Waste pickers of Dhaka

Waste-picking in Bangladesh is the occupation of the poorest of the poor. In the Matuail Dumping Site in Dhaka City, there are over 2,500 waste-pickers picking through 3,000 metric tons of waste deposited each day. They are exposed to unhygienic conditions, toxic fumes and injury from sharp objects and machinery and their lack of skills, discrimination and dire poverty means waste-picking is their only means of survival.

The LC Supports Foundation wants to break this cycle and give the waste-pickers a chance for a better life. Together with  Grambangla and ChildHope UK, LC Packaging and our local FIBC production location Dutch-Bangla Pack Ltd, have developed a skill development training programme for the waste pickers in Matuail Dumping Site, so that they can find employment in decent work sectors.

Since January 2018, the LC Supports Foundation has donated €30,000 to this project, allowing waste-pickers between the ages of 17-24 to become sewing trade trainees for at least six months, after which they are offered a job at the SA 8000 certified LC Packaging FIBC factory. Here they will be employed, receive a fair wage, health care and enjoy normal working hours in a nice, safe and clean working environment. This way, they can earn money for themselves and their families and are able to send their children to school.

Up to now, 110 trainees have participated in the skills training. So far, 72 trainees have graduated and all of them have found a new job, either at LC Packaging’s factory or in local garment factories. Unfortunately, 13 trainees dropped out due to family responsibility and migration. Another 25 trainees are currently participating in the skill training process, however due to the Covid-19 lockdown in Bangladesh since 26 March 2020, the programme has to put on hold until further notice.

Green Heart donation
Via the so-called Green Heart Campaign 2019, initiated by LC Packaging, a further €1,079 has been donated. This donation allowed for computers with a large screen to be bought. This computer is used for learning activities, for example the presentation of materials and designs and skill training in Technical Drawing.