BRAC

BRAC

5 June is World Environment Day and your action is needed. The illegal trade in wildlife is pushing many species of animals and plants toward local or global extinction, robbing us of our natural heritage. The killing and smuggling of these species is also undermining economies, fuelling organised crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe.

You can play a big part to stop this. Do any of the suggested activities below and then register on WED website to join the global chorus to fight wildlife crime.

Take action!

  1. Get rid of trash -- trash is harmful to wildlife. Most plastics end up on oceans, for example and entangle or are ingested by marine life.
  2. Buy responsibly -- don't buy bones, teeth, ivory or other wildlife trophies. Animals have to be killed for you to obtain these.
  3. Introduce a child to nature -- most people that care about the environment were introduced to nature as a child. Reports also show there are numerous benefits to doing so. So why not take a child to the zoo or for nature walks on World Environment Day. Use apps to learn about wildlife around you, such as ForestXplorer, NatureFinder, iTrack Wildlife and Project Noah.
  4. Find your kindred species and make a pledge. Take WED challenge online and help spread the word on illegal trade in wildlife.
  5. Donate and adopt an animal for your child for WED at your local animal orphanage or animal caring facility.
  6. Learn about endangered species -- check out WED illegal trade in wildlife website. 
  7. Speak up! Share your enthusiasm -- download social media banners on WED website and share on your channels with friends. Use the hashtags #worldenvironmentday #WED2016 or #WildForLife
  8. Report wildlife crime via an app -- use cool mobile apps to report wildlife crime such as Wild Witness.
  9. Don't keep wild animals as pets. It's unsafe, illegal and inhumane (you cannot provide for its complex needs in a home environment).
  10. Join or volunteer for an organisation that's working to conserve nature.

Find out what else is happening for WED at the international, national, regional and local levels from WED website.

roanu-small

roanu
Photo credit: Kiron/Focus Bangla News

On May 21, 2016, a cyclone devastated the low-lying coastal regions of Bangladesh. BRAC is playing a leading role in providing relief, particularly in hard to reach areas, through its extensive reach in the south.

Cyclone Roanu hit the coast of Bangladesh at 11:00am on 21 May 2016. Winds reached speeds of 102 kilometres per hour and caused massive damage to houses, businesses and agricultural lands. Heavy rainfall inundated the southern coastal regions of the country and caused severe landslides. An estimated 50,000 houses were partially damaged and more than 24,000 properties were destroyed.

Roanu was half the strength of 2007’s Cyclone Sidr, which killed 3,447 people and caused millions of dollars in damage. A coordinated community response led by authorities and supported by BRAC and other agencies helped 500,000 people relocate to cyclone shelters the day before the cyclone hit. To date, 24 deaths have been recorded.

The cyclone forced the cancellation of the national Higher Secondary Certificate examinations. BRAC is providing water, food supplies and cash transfers to families who have been affected by the cyclone, as well as distributing special cash grants to exam candidates. A total of BDT 2 million has been allocated for relief efforts, focusing on specific areas that have not received immediate supplies.

The organisation’s priorities are to support the continuation of education and establish child-friendly spaces to ensure that children are busy with activities while out of school.

“Disaster responses traditionally focus on the immediate needs of survivors,” said Dr Muhammad Musa, executive director of BRAC. “Children and young people are often forgotten and become the most vulnerable group. We are focusing on meeting basic needs, while also ensuring that children are kept safe and can continue learning.”

In addition to providing relief, BRAC is participating in the government-initiated joint needs assessment for loss and damage. This is the first time that a Bangladesh-based non-governmental organisation has participated in this assessment.

BRAC is leading the first phase of the assessment in Patuakhali and co-leading the assessment in Cox’s Bazar, which were two of the most affected districts. Cyclone Roanu affected multiple districts including Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Naokhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Bagerhaat, Khulna, Barisal, Potuakhali, Pirojpur, Bhola, Borguna and Jalokathi – all areas where BRAC has programmes.

 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:00

BRAC USA welcomes new President and CEO

Donella-Rapier-sma

Donella-Rapier


BRAC USA, the U.S. affiliate of BRAC, a global leader in creating opportunity for the world’s poor and the world’s largest nongovernmental development organisation, today announced the appointment of Donella Rapier as its new President & CEO.  Donella will succeed BRAC USA founding President, Susan Davis, who completed ten years of outstanding service in December 2015.

