21 January 2015, Dhaka. World Toilet Organization (WTO) gave “Hall of Fame Award" to BRAC for significant contribution in Sanitation sector in Bangladesh. Director of BRAC WASH and DECC and TB programme, DrAkramul Islam received the awardat the 14th World Toilet Summit India in Delhi from Dr. Subramanian Swamy, MP & Former Minister of India and Jack Sim, Founder of WTO.
Minister Devendra Chaudhry, Special Secretary, Ministry of Power, India was also present in the occasion along with representatives from governments, donors, development partners, business sectors, NGOs and media.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in providing basic sanitation services to its people. It is now estimated that throughout Bangladesh, 57% use sanitary latrines. Open defecation has almost ended with only about 3% of the people not using toilets of any kind. The BRAC hygiene and sanitation programme reached more than 66 million people.
BRAC WASH and related programmes have made a substantial contribution to the nation's Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for water, sanitation and health and will continue to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 8 years, the BRAC hygiene and sanitation programme reached more than 66 million people, about half of the rural population of Bangladesh. It has successfully worked to improve household sanitation by creating demand for hygienic latrines  while supporting an extensive supply chain and local businesses. Current coverage with hygienic and adequately maintained toilets is 82% in the 152 districts where BRAC has worked. All these successes have been underpinned by a strong provision of service to the poor and ultra-poor and by a unique hygiene promotion programme focusing on universal use and sustainability of services in communities, households and schools.
17 February 2015, Dhaka. BRAC collected over 1.2 million signatures to support the petition Up For School initiated by the global movement-A World at School campaign. There are more than 58 million children out of school in the world. The campaign aims to mobilise global population to make sure the world leaders keep their promises to secure every child's right to education by the end of 2015.
Celebrating this achievement BRAC’s founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed said, “BRAC is proud to be associated with the Up For School campaign. Using our vast network of schools and adolescent development clubs across Bangladesh, we have collected over a million signatures in support of the petition. I hope the world leaders will hear the voices of our youth and ensure that education remains the priority agenda for years to come.”
The campaign also has particular focus on discrimination against girls and tackling child marriage. So far nearly 3 million signatures have been collected from across the world.
Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, said, “More than 1.2 million people across Bangladesh have come together to demand action from world leaders to get every girl and boy into school, no matter who they are or where they are born. Every signature is important as we know that big numbers of people mobilising over an issue cannot be ignored. The signatures collected by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and the team at BRAC is a reflection of their important work supporting and empowering the most excluded and marginalised communities across Bangladesh. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is a great leader in education and the work being done by BRAC in Bangladesh and around the world is inspiring and is changing the lives of millions of young people. These are the voices that world leaders must listen to this year and they must respond with real action.”
In September, young people came together in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to launch the creation of the world's biggest petition for education and it was supported by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon UN special envoy Gordon Brown and International advocate Graca Machel alongside a global network or organisations coming together demanding action to get every girl and boy in to school.
For more information on the campaign please visit www.upforschool.org.
Support through sales of TOMS Bags will help provide the conditions necessary for a safe and sanitary birth for women in Bangladesh
BRAC announces a partnership with TOMS today that will help provide safe conditions for childbirth for expecting mothers in developing countries, starting in Bangladesh.
Formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC is a global leader in providing cost-effective healthcare and other anti-poverty solutions to empower the world’s poor, while TOMS is known for its OneforOne® consumer philanthropy model. BRAC will receive funding this year for training of community health promoters in Bangladesh from sales of a new line of TOMS Bags.
“We welcome the support from TOMS in our training of healthcare workers in Bangladesh,” says Dr. Kaosar Afsana, director of BRAC’s health, nutrition and population program at BRAC headquarters in Dhaka. “This support will strengthen and sustain safe and sanitary birth for tens of thousands of women.”
Childbirth is still one of the leading causes of death for women worldwide. Most of these deaths can be prevented through the delivery of simple solutions and adequate training for health workers. In Bangladesh, BRAC has made tremendous inroads against maternal mortality by training frontline community health workers. It is running similar programs in Afghanistan, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda.
“This is an important initiative by TOMS, which has shown readiness to expand its philanthropy into healthcare solutions that have been proven to work,” says Scott MacMillan, a spokesperson for BRAC USA in New York, which facilitated the partnership. “Consumers should understand that we can eliminate many of the causes and conditions of poverty by focusing on the effective delivery of training, services and basic health commodities.”
“This partnership will start in Bangladesh, but if successful, there is scope to expand it to other countries, given the tremendous need for access to healthcare in places like Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Sudan, where maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. We welcome the support of corporate partners in bringing those numbers down and creating safer conditions for mothers everywhere.”
The BRAC-TOMS partnership builds on BRAC’s outstanding track record in Bangladesh, a country credited by British medical journal The Lancet with outstanding progress in basic health indicators.
In 1990, the maternal mortality rate in Bangladesh was one of the worst in the world, with 575 deaths per 100,000 births. In the last 20 years, the country has made staggering improvements, with a 40 percent reduction in the rate in the last decade alone. Bangladesh is likely to reach the UN Millennium Development goal of 143 deaths per 100,000.
BRAC started as a small relief effort in 1972 and has grown into the world’s largest nongovernmental organization, measured by number of full-time staff and the estimated number of people it reaches. It is known in the international development community for providing opportunities for the poor on a massive scale. It reaches an estimated 135 million people in 11 countries, operating multiple programs in health, education, microfinance and other areas. BRAC takes a holistic approach to poverty with a breadth of interventions that include healthcare, women’s and girls’ empowerment, microfinance, social justice, and tens of thousands of its own schools. It also runs a full-fledged university, BRAC University, with its own graduate school of public health, in Bangladesh.
BRAC believes that if women and girls have access to the right tools, they can take control of their own lives and end poverty. Its maternal health program advances this philosophy by training self-employed community health promoters and birth attendants, providing both entrepreneurship solutions for women in poorer communities and healthcare for their neighbors.
BRAC’s model for its maternal, child and neonatal health program trains a network of 110,994 self-employed health workers worldwide – community health promoters or “shasthya shebika” in the Bengali language – to deliver health services and to refer patients with complications to nearby facilities.
In 1999, BRAC started manufacturing delivery kits to be sold by these trained health workers. Delivery kits include basic items necessary for a sanitary birth – sterile soap, gauze, a plastic sheet, and a surgical blade to cut the umbilical cord. BRAC health workers sell about 400,000 kits a year and, along with birth attendants, are trained in their proper usage.
For every purchase of one of TOMS new line of bags, BRAC will receive funding to train one health worker in the usage and distribution of these kits.