Childcare for the Advancement of Women.

Childcare for the Advancement of Women.

Bangladesh
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

For women to have public and professional lives, their children must be taken care of. The concept of childcare is essential in developing any community. Every child deserves a chance and every adult has a responsibility.

About You
Organization:
Phulki
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Suraiya

Last Name

Haque

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

Phulki

Organization Phone

+88-02-8845093-4, 88-02-88405018

Organization Address

Plot # 264; Road # 4/A; Block # F; Bashundhara R/A; Dhaka-1229.

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

On- site child care center was introduced in Bangladesh during the early nineties by Phulki. The concept was to have child care centers at the workplace premises, where the small children of up-to 5 years of age can stay. Mothers come in to breast-feed, otherwise the child is taken care of by trained caregivers. Caregivers attend to the children’s needs like bathing, toileting etc and in addition arrange stimulating activities like rhymes, songs, and games for the children. These activities contribute to all 4 domains of Early Childhood Development (ECD). The research has shown the benefit of ECD on human beings. Additionally, 98% of Phulki employees are female. We are setting an example of gender equity and female empowerment, moving the sector forward and also incorporating these standards within our own organization.

The uniqueness of the concept, however, lies in its fourfold contribution:

• The concept of on site child care center contributes to the economic emancipation - for women to work, their children must be cared for!.
• At the same time it is contributing to the lives of young children, by ensuring their rights to mothers’ milk, and proper stimulation required for their development.
• More over, because of the child care centers the RMG sector is able to keep their skilled women labors on board, which maintains their production and allows a fully compliant factory. In other words women are higher paid and skilled.
• Children can break-out of the poverty cycle and live healthy lives.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Yes

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

The social impact of Phulki’s innovation can be seen at different levels.
For the women:
 The right to their economic emancipation ensured.
 The cost of their child care reduced.
 The worries they had for the security and safety of their children have been addressed,
 The women are skilled and higher paid and enjoying worriless working life.
For the children:
 Their right to breast milk is ensured.
 Their Early Childhood Care is ensured, the safety of the child care centers as well as the trained caregivers.
 Children are given the developmentally appropriate stimulation required for their Early Childhood Development, which contributes to school readiness for the later part of their lives. This eventually results in fewer drops out from the mainstream of education.
 Children have better opportunity of being caring and productive members of society.
For the Garments Sector:
 The sector now has fewer drop outs of skilled workers.
 The factories are comply the international buyers’ code of conduct by establishing on site child care centers, they get more orders and this keeps the wheel of economy running for the country.
For the Overall Society:
• The attitude towards the working women has changed positively in the society.
• Because of Phulki’s ongoing work, the corporate sector now recognizes the issue of on site child care centers positively.
• Phulki’s work contributes to the country’s over-all economic success because it enables women to engage in the corporate sector.

Since 1991, Phulki has been working on both fronts to set up child care center and advocacy. 50 workplace based child care centres are out-sourced to Phulki and 80 community based child care centres care for 1000+1600 children and 2600 families benefit from this project yearly. Phulki has supported to set up Workplace Based Day Care Centres in 500 factories and other private and public sectors. Also providing care givers training for child care. The Phulki-model factory based child care is now being replicated by 3 partners in Dhaka and Chittagong. Many other NGOs are replicating the Phulki Model child care.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

• First obstacle was the concept of work place based child care centre. People couldn’t believe that I was taking of the issues about on site child care.
• Then there was an issue of acceptance among the workplace owners about the child care centers, as the on site child care center was a totally new concept in Bangladesh. Phulki had to demonstrate a child care in factory.
• Another problem regarding the child care issue was the awareness of the mothers. Traditionally grand mother or extended family member or an older female child used to take care of the young sibling. The mother didn’t accept the idea of bringing their children every morning at their workplace considering it would be troublesome for them.
• The trust building of the mothers was a big hurdle and often question asked why Phulki is interested in the well being of their children.
• The major problem regarding the on site child care issue is to find appropriate space in the workplaces. Phulki insists on the ground floor to set up child care centre with enough ventilation and space for the children particularly in a garments factory where safety was a big question. If the set up is on the top floor, Phulki persuaded the owner for emergency exit adjacent to the centers, sufficient ventilation system, effective fire alarm system and trained fire-fighter in the child care centre. However, all the factories are not able to meet this standard at present.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?

