3 May 2016, Dhaka
In celebration of BRAC’s founder and chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s 80th birthday, messages have been flooding in from all across the world to wish him a happy birthday. Global leaders such as Gordon Brown, the former prime minister of the UK, Desmond Swayne, Minister of State for International Development (DFID), UK, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister of International Development and the Pacific, Australia, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, are among the few that have been extending their best wishes.
In a message, Bill Clinton, former president of the United States, says, ‘You’ve helped millions of people in Bangladesh and beyond to escape poverty through the dignity of their own work. In doing so, you’ve revolutionised the way we all think about development. Luckily for all of us, you show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.”
Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, ‘We’ve had a great partnership with BRAC for more than a decade, and it’s made a huge difference. Through BRAC, you have changed the course of history for millions globally. For your vision and commitment to creating a better world, we salute you.”
“Abed bhai, happy birthday,” said Jim Kim, President of the World Bank. Having met Sir Fazle more than a decade ago, he says, ‘The scale and impact of what he’s done, and yet the utter humility with which he’s done everything, I think is a lesson for every single one of us who are working in development. For Abed bhai, everything has always been about making sure that women are empowered; making sure that children have education, even through informal systems.’