BRAC is a development success story, spreading anti-poverty solutions born in Bangladesh to 11 other developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Donella will bring over 30 years of extensive finance, fundraising and non-profit management experience to its U.S. operations.

For the past four and a half years, Donella served as the Chief Development and Administrative Officer at Accion, a pioneer and global leader in microfinance and financial inclusion whose work spans nearly two dozen countries. Prior to that, she was the Chief Financial Officer at Partners In Health, a global healthcare organisation working in remote places where healthcare alternatives are limited or otherwise nonexistent, such as Haiti, Rwanda and Malawi. Earlier in her career, Donella spent more than a decade in senior leadership roles at Harvard University, including Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development and Chief Financial Officer for Harvard Business School. Donella received her MBA from Harvard Business School and began her career at Price Waterhouse.

“BRAC USA is enormously fortunate to have someone with Donella’s range of skills and depth of experience as the new leader for our organisation,” said Lincoln Chen, Chair of the Board for BRAC USA.  “She is a skilled builder of organisations and is deeply committed to empowering people and communities in situations of poverty.” Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the Founder & Chairperson of BRAC Bangladesh, applauded the appointment: “Donella is a great addition to the BRAC family, bringing talent, expertise, and commitment to our work of ending poverty.”

“I am truly honored to be joining the remarkable BRAC family of organisations,” said Donella Rapier.  “BRAC has made an enormous difference in the world and, by many measures, is one of the most successful organisations driving social change.  I am eager to dive in and build on the excellent foundation laid by a decade of pioneering work to further BRAC’s reach and potential for even greater impact.”

Donella will join BRAC USA full time in July 2016. 

 

Monday, 25 April 2016 18:00

A tribute to a champion of the deprived

I can think of few people who have done more for the world's deprived population than Fazle Hasan Abed. His contribution spans Bangladesh where BRAC, the organisation he founded in 1972, services close to 10 million of the country's underprivileged households. Through Abed's commitment to serve the world's deprived, BRAC has now extended its reach across the globe. It has invested its experience in rehabilitating the tsunami victims in Sri Lanka and the war-ravaged population in Afghanistan where two of its officials, working in high risk areas, were held hostage by the Taliban. BRAC is now reaching out on a large scale to serve the underprivileged populations in various regions of Africa. It has been actively engaged in Pakistan, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone. BRAC has even extended its reach across the Atlantic to Haiti. Read more

When Sa’a jumped from the moving truck, she wasn’t thinking about her education that had just been cut short. She was fleeing for her life. One of the more than 250 girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, two years ago, Sa’a recounted the heartbreaking story to members of Congress last week, renewing calls read more  

Originally appeared on NextBillion. Albrecht Dürer’s masterful woodcut, ’Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ is drawn from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible’s New Testament. In it, the horsemen ride on red, black, white and pale horses, symbolising war, famine, conquest and death. The black horse symbolises famine its darkness depicting the brute force read more  

Many perceive South Asia as home to poverty, population explosion and disasters.However, this is only one side of the coin. The other side shows indomitable spirit of resilience that can be seen in grassroots communities across South Asia. From sunflower cultivation in coastal areas to mobilising volunteers after a building collapse through social media, numerous read more  

Sunday, 24 April 2016 18:00

Workers deserve better protection

The government should establish a strong legal protection and permanent framework to ensure adequate compensation for the victims of factory disasters, experts said yesterday. They spoke at a seminar in the capital's Spectra Convention Hall, organised by Brac, on the eve of the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy. Three years ago, on April 24, the Rana Plaza building collapsed, crushing workers underneath and drawing the world's attention to the safety concerns. The country lost at least 1,136 lives, and 2,438 were injured and scarred forever. Read more

Sunday, 24 April 2016 18:00

PSDF joins hands with BRAC

Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) has joined hands with BRAC Pakistan, one of the largest non-governmental international development organizations in community health sector in the world which is based in Bangladesh.

