To make Bangladesh poverty free.
Combating poverty in the impassable hilly regions and other un-served areas of Bangladesh in order to create a poverty free Bangladesh.
The main objective of DBS is to assist the poor, the landless, the destitute women and children, smeall farmers and disabled persons in order to enable them to gain access to resources and undertake various income generating and othr activities for poverty alleviation and enhancing quality of life in terms of health, nutrition, sanitation, education, safe water, housing, environment through building effective institutions of their own, which they can understand and operate and can find socio-economic strength in it through mutual support.
Integrated Development Foundation is a non-profit non-government organization established in December 1992 at the initiative of Mr. Zahirul Alam, a former ILO expert and close associate of Professor Muhammad Yunus, the eminent economist and founder of Grameen Model of Micro-finance, to work for the poor people of mainly backward, difficult and un-served areas of Bangladesh.
DBS started its journey with Micro-finance program for the poor tribal of Chittagong Hill Tracts in October 1993.
Chittagong Hill Tracts is a very remote, difficult, impassable and politically unstable area located in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh inhabited by 13 different very poor tribes with different languages and cultures.
The people of Chittagong Hill Tracts are very poor and they live mainly on Jhum cultivation and bamboo and wood cutting which are main causes of deforestation and soil erosion in the Hill Tracts. Most people live in absolute poverty. In spite of all efforts of the government, the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts still lack access to various services such as credit, agricultural inputs and extension services, medical facilities, safe drinking water etc. This is mainly because of i) scattered population, ii) poor communication system, iii) conservativeness of the tribal people and iv) political problem. The language barrier further aggravates the situation.
DBS initially selected Chittagong hill tracts as its operational area mainly because the poor people of CHT lacked access to institutional or informal sources of credit, and a very high rate of interest ranging from 250%-1000%. The asset-less poor people do not have access even to informal sources of credit. Most small farmers who took credit from informal sources (money lenders) ended up as landless.
The success of the poverty alleviation interventions of DBS immediately attracted the poor people of surrounding areas and they started coming to DBS to be included in DBS poverty alleviation programs. Gradually DBS expanded its programs for the poor people of other remote and un-served areas of Chittagong Division. DBS has a vision to reach every poor people of Bangladesh with this success and make Bangladesh poverty free.
The commitment and success of DBS to work for the extreme poor people of hilly, remote and backward areas have been recognized by development agencies both in country and abroad, and they come forward to support DBS’s poverty alleviation interventions. Grameen Trust is the first to join DBS afterwards followed by Sida, PKSF, HKI, ILO, AusAID, CARE Bangladesh, UNCDF, UNICEF, USAID, IDCOL, Government of Bangladesh (Ministries & Departments), Basic Bank and other organizations at home as well as Grameen Foundation USA, Deutsche Bank and Cow Bank Australia from abroad to fight against poverty and promote socio-economic development in the CHT and other un-served areas of Bangladesh.