Chevron 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 near our three fields have benefited 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.

The first BPI effort was the Jibika Project. Launched in 2015, the project was implemented by BRAC, an international nongovernmental organization based in Bangladesh. The project aims to strengthen the governance of 112 community groups with startup capital and training. It is anticipated that 1,500 enterprises will be established, improving the lives of 20,000 marginalized people.

As of December 2016, more than 2,600 training sessions had been offered in leadership, accounts management and enterprise development. More than 1,100 enterprises received credit and seed funds, and 16 groups were formally registered as cooperatives. Thanks in part to a memorandum of understanding Chevron signed in 2015 with Asian Development Bank (ADB), approximately 1,400 youths living in areas near the company’s operations will have access to high-quality engineering and construction training programs. ADB sponsors the program partnership, which comes under the umbrella of the government’s Skills for Employment Investment Program (BAN-SEIP) and is administered by the Ministry of Finance.

In August 2016, Chevron launched Uttoron, a three-year work skills training project implemented by development foundation Swisscontact. The foundation will work with industry associations and training institutes to facilitate training and link trainees with employers in the Greater Sylhet area and nationwide.

In November 2016, Chevron joined BAN-SEIP to launch the British Council–run English for Business Success. This project aims to provide English language training to nearly 3,500 call center trainees nationwide through the Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing. As of December 2016, more than 570 call center operators and staff had received training.

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.