Chevron first started its livelihood improvement program in 2006 with 200 underprivileged families in Bibiyana. To increase family income, the program provided seed funds, organized villagers into self-help groups and offered skills training. Over the past decade, more than 3,700 families in all three of our field locations have benefitted through the creation of more than 2,400 new income-generating enterprises.

In 2014, Chevron Bangladesh announced the Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI), a $10 million, five-year program to promote sustainable income growth among micro and small entrepreneurs and create employment opportunities near the three gas fields in the Sylhet, Habiganj and Moulavibazar districts.

In September 2015, under the banner of the BPI, Chevron announced a partnership with BRAC, the world’s largest NGO to implement an18-month enterprise development pilot, which is expected to create 1,500 businesses.

Also under the BPI, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in November 2015 to participate in the Government of Bangladesh’s nationwide Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP). Our contribution, through an implementing partner, will enable youths near our areas of operation to access vocational training programs in light engineering, construction and information technology.

Over the past few years, Chevron has actively worked with our host communities on a number of economic development activities in partnership with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). For instance, it has promoted organic farming and improved agricultural practices to increase production of cash crops, fruits, vegetables, pond fish, etc. Chevron’s economic development activities have also provided skills-based training and job placement opportunities to more than 650 unemployed youths and women – most of whom were former workers released at the end of the Bibiyana Expansion Project. We also distributed 1,000 energy-efficient cooking stoves and 280 solar panels.

Improving Livelihoods

Economic development of the communities where we work has always been a key focus of Chevron’s social investment initiatives. Chevron currently runs two major economic development projects for about 4,000 families living near its Bibiyana, Moulavi Bazaar and Jalalabad gas fields. Besides, a 30-feet long South Baligaon sluice gate has been built that has completely changed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of families living there. Husne Ara and Ojud Miah—heading their two respective households—both feel that Chevron has given them a new lease on life.

Conserving Energy

The Alternative Livelihood Options (ALO) program is essentially a modified version of the Alternative Livelihood Program, where Chevron introduced an innovative idea that enables communities to raise the capital necessary to launch their own income-generating enterprises. Under the program, Chevron provided environmentally-friendly cooking and lighting solutions - improved stoves and solar panels - that allow people to save in monthly fuel and lighting costs. Rabeya Khatun tells a compelling story about how ALO has changed her life for the better.