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SPaRC: Fighting to uphold women’s right in CHT

Supporting People and Rebuilding Community (SPaRC), a social organization transforming the lives of the most vulnerable and voiceless, was founded in 2013. The Rana Plaza collapse, biggest ever industrial disaster in Bangladesh that left more than a thousand workers dead and many injured, spurred some young men and women from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to stand beside women who were in vulnerable situations.

SPaRC works for women, who have been victims of violence, and supports them to recover and rebuild their lives. The organization has become a trusted agency where many girls are now seeking help, particularly when they face violence and injustice.

So far, a total of 75 women, mostly victims of gender violence, received medical, psychosocial and financial support as well as vocational training from SPaRC and have become self-dependent.

Their community education programs are building social and political awareness required to promote and upheld women’s rights. Most notable is the awareness program for school going children on sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

The organization also facilitates workshop and training on human rights, women rights, laws and traditional judicial system, sexual orientation and gender identity, safety in social network, the CHT accord, and so on.

Currently, they have a big pool of volunteers who are always ready to respond to any emergency calls. They have successfully mobilized volunteers and funds for relief and rehabilitation during and after the Thanchi food crisis, Longadu crisis and Rangamati landslides. They have reached more than 2,000 families and have been providing basic amenities for an extended period of time.

SPaRC has given that platform to the youth of CHT who want to do good for the society. It has bridged youth from all communities in the CHT and has significantly reduced the gap and misunderstandings.

The organization won the Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017 for its bold stance against violence against women and initiatives for empowering women.

“Since achieving the Joy Bangla Youth Award, SPaRC has been intending to maintain good relationships with the other youth initiatives and to work together for sustainable development in our communities and in our beloved country,” said a jubilant Tori Chakma, coordinator of SPaRC.

Reaffirming commitment towards woman’s right and empowerment, SPaRC is keen to expand its education and victim support programs. They have laid out a plan to open a help desk to help women with cyber harassment cases.