PSDF Chief Operating Officer Ali Akbar Bosan and BRAC’s country representative& CEO Muzaffar-ud-Din signed the contract here.

Under the project, BRAC Pakistan will train 720 mature trainers who will impart training to 48,000 LHWs across the Punjab.

With improved skills, these LHWs would create awareness in community to improve health conditions at tehsil level, take active role to improve maternal, newborn and child health issues, help government to reduce child mortality rate and contribute in family planning services. Read More

 

Launching-of-BRAC-Manthan-Digital-Innovation-Award-2016--

Launching of BRAC Manthan Digital Innovation Award 2016 -
From left Ravi Guria, Asif Saleh, Anisul Hoque, K A M Morshed and Ovick Alam.

BRAC launched the prestigious Manthan Digital Innovation Award (BMDIA) 2016, on 10 April, for the first time in Bangladesh.  The award, an off-shoot of the Manthan Awards in India, promotes the use of technology for the development and focuses on newer digital and mobile innovations.

BRAC in partnership with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), an India-based non-profit launched the awards on National Press club today. Manthan Award, initiated in 2004 by Digital Empowerment Foundation promotes and recognises the contributions of individuals and organisations in the field of ICT for development.

Upon launching, deputy programme manager of DEF Ravi Guria said, "Bangladesh has been one of the most prominent participants in the Manthan award for years. We have to create an environment for the young innovators to make innovations that can have a positive impact in the most marginalised people of the country. This is why we are launching Manthan in Bangladesh."

From this year, Bangladeshi applicants will only be able to participate in the Manthan Award in India by winning the BRAC Manthan Digital Innovation Award in Bangladesh. Appreciating this initiative Anisul Hoque
from Prothom Alo said, "ten years before, a child from Bangladesh's Char area could not even imagine to have quality education, but thanks to technology, today we can ensure that. A child living in the remotest Char area can have the same education like a child living in the city. So we have to encourage the youth of our country to participate in this kind of initiatives which will take our country forward in the coming days."

The nine categories of the BMDIA 2016 are: e-business and financial inclusion, e-education, learning and employment, e-agriculture and ecology, e-governance and institutions, e-health, e-women, inclusion and empowerment, e-news, journalism and entertainment, e-culture, heritage and tourism, and m-content.

The registration for interested applicants would be open from 11 April to 10 June 2016. Notable individuals from the technology sector of South Asia will assess the applications on the quality of their content, impact of the solution, functionality of the product/service and benefits to people. The winners of the awards will be announced on September 2016. The winners of the BMDIA will get direct nomination to the Indian Manthan Awards and will represent Bangladesh there.

The press conference was moderated by BRAC's senior director Asif Saleh.  Explaining the award nomination process he said, 'mobile and internet are bringing groundbreaking changes in the way people are interacting with the world around themselves. These newer digital services are reaching more people than ever and improving the quality of people's lives. BRAC wants to use that momentum and recognise those innovators who are catalysing these changes."

A number of Bangladeshi initiatives have won this award in the previous years in India, including A2i's e-purjee platform, bKash, Maya.com.bd, British Council's EITA project with BRAC, Amader Kishorganj, Infolady, Amar Desh Amar Gram. As the number of Bangladeshi applicants are rising for the Manthan Awards, BRAC has decided to bring this award in Bangladesh to promote and encourage a positive and working environment in ICT for development in here.

Ovick Alam from WebAble, the digital media partner of this award said, "122 million people in Bangladesh use mobile and 63 million use internet connection. Only 55% of this population is urban. We need to bring a paradigm shift from being urban focused to going country-wide. BRAC Manthan stands for that shift. It encourages people all over the country to bring tech-based solutions for mass people."

Present at the conference were BRAC's senior director Asif Saleh, director of advocacy and technology KAM Morshed, Prothom Alo's associate editor Anisul Hoque, Prothom Alo's development programme coordinator Munir Hasan, DEF's deputy programme manager Ravi Guria and WebAble Digital's co-founder and director Ovick Alam.

Prothom Alo is an associate partner of this initiative and WebAble Digital is the digital media partner of BMDIA 2016 while Channel 24 is supporting this initiative as the TV media partner.

For more information and nomination please visit http://brac.manthanaward.org/

 

 

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