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07 March 2013, Dhaka. Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury on Thursday called on the scientists and manufacturers to produce farm equipments that are useful for Bangladesh’s small and medium scale farmers.

Addressing a workshop on the use of industrial machineries in crop production and processing in Bangladesh, held at BRAC’s head office on 7 March 2013, the Honorable Minister said machineries for managing large farms are unlikely to find market in Bangladesh, because the overwhelming majority of farmers are operating at small or medium scale. “You cannot compel farmers to use any machinery unless they find it truly useful,” she said.

BRAC and the Planning Commission of Bangladesh jointly organised this workshop as part of a two-day event titled ‘Asian Regional Workshop on Rural mechanisation’. The inauguration session was chaired by the governor of Bangladesh Bank, Dr Atiur Rahman, with the agriculture minister attending as the special guest.

In his chair’s address, Dr Atiur Rahman said that in the last four years the country’s foreign reserve increased from USD 6 billion to USD 14 billion. “The credit must go to the farmer community. It is because of their hard work that the production increased, and we did not have to import rice.”

Dr MA Sattar Mandal, member of the Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institution Division of the Planning Commission, presented a keynote paper titled ‘Rural Mechanisation: Status and Issues in Bangladesh’ at the inauguration.  He chaired other sessions of the workshop along with Dr Shamsul Alam, member of GED of Planning Division and Dr Rafiqul Islam, director-general of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute. Professor Scott Justice of CIMMYT, Akhter Ahmed of IFRI, as well as BRAC’s executive director Mahbub Hossain and its  research division’s director WMH Jaim also spoke at the workshop.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013 18:00

BRAC launches its website in Bengali

21 February 2013, Dhaka. BRAC is launching its very own Bengali website – on the 21st February, 2013. BRAC Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed opened the website at the launching ceremony held at BRAC Centre.
Prominent media personality Shykh Seraj, BRAC’s Vice -Chairperson AMR Chowdhury, Sr Directors Babar Kabir and Asif Saleh were present at the event. The website is designed to create better access to information for a wider range of clients, partners, journalists and researchers in Bengali.

On explaining the purpose of the website the Chairperson said, “Our accountability is to the people of our country and this Bengali website will expand its reach to a wider range.”

The launching day of the website coincides with International Mother Language Day to commemorate the martyrs who fought for the right to speak in Bengali in 1952. To promote greater transparency and accountability for the people of the country, BRAC initiated the Bengali website to capture the spirit and essence of the International Mother Language Day.

The website provides in depth information about BRAC’s programmes in the areas of social and economic empowerment, education, health care, human rights, agriculture and food security, as well as environment sustainability and disaster preparedness among others, in Bangladesh and 10 other countries where BRAC operates.

The new Bengali website will operate simultaneously with the English website .

18 February 2013, Dhaka. A training workshop on Research Proposal Preparation and Scientific Report Writing was held at BCDM, Rajendrapur, Gazipur from February 9 to 13, 2013. The workshop was organized by Krishi Gobeshona Foundation in collaboration with BRAC. 30 scientists from different fields of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) institutes participated in the five-day long workshop that aimed to improve the scientific research skill for writing/preparing quality research project proposal and report writing.

The workshop was directed to fill the need of the researchers to prepare formal research proposals for securing funds from different sources and to write reports for publishing paper in scientific journals. The researchers in Bangladesh, though academically qualified, are often not well versed in the art of research project proposal and report writing which requires adequate relevant scientific knowledge and skill. The meticulously designed training workshop with focused activities and facilitation of specialist resource speakers served to improve the necessary skill of the researchers.

The distinguished resource persons of the workshop included Dr. Francisco Javier Zapata-Arias, Advisor, Agriculture and Food Security Programme, BRAC; Andrew Jenkins, Coordinator, Impact Assessment Unit, Research and Evaluation Division (RED), BRAC; Fakir Md. Yunus, Research Associate, Impact Assessment Unit, RED; S M Mustafizur Rahman, Faculty Member, BRAC Learning Division (BLD); A.K.M. Alamgir Chowdhury, Director, Socioconsult; Hasan Shareef Ahmed, Chief of Editing and Publication, RED; Jan Jenkins, education specialist and Nil Ratan Halder, Senior Program Manager, BRAC Education Programme (BEP). Among the participants were researchers from Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC), Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Cotton Development Board, Shrimp Research Station, Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Bangladesh Sugarcane Research Institute, Oilseed Research Center, Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), and Bangladesh Sericulture Research & Training Institute etc.

