Social Advocacy and Knowledge Dissemination Unit

Social Advocacy and Knowledge Dissemination Unit

PKSF established the Social Advocacy and Knowledge Dissemination Unit in 2013 as a core program. In addition to the regular development programs of PKSF, this Unit focuses on different critical social issues to build awareness among the marginalized and disadvantaged people to establish their human dignity.

The Unit is working in 41 Unions on different social issues with the main focus on preventing child marriage and violence against women and children.

To enhance right-based activities and ensure accountability in the community, orientation sessions on Social Development & Responsibility are organized. As of now, 4,591 different important stakeholders at the Union level and 535 in the upazila level have received the orientation. Advocacy workshops for 969 members of different Union Parishads have also been arranged to strengthen the role of local administration in preventing child marriage.

Apart from these, 2,511 teachers from higher secondary schools received the orientation on Preventing Child Marriage & Violence against Women. Some 66,500 high school students have so far participated in the orientation on Negative Impacts of Child Marriage and 20,420 students in the orientation on Nutrition & Reproductive Health.

Thanks to the continuous advocacy and awareness programs, 268 child marriages were stopped by July 2020. Local people, leaders, Union Parishad (UP) members, health volunteers, teachers, and UP Chairpersons (including the Upazila administration) took initiatives voluntarily.

Important national and international days are observed in the working areas in collaboration with local administrations. These days include the National Girl Child Day, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, the National Safe Food Day, the International Women’s Day, and the World No Tobacco Day.

The Social Advocacy and Knowledge Dissemination Unit actively works with the National Anti- Tobacco Platform (NATP) to create awareness against tobacco consumption and on its negative impacts. A seminar was arranged to mark the World No Tobacco Day in 2019 in which Partner Organizations of the platform presented research papers, including one from PKSF titled “Alternative Crop Cultivation Instead of Tobacco”. The Convener of this platform, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, provided crucial and invaluable directions. Awards in three categories are given to those who have had significant contribution in the anti-tobacco activities and research.

To sensitize people about negative impacts of tobacco consumption and drug abuse, a cultural program called “Potgaan and Stage Drama” is carried out in different remote rural areas of the country. This program also helps communities stand against other social offences such as violence against women, child marriage, dowry, and public sexual harassment or sexual assault of women.

The Unit works to identify persons with disabilities. The program initially started in eight Unions and has in recent years been extended further. In 2019, 451 persons with disabilities were identified.

The Unit also helps broadcast various important social and contemporary messages through four community radio stations in different areas of Bangladesh.