HARD seeks to empower the poor by developing their skills and opportunities for rising out of poverty with dignity. Villagers in poverty qualify to become HARD members and receive HARD services if they earn less than $2 USD a day.
Through the micro-finance program small loans enable potential entrepreneurs to start or develop a business. Dr. Sarker, founder of HARD and a professor of entrepreneurship, has applied these entrepreneurial principles in developing the Hard Entrepreneurial Institute (HEI) that helps thousands of families in the rural villages.
WDP—Women’s Development Program
Most loans support the WDP, or Women’s Development Program, which significantly empowers Muslim women in the rural society.
- WDP members use their loans toward establishing chicken farms, raising livestock, farming, weaving, making handicrafts, and in silk production.
- We have found that these women are strategic in applying their earned resources to support their children and overall family wellbeing.
BDP—Business Development Program
Small to medium sized business owners are eligible to participate in the HEI BDP, or Business Development Program.
- Through HEI these shopkeepers, fishermen, farmers, textile and pottery industry owners are developed to be community leaders with integrity.
HARD members meet weekly in units of 30 families (mostly groups of women) to receive training on healthy practices and sanitation, entrepreneurial money management, integrity, and other topics. These groups of women support one another in paying back micro-loans and in implementing other community development projects.
Social Justice & Gender Equity
HARD strives for equality among genders and protection against violence, especially for women and children. We seek the well being and full potential for all, and therefore our programs are proactive in helping to prevent human trafficking and female child marriage.
HARD programs empower women at the household level and beyond, improving gender relations in families and entire communities. Our organization works to nurture the development of girls and boys to realize their full potential from early education through secondary school and beyond.
Human Rights & Legal Aid
Those in poverty are often taken advantage of in Bangladesh because they don't know their legal rights. Women are especially vulnerable to mistreatment and discrimination in the rural areas. HARD offers free legal counsel to members from a team of lawyers.