The workshop comprised of classroom lectures, discussions and group work on the most relevant topics. The discourse was substantiated with practical exercise on research proposal presentation and scientific report writing for crop, fishery, and livestock subsectors. Research proposal writing on non-commodity areas, particularly natural resource and input management was also encouraged. The climate change scenario, another important contemporary issue, was considered during the exercise. The workshop concluded with group presentation and discussion on the outcome of the exercise by group members.

The workshop served to reaffirm BRAC’s commitment to work in partnership with the government and to strengthen the quality of service provided for the wellbeing of the poor.


14 February 2013, Dhaka. Across Bangladesh, more than 2millionpeople pledged to raise their voice in protest of violence against women, forming a human chain today from 1:00-1:30pm, in solidarity with 'One Billion Rising' in 200 countries.

In the Gulshan, Mohakhali and Tejgaon area of Dhaka, over 3,000 people primarily consisting of staff from BRAC head office, BRAC University, BRAC Bank and Aarong participated in the human chain. The chain was formed from Mohakhali Jolkhabar Mor up to ShahidTajuddin  Ahmed Sharani in Tejgaon.  BRAC senior management, including Managing Director M A (Rumee) Ali, Group CFO SN Kairy, Senior Directors Asif Saleh and Babar Kabir, and other BRAC directors joined the chain. People from neighbouring organisations also participated.

Similar chains were formed at BRAC's 460 branch offices in54 districts, where 1.5 million students and parents protested at 17,000 BRAC school premises, while 13,000 school girls and parents from BRAC’s MEJNIN programme also participated. Additionally, more than 450,000 Polli Shomaj members under BRAC’s community empowerment programme also stood hand-in-handintheir respective areas. Hundreds of tea labourers at BRAC tea estates in Chittagong have also joined hands, standing up against violence on women. BRAC Director Dr. Faustina Pereira coordinated the countrywide participation of all BRAC members.
The One Billion Rising initiative is a globally acclaimed campaign, encouraging men and women to pledge against all forms of violence on women. Till now, 200 countries have participated in this campaign, Bangladesh being one of them. In today’s human chain, people from all strata of the society have expressed their solidarity in taking necessary actions against this social evil.

View the report of celebration on map:


11 February 2013, Dhaka. One in three women around the world will be beaten, raped, killed, or face some form of abuse in her lifetime. In a move to stop violence against women, the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign was initiated to raise awareness amongst millions of people worldwide on this issue. The OBR movement aims to bring women and men across the world, urging them to take a stance to stop violence against women. To date, 190 countries have been brought under this movement, including Bangladesh. On 14th February, men and women of all strata will join the OBR movement and unite under the cause of ensuring immediate measures are taken to prevent violence against women, and protect the survivors of these vicious acts.

Widely recognised as one of the best and most effective development organisations in the world, BRAC’s priorities are dedicated to empowering women from all spheres of the society, particularly the rural communities. BRAC is coordinating various activities throughout Bangladesh, actively engaging in spreading awareness through of this global movement. To ensure the success of the OBR campaign, a committee was formed comprising of several development and human rights organisations, of which BRAC is a proud member.

Keeping in line with this objective, multiple programmes have been planned throughout the country. The following events will take place at BRAC’s head office on 14 February 2013:

1. A human chain will be formed, covering both sides of the street in front of BRAC head office from 1-1.30pm.

2. All BRAC employees will be wearing the common badge and take oath together.

3. BRAC University students and other organisations around the area have been invited to join the movement, and awareness raising leaflets have been prepared for distribution.



