As a part of its ongoing yearly scholarship distribution programme for financially disadvantaged meritorious students, recently Chevron Bangladesh hosted a programme at the premises of its Bibiyana Gas Plant, said a press release.
A total of 823 students from 24 educational institutions near Chevron’s Bibiyana, Jalalabad and Moulavi Bazar natural gas fields were awarded stipends this year, of which around 64% are females. Also included in the total are 20 scholarships for students who received excellent grades in the recently published results of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams. Chevron Bangladesh started the scholarship programme with only a small handful of educational institutions nearly two decades ago. The average pass rate of Chevron’s scholarship recipients in the recently published results of the 2019 Secondary School Certificate exams was nearly 100%.
Aside from its scholarship distribution drive, Chevron’s Quality Education Support Initiative aims to improve the learning environment of schools near its three gas fields. In addition to stipends, support is provided in the form of additional teaching, computer labs, coaching support and endowment fund for selected schools, school uniforms, sports equipment, furniture, sanitation facilities and potable water. Chevron’s support for schools helps improve their overall performance. The United States Ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl Robert Miller was present in the programme. Chevron Bangladesh president Neil Menzies, director of corporate affairs Ismail Chowdhury, Bibiyana Gas Plant Superintendent Ashiq Rahman, and senior staff from Bibiyana Gas Plant. Students and parents/guardians were also present. The U.S. Ambassador said, “The United States government is proud Chevron continues to contribute to Bangladesh’s development by investing in local communities like yours.”
Addressing the student he said, “Young people like yourselves can and will push this country into the future.” He congratulated the Chevron scholarship recipients and encouraged them to continue to challenge themselves and take risks in order to grow as people and as future leaders.
Mr. Menzies said, “We believe that it is critical to support education activities in our operational areas to nurture the untapped potential of school children, particularly among poor and disadvantaged families, helping them achieve their full learning capacity.”
Chevron has been running its corporate social responsibility initiatives in economic development, education and health for communities near its gas fields since 2005. Chevron Bangladesh partners with BRAC and Swisscontact on enterprise development and vocational development programs respectively. Through these initiatives, 20,000 community members have been supported through capacity building and microfinance schemes; 1,400 local youths have received training to build their skills and find employment. In collaboration with USAID, Chevron’s healthcare programs have community clinics near its operations, which provide over 100,000 services annually.
In this regard, Mr. Chowdhury said, “As a part of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, Chevron seeks to promote long-term human progress as reflected in our global social investment areas of focus: economic development, education and health.”