Phulki has worked with various stakeholders and advocated the issue in both the private and public sectors. For example:
• Phulki arranged numbers of workshops and seminars with the presence of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association) and BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association) leaders, representatives from different garments factories, officials from public and private sector, study on productivity increase if child care is provided, billboards and stickers to raise awareness regarding the child care centers among the mass people.
• Extensive print and electronic media campaign in national and private daily newspaper and TV channel, documentary film highlighting the issue. Electronic Media discuss with the Presidents of both BGMEA and BKMEA where they have committed to implement the on-site child care issue as compliance.
• Workshop with factory inspectors suggesting while they go to factory visit to look into the child care issue.
• Phulki is advocating with the national and international buying houses to pursue the compliance issue of on-site child care in the factories they buy from and this advocacy is paying off as well.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

 In 2010 Signature campaign will be conducted where Phulki will collect as many signatures as possible from working and to-be-working women even from man and present it to the Prime Minister before we do the conference with the Prime Minister in the chair. The purpose would be to create a mass mobilization on child care centers.
 In 2011 Phulki will arrange a National Level Workshop regarding the on site child care issue with the Prime Minister in the chair. Invite public, private and corporate sector. Phulki hopes to receive a commitment from the Prime Minister, private and corporate sector.
 In 2012 Phulki hope to work as monitoring the implementation of child care in every office and reporting back to Prime Minister’s Office.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

Bangladesh factory act 1965 was if 50 women are working in a place the management to provide child care facility to the contrary are punishable by law (Act IV, 1965). Provision of Factories and other place obliged in 1992 there was another declaration for the protection and promotion of breast feeding practice, but nothing came in written then. In 1994, the GoB agreed to support environment includes provision of child care and crèche facilities at the workplace. Later 1995, Bangladesh labor law ensure to make it mandatory to provide on site child care facilities where 20 women are working who have children below 5 years of age irrespective of factories or any commercial organization.
Due to Phulki’s innovation now all the factories, public and private sector is providing child care facility. Child care issue movement has started in Bangladesh. Article of CRC and CEDAW is implemented.

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation

 Non-monetary partnership with Bangladesh Early Childhood Development Network (BEN) and Bangladesh Sishu Adhikar Forum (Bangladesh Child Rights Forum). From these Partnerships receives information on Early Childhood Development, helps to keep the child care trainings and practices updated in the child care centers. Also the staffs are getting certificate courses from BEN.
 The congenial relationship with BGMEA and BKMEA is fundamental for Phulki to implement factory based child care and time to time they write to the employer for child care as compliance issue.
 Partnership with the business sectors like banks, telecom companies etc. Phulki provides trainings on child care management and caregivers training to these sectors in exchange of training fees so that they can operate on site child care centers at their workplace. This creates scope for the expansion of Phulki’s innovation.
 Phulki is in non-monetary partnership with the Government regarding the child care issue. To bring a change in Public policy it is crucial to have partnership with The Government of Bangladesh.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

 Many factories out-source the child care centers to Phulki because of know- how technology and needs to monitoring and caregivers to have training and refresher training. Phulki’s Workplace Based Child Care Project is sustainable with staff salary. This out-sourcing fee leaves additional income for Phulki. This additional money is to support to community based child care.
 Phulki earn revenue from care givers training.
 Phulki is now franchising the model to other NGO and get fees from that.
 To make sustainable Community Based Child Care the mothers pays for 60% of the center operation cost. At present rest 40% comes from the respective projects donor. In future the additional money from work place based child care and training fees will make the community based child care financially sustainable.
 From “Low Cost Sanitary Napkins which Phulki produces for women garment workers The factory owners buy the sanitary napkins directly from Phulki. Phulki is developing this project as cottage industry model. Others NGOs and community women will produce the sanitary napkins and Phulki will do the marketing.
 Phulki is an accredited social auditor for Fair Labor Association, and conducts social audit in Garments Factories in Bangladesh. The fee pays for the project staffs, and leave extra amount for the general fund.
 Phulki has its own two-storied building. The rent from the building pays for the Core Staff salaries. Phulki also has the plan to expand the building area vertically and rent-out.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