06 February 2013, Dhaka. Larry Simon, Professor of International Development, and Director of Graduate Programmes in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and long-term friend of BRAC, delivered a fascinating and challenging talk on 5thFebruary in BRAC Centre on ‘Paulo Freire and Subaltern Consciousness’. Over 150 BRAC staff and BRAC University academics attended the talk, engaging in a very lively discussion.
Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator and philosopher, best known for his influential work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) which Larry Simon demystified for the audience; explaining how the oppressed cannot be served by treating them as unfortunates, and by presenting them with models of development from among the oppressors. As Freire said, “The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption”. Freire’s ideas on ‘conscientisation’ have played an important part in influencing the development of BRAC. As BRAC’s founder and chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has said, “People are poor because they are powerless. We must organise people for power. They must organise themselves so that they may change their lives”.
The talk was chaired by BRAC’s vice-chairperson, Mushtaque Chowdhury, who explained the pronounced influence of Paulo Freire on BRAC’s work in its early years. There were many stimulating contributions, including one from Syed M. Hashemi, Director of BRAC Development Institute, BRAC University, who drew a parallel between the influence of Liberation Theology on Paulo Freire and the way in which Maulana Bashani addressed the liberation of the oppressed in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
BRAC’s executive director Dr Mahabub Hossain concluded the enlightening discussion and thanked Larry Simon for his elucidation. He fully recognised the importance and influence of Paulo Freire’s ideas on BRAC and others, in support of the poor and oppressed in Bangladesh and elsewhere. He appreciated the effort and enthusiasm of all those who attended the talk and encouraged all to create further opportunities to study and discuss Paulo Freire’s texts and their application to their own work. It is not only the poor who need opportunities for ‘conscientisation’ but every individual.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 18:00

Dr. Sajia Afrin Eva’s Death

31 January 2013, Dhaka. BRAC family is deeply shocked and mourns at the sudden demise of a young professional Dr. Sajia Afrin Eva (27), who was brutally killed on Friday November 30, 2012 while performing night shift duty at Dokhinkhan BRAC Clinic in Dhaka. Dr. Sajia started working with BRAC Clinic as a temporary shift duty doctor from November 01, 2012. She had graduated from Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College in 2008 and was undergoing postgraduate training at Shaheed Sarawardi Medical College Hospital. Although she was only with us for a short period of time, her efforts and dedication were much appreciated.

On 29 November 2012 Dr. Sajia came to Dokhinkhan BRAC Clinic at around 8.00 pm to carry out night shift duty. She provided medical care to admitted patients and then went to doctor’s duty room at around 10.00 pm. On the next morning (30 November, 2012) at around 6.45 am, duty nurse found Dr. Sajia lying down on the floor in doctor’s duty room. The clinic management immediately informed the tragic incident to the police, higher authority of BRAC and to Dr. Sajia’s family.

As soon BRAC Management heard of this great tragedy, the organization decided to provide all support to her family including logistical, financial, legal and emotional support to help deal with this immense loss. Upon learning of the murder BRAC Clinic Management and BRAC Security Department provided extended support and worked with the police department to quickly identify and capture the culprit. BRAC Management also asked all BRAC staff present at the clinic during the incident to provide all kinds of support in the investigation of the murder case by extending all co-operation to the Investigation Officers. On that very day (30 November, 2012), with support from BRAC Administration and Security Department, Dr. Sajia’s father Mr. Manirul Islam filed a case at Dokhinkhan Police Station against four persons including guard/ward boy Faisal (27) as the key suspect. The key suspect Faisal was arrested the next day December 01, 2012 from his village home and within short time he confessed the killing to the police, media, and then to the court.

Dr. Sajia was buried at her home village on December 01, 2012. The ritual was attended by BRAC’s local district representative and managers along with twelve other regular staff. BRAC arranged transportation for carrying the dead body and covered the burial expenses. Within days (on December 5, 2012) BRAC organized a Doa and Milad Mohfil at BRAC Head Office which was attended by BRAC senior management, including Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and representatives of the Bangladesh Medical Association, and family members to honor Dr. Sajia’s memory and the eternal peace of her departed soul.

BRAC takes this tragedy very seriously and will continue to do everything possible to ensure security and safety of all BRAC staff in workplace, in particular females. In order to bring the real criminals under the law ensuring justice to the deceased, BRAC is working together with Dr. Sajia’s family with keeping regular communication with professional bodies like Bangladesh Medical Association. Since mostly female patients are admitted in BRAC clinics and most of the clinic staffs are female, it is a regular practice that male visitors are not allowed to stay or enter inside the clinic after 10.00 pm. After 10.00 pm only clinic staff are allowed to stay inside in their respective duty stations. However, following the tragic incident, further security measures have been introduced for all BRAC Clinics.

