September 8, 2013: Chevron Bangladesh renewed its partnership with Save the Children to implement its SHIKHON program for the communities residing near its Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulavi Bazar Gas Plants. The partnership was formalized at a signing ceremony held on 5th September 2013 at Chevron’s Dhaka offices. Present at the ceremony were Chevron Bangladesh President, Geoffrey Strong; External Affairs Director, Naser Ahmed, Save the Children Country Director, Michael McGrath, and SHIKHON Program Director, Talat Mahmud, among others.
This $180,000 SHIKHON program will span 15 months, reaching 3,000 children. 1,800 out-of-school children (aged 8-10 years) will start with a school-readiness component, and go on to complete Grade-I in 60 single-room schools. In addition, 1,200 primary-school students will benefit from after-school activities and remedial support. Implemented by national NGO, RDRS Bangladesh, the program is also set to include training for 120 teachers; education for 1,800 parents to empower them to support their children’s learning, and the formation of 60 School Assistance Groups. The project not only seeks to address Sylhet Division’s low literacy rate, but will also support Bangladesh in its 2nd Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education.
Speaking on the occasion, Geoff Strong said, “I am very happy that Chevron is supporting this great initiative that will provide crucial support to start off so many underprivileged children on their journey to their formative years of schooling. I know our last collaboration with Save the Children, where we supported 450 children in Bibiyana, was very successful. This new program is on a larger scale, reaching many more children that are out of the formal school system, and I am confident that it will be equally successful.” Michael McGrath said, “We thank Chevron for their significant contribution for the success of the SHIKHON project. This new project will enable the construction of 60 schools and directly support the education of 1,800 children, and a substantial number indirectly as well. We are proud and honoured by the confidence Chevron has shown in us. This confidence is critical to our reputation amongst the donor community in Bangladesh, and shows that a corporation like Chevron values and respects the work that we do.”