Bangladesh Training Project Creates Green Jobs and A Brighter Future

With a project in Bangladesh, the International Labor Organization (ILO) wants to demonstrate that policies can lead to a greener economy and the improvement of people's living standards. The social and economic consequences of the shift to a more sustainable economy are also dealt with there.

Bangladesh training project

When Fatema Akhter was ten years old, her father left the family to marry another woman. As a single, Fatema's mother could no longer care for her daughter who has a disability. Fatema had to leave school and moved in with an aunt.
When she was fifteen years old, she learned to work with a sewing machine, but due to her disability it took her a lot of time to complete a complete outfit. With sewing, she earned between 10 and 15 euros per month.

Green job

Fatema's interest was aroused when she heard about a project from the Access Bangladesh Foundation that required only a small investment and was feasible with her disability.
The training was part of the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity Project (B-SEP) program, an initiative of the Bangladeshi government, sponsored by Canada and implemented by the ILO. The aim of the project is to assist local partners in creating green jobs through training and entrepreneurship programs. Special attention is given to minorities, people with disabilities and people living in poverty.

Green jobs are important for Bangladesh because the low-lying country is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Bangladesh currently ranks 173rd out of 180 countries in the environmental performance index, developed by the universities of Yale and Columbia, which assesses the environmental performance of their national policies.


The project offers training in six domains: mushroom cultivation, for which Fatema subscribed, ecotourism, organic agriculture, the production of organic fertilizers, waste management and recycling.

The program has already reached 580 people, half of whom are women.
Fatema has finished her three-month training there and learned to grow her own business as well as cultivating mushrooms. In addition, there was a starting amount of 177 dollars (160 euros) attached to the completion of the course with which she could realize her first production. A local partner buys the mushrooms and sells them further at the markets in Dhaka.

Balance between well-being and prosperity

Today, Fatema is twenty years old. She still sews clothes but together with her secondary occupation as a mushroom cultivator she has a monthly income of 74 euros, almost five times more than before.
"The ILO has been supporting the Government of Bangladesh for more than ten years to strengthen the country's education level and to help promote green skills and business opportunities," said Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO's program director in Bangladesh. "Fatema's story is a great example of how different players can come together and create a sustainable balance between the well-being of ordinary people, the prosperity of a nation and the future of our planet."

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