of 10 hours.
After two years, when the validity of his visa expired, he reapplied, but his application was rejected.
Thus, he became an irregular migrant, he concealed his identity and started working secretly to make his living for a few years.
But one day, he was caught by the police and imprisoned for 45 days. He was released with the condition of banishment when his case was reviewed in the court. Being compelled, he returned to his country on 9 June 2017.
In November 2018, through a relative, he met Ms. Koli Begum, field organizer of South Surma Upazila under the Prottasha project, and came to know about the project from her.
As Istakul Islam managed to start a thai aluminium business with his capital, he sought help from Prottasha to expand the business.
In May 2019, he received thai aluminum products worth 80 thousand taka from the Prottasha Project. With this support, he managed to see growth in his business and became solvent. He is now mentally and financially stable and earns more than before.
Istakul Islam hopes to do better in the future and he feels grateful to the Prottasha project as it helped him to become hopeful about his life once again.