Apart from this, BRAC Gender Justice and Diversity Programme (GJDP) organized multiple rallies, seminars, human chains in protesting recent women harassment incidents and violence across the country. The GJDP recently organized a seminar entitled “Violence against Women Rape-Gang Rape: things to do and strategies of prevention” on January 22, 2013 at BRAC Center which was participated by different NGOs, Civil Society Groups, and government representatives. 

Although there is no way to make up for the loss to Dr. Sajia’s family, out of consideration for the fact that Dr. Sajia had just begun her livelihood as a doctor, BRAC wanted to provide a humanitarian grant of assistance. BRAC has offered Dr Saji’s family a humanitarian grant of Ten Lac taka and an offer of employment at the BRAC Head Office at a monthly salary of 20,000 taka for her younger sister, Ms. Nadia Afrin, who has just completed her BBA.


30 January 2013, Dhaka. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, submitted a memorandum on increasing violence against women to the deputy speaker of National Parliament, Shawkat Ali on January 29, 2013.  A gathering of civil society members, activists, academicians, students, journalists, lawyers and policy makers was arranged by the Prothom Alo Trust to address concerns on this critical issue and discuss a memorandum drafted to call for immediate measures to stop further violence against women.

Recently there has been a dramatic increase in the rate of women and child abuse, acid attacks, rape and murder. Often there is noticeable lack of proper steps taken in accumulating evidence and witness against those who have been arrested, helping many of the culprits to escape federal punishment. As such, the violence against women continues to increase.  In the memorandum, a three-point demand was raised, stipulating proactive role by the law enforcement agencies to stop violence against women, exemplary punishments of the criminals by justice department, and improved laws to ensure justice for every incident.

The Prothom Alo Trust organised the meeting and procession in collaboration with Sommilito Sangskritik Jot, Muktijuddho Jadughor, Ain O Salish Kendra, Gono Shakkhorota Abhijan, Bangladesh Mohila Porishad, Acid Survivors Foundation, various development agencies, women foundations, cultural groups, Prothom Alo Bondhu Shova, and members of various other professional organisations.  After the meeting at the Shahid Minar, where Sir Fazle read out the memorandum, a procession was held. A small representative team, headed by Sir Fazle, went forward to submit the memorandum to the deputy speaker.

24 January 2013, Dhaka. BRAC was ranked as the top NGO in The Global Journal’s list of the 100 Best NGOs in the World in 2013. The only NGO from Asia in the top ten, BRAC exceeded its previous rank of fourth place in 2012, surpassing other global NGO’s such as Oxfam, Care International, and Save the Children International.

In it’s special edition, The Global Journal, a Switzerland based magazine stated, “A member of the era-defining 1970s wave of Bangladeshi micro credit and microfinance pioneers alongside the Grameen Bank and ASA, BRAC has since gone on to outspace its old counterparts and assume an unparalleled position in the crowded field of international development.”

The magazine considered approximately 450 NGOs this year who were evaluated based on three criteria: impact, innovation and sustainability. “While size is not often an indication of quality, BRAC represents a welcome outlier and a continuing force for good at the global level,” the magazine stated.

BRAC, currently in its 41st year of operation, was founded by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed during the aftermath of Bangladesh’s Liberation War. The organisation is now the largest development organisation in the world, operating in 11 countries across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

In his reaction to the recognition Sir Fazle said “I hope this will encourage BRAC to continue its work with innovation and efficiency towards creating more opportunities for the poor. I thank the BRAC family for their effort and dedication for making BRAC what it is today.”

For details, visit The global Journals website:


23 January 2013, Dhaka. In a new publication by the Rockefeller Foundation, titled Rebound: Building a More Resilient World, BRAC' lessons of what resilience means and what it requires was shared. Through BRAC's experiences, they explored some of the ways to help prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from the acute shocks and chronic stresses of the 21st century.




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