In her early years, Suraiya grew up in a privileged environment. Due to social pressures, she was married off while in class ten. Her in-laws did not allow her to continue her studies even though she was a good student. Since she came from a well-to-do family, her parents were of the opinion that no wife in the family should need to work. After a break of eight years, Suraiya returned to school against her husband and in-laws wishes. She continued her education till her Bachelors degree with no support from anyone. Even her mother at one point advised that her stubborn attitude towards academics was detrimental for married life.
In the early 80s, she ran the floor operation of a garments factory in Chittagong City. Prior to her joining, the garments women were given three months training and then placed in the production cycle. Suraiya changed the format and within 15 days the women workers were involved in the production of garments. The efficiency and productivity of the factory increased significantly during her tenure.
After a few years, she and her family moved to Dhaka City. Once a woman came to seek domestic employment in her house but Suraiya refused as the woman had a child with her. She later regretted her actions and started discussing the idea of workplace day care. She established Phulki in her home garage in 1991, and her two sons donated their first paycheck for the start-up costs.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

In her early years, Suraiya grew up in a privileged environment. Due to social pressures, she was married off while in class ten. Her in-laws did not allow her to continue her studies even though she was good student. Since she came from a well-to-do family, her parents were of the opinion that no wife in the family should need to work. After a break of eight years, Suraiya returned to school against her husband and in-laws wishes. She continued her education till her Bachelors degree with no support from anyone. Even her mother at one point advised that her stubborn attitude towards academics was detrimental for married life.
In the early 80s, she ran the floor operation of a garment factory in Chittagong City. Prior to her joining, the garment women were given three months training and then placed in the production cycle. Suraiya changed the format and within 15 days the women worker were involved in the production of garments. The efficiency and productivity of the factory increased significantly during her tenure.
After a few years, she and her family moved to Dhaka City. Once a woman came to seek domestic employment in her house but Suraiya refused as the woman had a child with her. She later regretted her actions and started discussing the idea of workplace day care. She established Phulki in her home garage in 1991, and her two sons donated their first paycheck for the start-up costs.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Newsletter from Changemakers

If through another source, please provide the information

Email from Ashoka

ICRW
Does your project address any of the following barriers to women’s technology access and use?

Women’s time poverty, Social norms.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how.

 Phulki addressed the social norms in a number of ways; firstly, the society has this unwritten norm that the women would be home makers and looking after the children. Women who came out and started working were not appreciated very well in society, there were pre-conceive idea that the women neglecting their children. Phulki is helping the women by implementation of existing law in country. Therefore, women don’t have to face the dilemma of choosing between their children and their economic independence.

 There were social norm that only the women who need money will work. The society sees women’s work as economic need, not as economic emancipation. Therefore, the educated women from the upper classed did not go out for work. Although with the course of time, this tends to change but still the problem with child care prevailed.

 Commercial day care center was unthinkable in Bangladesh, because of the traditional thinking that the children will be reared by their mothers and extended family. The nuclear family system and Phulki’s work shifted this outlook as well.

 Social norm addressed by Phulki was addressing the time poverty of women. Previously, women stay home and look after household chore with-out pay. Working outside home is always profitable and made them organized at the same time realize that the time they spend home unproductive financially and remain poor. By establishing day care centers commercially Phulki thus created opportunity for women and helped poverty alleviation of the country.

Does your project involve women in one or more of the following stages of the technology lifecycle? Identification of the problem the technology will solve:

Technology design, Technology training.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how you will ensure women’s involvement in each relevant phase of the technology lifecycle.

In Phulki 98% of the employees are women. Any public, private or even NGO sector when place an advertisement for job it requirement is at least some years of job experience but Phulki appoint mostly fresh graduate from University and provide them on-job training. Also there is opportunity for young women to get promotion in Phulki. In Phulki most of the policy to decision making is done by young women. This is not the hardware component of the technology but soft technology. Women are getting training and involve from the designing to the implementation, getting experience and higher salary.

If women are a focus of your project, how did this focus evolve?

The project focused on women from its conception..

Which type of women will your project reach directly?

Urban, Low income, Middle income.

In what ways does your project team/leadership involve women?

It is led by a woman/women., The core project team includes women..

Has your organization formed any new partnerships in response to this challenge? If so, with what type/s of organization/s?

None.

Has your project leadership had prior experience with the following?

Working with women.

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