Last Updated on Sunday, 25 September 2016 05:17
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The Maleya Foundation (Maleya) is an indigenous peoples’ organization working on environment, human rights and development in Bangladesh, with a high focus on indigenous peoples’ rights. It was established in 2003 to foster the capacities of major environment, human rights and development actors, including indigenous peoples’ organizations and indigenous peoples-led local NGOs, community-based organizations, people’s organizations, and mass movement based organizations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and other parts of Bangladesh. It was registered in 2007 as a non-profit joint stock company under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.


Maleya Foundation was formed by the former members of the Hill Tracts NGO Forum (HTNF) of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). In the beginning, Maleya’s major target was to strengthening of the capacities of development and human rights actors of the CHT region. However, it gradually added do awareness raising, lobby and advocacy, education and training, research and documentation work as well, and included the plans regions in its activities, at local, national and international levels. It operates on its own as well as in partnership with other organizations and networks.


At the local level, its partners include Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Women’s Networks, professional groups and civil society organizations. At the national level, it functions as the secretariat of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Network on Climate Change and Biodiversity (BIPNet), the largest network of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh (and was one of its most active founding members). At the South Asia level, it is a member of the South Asia Local Capacity for Peace (LCP) Network. At the international level, its member organizations’ representatives participate in several important international processes, including UNPFII, EMRIP, UNFCCC, Human Rights Council and the Convention on Biological Diversity.


Maleya is a word from the indigenous Chakma language, referring to the ancient Chakma tradition of collective community self-help. When a family needs help in clearing a field, or harvesting crops or in repairing its house, and is short of work hands, it invites the fellow villagers to help, through the traditional call of Maleya, to which others must respond. After the day’s work, the family and guests eat together and celebrate their work with music, dance, merry-making and a feast. We believe that these traditions hold us together, as they are part of our identity and integrity as indigenous peoples. 

Maleya Foundation is registered with Registrar of Joint Stock companies & Firms. The registration number is S – 7253 (442)/07 dated 29-11-07. This registration allows the foundation to implement social works, events from their own fund or from the funds received from local donors. The organization can also undertake development activities as third party.