The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) provides modest funding for small-scale, high-impact projects in more than 120 countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA).
Supporting Journalists to Promote Freedom of Religion
Project period: 2017- 2018
Canada has been promoting freedom of religion in Bangladesh through various initiatives.
Teamed up with the News Network, the High Commission of Canada/Canada Fund implemented a project to promote freedom of religion through media action. It was focused on news reporters, working for local and national mainstream print and electronic media houses and the media gatekeepers, including editors, executive editors, news editors, news-room editors of local newspapers and online news portals.
The project, “Programme for Supporting Journalists to Promote Freedom of Religion,” undertook several activities in various remote districts of Bangladesh, vulnerable for a peaceful coexistence of all religious people. As part of the activities, participating journalists were sensitized and their professional abilities to report and publish quality report items with respect to freedom of religion and human rights were improved. The initiative has played an important role to raise awareness of the people on the issues relating to religious freedom.
The initiative was the first of its kind in Bangladesh, particularly for the media people. The project has drawn the attention of policy planners, prominent civil society members, rights-based groups and media people, and was highly appreciated from different levels with a plea to keep continue in other districts. They said the initiative should be continued and expanded in other districts of the country and could be replicated in other countries where freedom of religion often faces challenges.