The year 1996, Naz Foundation International, a UK based international charity and community-based organization, led by Shivananda Khan identified some key community representatives, commissioned a study on the sexual and reproductive health needs of gender and sexual minority (GSM) communities in Bangladesh. The study was conducted in Dhaka during October 1996 – March 1997 with funding support by the Ford Foundation.
The findings of this study indicated social exclusion, marginalization, and stigmatization among the GSM communities along with a range of high-risk practices for STI/HIV infection. As Bangladesh society is non-tolerant towards gender diversity and practices, the vulnerability of these population was well perceived and internalized by a group of friends. From their philanthropic notions and commitments, Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) came into existence in 1996 to address these important but unattended issues through a concerted effort. This was the first of its kind initiative in the country to stand for the health and human rights issues of the GSM communities. This was an effort for the community, led by the community with no formal training in management of NGOs. Thus, began the journey of learning and changing lives.
Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bandhu) is formally registered with Ministry of Social welfare and NGO Affairs Bureau since July 1997. All activities of the organization are in line with the guidance provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and Ministry of Social Welfare (MOSW) of the Government of Bangladesh.
Bandhu implements essential Sexual Heath and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) activities including HIV intervention, legal support, capacity building and policy advocacy with an aim to bring positive changes in the lives of thousands of community members by addressing the social, religious, cultural and legal impediments in terms of their rights and freedom.
Cordially request you to click Bandhu Profile Here to read details.