SHOKKHOM (a Bengali word meaning being skillful or competent in a certain field of profession) is a sustainable livelihood program which aims to demolish poverty and ensure a maintainable life for the disadvantaged and destitute people. In the Islamic community, Muslims are obliged to pay a percentage annually under Islamic law on a particular amount of property they own and use it for charitable and religious purposes. In Bangladesh, with Zakat money, people tend to purchase clothing and food to distribute those to the poor which results in momentary happiness for the people but does not bring any tenable development in their lives. To ensure appropriate utilization of the money, we initiated a Sustainable Livelihood program titled “Shokkhom”.This was initially implemented in 2016 at a very small scale involving only two families to see its results. Pondering its positive outcome, we redacted it at a larger scale in 2017-2022, helping 1250 families accomplish sustainable livelihood opportunities for them. This program involves compiling Zakat money and using it to create an income-generating source for disadvantaged families. We give the breadwinner of the family, a chance to become an entrepreneur and thus improve his/her own living standard. The program is being implemented in Dhaka, Kushtia, Barisal, Patuakhali, Rangpur, Gazipur, Burimari.
As Shokkhom is an initiative that is based primarily on monitoring, areas were chosen where the volunteer support is the strongest. The main objective of this program is “To support the families to such an extent that they won’t be needing aid next year rather they will be capable of providing Zakat for other impoverished families”. The program was started for the purpose of facilitating the development and promotion of small scale enterprises (SMEs) through ensuring sustainable livelihood, gender empowerment and capacity building in Bangladesh.