16 October 2009, Dhaka. In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Day for Eradication of Poverty, “Children and families speak out against poverty” BRAC organized, among other events, an art festival titled “Drawing a World Fit for All Children” at the Central Shahid Minar from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 300 students from mainstream institutions such as Scholastica and Sunnydale came together with children from disadvantaged backgrounds from BRAC, Streetwise, Surovi schools as well as differently abled children from Beautiful Mind school to work together to draw their vision of an ideal world.
The event was sponsored by BRAC Enterprises with transport sponsor Aktel and media partner Radio Foorti. Event highlights included musical and dance performances by the children and a closing ceremony attended lead by BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and senior officials from BRAC, BRAC Enterprises and Aktel.
This was most likely the first time such an event involving children from all walks of life was organized in the hope that the experience would inspire a mutual curiosity and respect for each other in the children and also result in a wonderful, colorful expression of their idea of a poverty free world.
The occasion was also the launch of a mobile photo exhibition depicting images of people from all across Bangladesh working to overcome poverty. The exhibition sponsored by BRAC Bank Ltd., displaying photographs taken by students at Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography, aims to generate optimism in the audience and act as a call to action in joining the fight against poverty. The exhibit was on display at Shahid Minar grounds during the art festival and will be present at several other prominent locations around the city during the following week.
In addition, BRAC and the Bangladesh Government are jointly organizing human chains, discussion sessions and cultural programmes at the district level on October 17th.
28 October 2009, Dhaka. For the first time in Bangladesh, BRAC has launched a new credit scheme ‘Borga Chashi Unnayan Project' for the sharecroppers of the country who hardly get any loan from the traditional banking system. On Tuesday, 27 October, 2009 Bangladesh Bank governor Dr. Atiur Rahman inaugurated the scheme by distributing the first loans to a group of sharecroppers consisting of 25 at Hosenpur village, in Chandpur district. BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain and senior officials of regional central banks were also present. Governors and deputy-governors of the central banks of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal and other SAARC countries also witnessed the event.
Speaking at the inauguration, Dr. Rahman said, "This scheme would bring a revolutionary change among our farmers. Such an initiative is the first of its kind in Bangladesh."
Dr. Hossain while describing the lending procedure stated, "A sharecropper now can take loans ranging from TK 5,000 to TK 25,000 collateral free at the cost of only 10 percent interest. In the first phase, the farmers will repay 30 percent of the loan through weekly instalments. BRAC will realise the rest 70 percent loan repayment after the two harvest seasons."
Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, governor of Afghanistan Bank said "We're really surprised to see this programme. It's amazing that a landless farmer can cultivate crops by taking loans without a mortgage deal."
During the event, BRAC also distributed BRAC seeds among the farmers. At the end, BRAC's popular theatre group also performed a play named ‘In search of Happiness' depicting a sharecropper's life and how the traditional money lender exploits them.
25 August 2010, Dhaka. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed a Group of Eminent Persons to advise on the support needed to help the world’s poorest nations achieve their development targets.
BRAC's Founder and Chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, was among the ten people selected to join the Group.
"The members have been selected in view of their high international stature, expertise and strong commitment to global development," said the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General. "They will be making efforts to raise public awareness and build strong political commitment in support of the LDCs in key areas, including trade, investments, technology transfer, official development assistance, building productive capacities, adaptation to the effects of climate change, and a stimulus package to manage the impacts of the global financial crisis."
Others in the Group include, Alpha Oumar Konaré, former president of the Republic of Mali; Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission; Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Center for Global Development; Kemal Dervi vice president and director of Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution; James Wolfensohn, chairman and CEO of Wolfensohn & Company and former President of the World Bank; Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Sumitomo Chemical Company Ltd.; Louis Michel, member of European Parliament and formerly the European commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid; Louis A. Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda and formerly executive director at the World Bank; and Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary Professor of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.
03 August 2010, Dhaka. With the heavy rainfalls and the ensuing flood in Pakistan, BRAC temporarily halted its microfinance and health operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and is focusing on providing emergency relief. “Drawing upon years of experience in flood relief work in Bangladesh, a flood-prone country, BRAC Pakistan staff are rapidly and effectively assisting the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province,” said Susan Davis, President & CEO of BRAC USA.
