Bangladesh & Sri-Lanka: Peer Learning on Community HousingNov 1, 2014
In June 2014, UPPR facilitated a visit by local government representatives of Bangladesh and leaders of community groups working with UPPR to Sri Lanka.
During the one-week visit, the 18 visitors learned by first hand about the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) program in Sri-Lanka and its partner organization in the country, the Women's Development Services Cooperative Society (Women’s Coop). The purpose of the visit was to help the recently elected leaders of the Community Housing Development Funds (CHDFs) as well as government officials to become better acquainted with the concept and benefits of community housing development initiatives.
Women’s Coop describes itself as a “self-reliant membership organization built, owned and operated exclusively by poor women in Sri Lanka”. Its experience in working towards raising the socio-economic standards of its members on the principle of mutual help was of great relevance for the work the newly established CHDFs in Bangladesh are aiming at. The participants could hear directly from the Sri-Lankan government and communities on their low cost housing and resettlement projects.
UPPR expects to have increased the confidence and motivation of the visit participants in supporting and running the CHDFs. The CHDFs are used to provide loans for low cost housing or housing improvements to Community Development Committee (CDC) members, with funds sourced from the same community. As of December 2014, 11 CHDFs had been established.