The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International received a Best Practices & Innovations Award last week for its Bangladesh women's empowerment initiative.
InterAction, the largest United States-based alliance of international nongovernmental organizations, honored ADRA with the award for its Improving Livelihoods through Women Empowerment, which over the last three years has taught literacy and income generation to some 5,400 women in the Mymensingh district of Bangladesh.
ADRA officials estimated more than 100,000 women have benefited from the project since it began in the 1990s.
In a May 4 awards ceremony at its Washington, D.C. headquarters, InterAction also recognized ADRA as one of the five leading humanitarian agencies for work in agriculture and rural livelihoods.
"This is a tremendous work ADRA has done in Bangladesh, which started many years ago and has developed and progressed in many stages," said ADRA Bangladesh Country Director Elidon Bardhi. "This isn't just a women's issue but affects the entire community," he said.
The latest round of training was sponsored by ADRA Sweden. As a result, 80 percent of participants now have the ability to read, write and actively partake in family-making decisions. Some 70 percent of participants have increased their household income by about 20 percent through the income generating activities.
Last week's award was the third Best Practices recognition from InterAction. ADRA was awarded last May for a food security project in Bolivia and in December for a similar project in Ghana.
For more information, visit adra.org.