Reuters/Adrees Latif, courtesy www.alertnet.org
The shortage of food is acute. BRAC Pakistan has begun to deliver food packets which contain rice, lentils, flour, and water purification tablets. To combat the threat of diarrheal diseases breaking out, BRAC is distributing Oral Rehydration Solution sachets. This is a staple commodity distributed by BRAC’s health program in every country where we operate, including Pakistan. Additionally, BRAC will be sending a medical team for assessment of health needs in the affected communities.
Of the houses that are still standing many are under water. BRAC’s staff in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa expect the water to recede in 2-3 days, but “this part of Pakistan is not accustomed to floods,” said Mr. Aminul Alam, Executive Director of BRAC International. “In Bangladesh, we are used to this so we can prevent casualties there. But here the families and communities we serve are not used to this. We want to help because of BRAC’s experience of dealing with floods in Bangladesh over the years.”
BRAC Pakistan has been operating in Pakistan since 2007 providing microfinance throughout 94 branches to 106,000 people. Of BRAC’s 12 offices in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 10 are under water. However, BRAC’s existing footprint in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the extensive network of local staff give BRAC a starting point through which relief will be delivered.
“Many families that we serve have seen their houses washed away. Many houses of our staff members were also washed away. But as a BRAC staff member they can be effective in delivering relief to the families and communities that they serve every day,” said Mr. Faridhur Rahman, BRAC Pakistan CEO.
“Vehicles cannot go in to flooded areas, and there is a lack of boats in this area. We have no choice but to wade through water and deliver relief supplies on foot where we can, even in flooded areas,” said Mr. Rahman.
BRAC, the largest non-profit in the developing world, was launched in Bangladesh in 1972 and currently touches the lives of more than 138 million people through its programs addressing poverty including micro-loans, education, health services, self-employment opportunities and human rights education. BRAC’s vision is to improve the health, wealth and well being of millions of the poorest families primarily in Asia and Africa. BRAC has provided $6.7 billion in micro-loans to nearly eight million borrowers, mostly women, and created 9 million self-employment opportunities. BRAC’s 84,000 community health promoters have provided basic health services to nearly 100 million people. Currently, BRAC has programs in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda. BRAC USA is a 501 c 3 affiliate in New York. To learn more about BRAC, please visit www.bracusa.org.
Md. Faridhur Rahman
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02 August 2010, Dhaka. With the heavy rainfalls and the ensuing flood in Pakistan, BRAC has temporarily halted its normal operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North-West Frontier Province) and is focusing on providing relief work. BRAC seeks to bring to the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa our years of experience in flood relief work in Bangladesh, a flood-prone country.
Reuters/Adrees Latif, courtesy www.alertnet.org
“We want to cover 4,000 families,” says BRAC Pakistan CEO Mr. Faridhur Rahman, referring to the number of families to whom BRAC aims to deliver food such as rice, lentils, and flour in the next four days. The shortage of food is acute.
To combat the threat of diarrheal diseases breaking out, BRAC will also be distributing Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). This is a staple commodity distributed by BRAC’s health program in every country where we operate, including Pakistan. Additionally, BRAC will be sending a medical team for assessment of health needs there.
Of the houses that are still standing many are under water. BRAC’s staff in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa expect the water to recede in 2-3 days, but “this part of Pakistan is not accustomed to floods,” says Mr. Anisur Rahman, BRAC Pakistan’s Microfinance Program Manager. “In Bangladesh, we are used to this so we can prevent casualties there. But here the families and communities we serve are not used to this. We want to help because of BRAC’s experience of dealing with floods in Bangladesh over the years.”
BRAC Pakistan has been operating in Pakistan since 2007. Of BRAC’s 12 offices in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9 are under water and 3 are of limited use. However, BRAC’s existing infrastructure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the form of branch offices and the extensive network of local staff give BRAC a starting point through which relief will be delivered.
“Many families that we serve have seen their houses washed away. Many houses of our staff members were also washed away. But as a BRAC staff member they can be effective in delivering relief to the families and communities that they serve every day,” Mr. Rahman says.
“Vehicles cannot go in to flooded areas, and there is a lack of boats in this area. We have no choice but to wade through water and deliver relief supplies on foot where we can, even in flooded areas.”
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03 November 2009, Dhaka. A high profile delegate consisting four members of UK parliament visited several core programs of BRAC at Shirajgonj on 2nd November, 2009. The delegate came to Bangladesh to watch the development projects funded by DFID in Bangladesh.
In the morning the delegate visited the BRAC's Pre- Primary school and Government Primary school at char Kalyani, in Shirajganj. They spoke with students as well as their parents. Later they also visited the Government general hospital and Comprehensive Reproductive Health Clinic.
The team visited Choneka, a member of BRAC's ‘CFPR-TUP living in Ariya Mohon. They enquired her about various issues relating to her well-being. The team also met Razia, Sobura, Sakina and Aysha, members of CFPR (TUP) and became familiar with their income generating activities. They had a discourse with the Village Poverty Alleviation Committee, Health workers, Panel Doctors, members of the Health Forum. Later the group observed the activities and the class of the Legal aid Centre and the panel of the lawyers.
The members of the UK Parliament are John Battle, Mark Hendrick, Marsha Singh from Labor party, and Nigel Evans from Conservative party. Danial Davis from DFID and from BRAC officers Tania Zaman, Director Chairperson's Office, Faruque Ahmed, Director, Health Programme, Safiqul Islam, Director, Education Programme, Dr. Faustina Pereira, Director, Human Rights and Legal Services Programme and Rabeya Yasmin, Programme Head, Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty-Targeting the Ultra Poor were also present.
08 November 2009, Dhaka. BRAC received the 2009 silver award for Social Performance Reporting. The award is launched by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, and powered by MIX (Microfinance Information Exchange). The award is designed to promote greater transparency in Microfinance Institutions’ social performance and recognises transparency in social performance reporting.
MIX Press Release: http://www.themix.org/press-release/recipients-2009-social-performance-reporting-award-announced (external link)
Global Handwashing Day was celebrated in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on 26 October 2015 led by the regional department of education and department of health. With the commitment to improve the performance of children in schools, the DepEd-ARMM decided to celebrate the event annually with a regular carry out of the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) activities including bi-annual deworming. This is the fourth year for the event to be celebrated in this region.
BRAC Philippines along with other government and non-government organizations celebrated the event in Cotabato City. To date, more than half of the 845 learning centers of the alternative delivery model (ADM) project have integrated the EHCP in their classroom sessions in partnership with GIZ Philippines. The learning facilitators conduct daily group tooth brushing and hand washing with soap in BRAC Learning Centers as part of their daily classroom activities. EHCP aims to show children the importance of personal hygiene.
Dr John Magno, DepEd-ARMM secretary noted that ‘handwashing with soap is a low-cost but effective intervention to prevent hygiene-related illnesses among school children in the region.’
08 November 2009, Dhaka. BRAC was awarded the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Best Presented Accounts award for 2008. Mr. S.N. Kairy, Finance Director of BRAC, received the award on behalf of BRAC at a ceremony held on November 5th, 2009 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Hall in Dhaka, Bangladesh. BRAC previously received the SAFA award for the year 2007, which was presented in Hyderabad last year.
SAFA is a forum of professional accountancy bodies committed to developing the accountancy profession in the South Asian region. The Best Presented Accounts awards are conferred on the basis of evaluation administered by SAFA's Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance of published annual reports from South Asian countries.
In November 2009, Ariful Islam, Country Programme Coordinator of BRAC Uganda disbursed the 100,000th loan to Sarah who was pleasantly surprised to realise that she was BRAC Uganda’s 100,000th borrower.
BRAC Uganda’s success is the result of the dedication, hard-work and commitment of the staff in Uganda and also due to the leadership and vision provided by BRAC’s senior management team in Bangladesh.