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22 January 2013, Dhaka. BRAC  Gender Justice and Diversity Division (GJD) organized a Youth Dialogue  on “Gender Equality and Youth” with a support from Youth Forum for  Poverty Alleviation and Development (YFPAD) in BRAC Auditorium, BRAC  Centre on January 22, 2013. Sheepa Hafiza, Director, Gender Justice  & Diversity and Migration, BRAC graced as the chief guest while  Ahsanul Islam, Program Head and Gabriel Baroi, Program Coordinator  attended as special guests. YFPAD President Raquibul Islam chaired and  Secretary General GalibIbn Anwarul Azim moderated the session.

YFPAD  is a new generation youth platform which promotes youth inclusion to  development, and had been a partner of BRAC Advocacy Unit for Social  Change for last two years. The platform contributed to the BRAC advocacy  campaign on ultra-poverty issues titled ‘Challenging the Frontiers of  Poverty Reduction- Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR-TUP)’ successfully.

This  dialogue is a part of a GJD-YFPAD joint campaign titled ‘Awakening  Youth Campaign for Reducing Vulnerability of Women’ that aims to engage  youth actively into gender equality and women empowerment processes.  About 50 youth leaders from 30 youth led voluntary groups participated  in the dialogue and discussed how to include younger people –both women  and men—in existing development practices to reduce different forms of  violence against women and girls. They vowed to work as agents of change  through a commitment and to form an allied network involving youth  towards gender equality and women empowerment. They also agreed to join  the upcoming collective initiatives undertaking by GJD and YFPAD. These  include awareness workshops, alternative youth parliament, essay  competition, video documentary contest, photography contest, wall  magazine competitions in schools, awareness creating cycle rally and  many more!

The youth led organizations comprise of Counterpart  International; Economics Study Centre, Dhaka University; Business and  Economics Forum, BRAC University; Initiative For Peace; Voluntary Work  for Social Change; Architecture Lab Ltd; Humanity Foundation; Young  Pioneers; Dhaka University Reading Club; Dhaka University Film Society;  Dhaka University Debating Society;  Jahangirnagar University Debating  Society; North South University Debating Club; Asian University Debating  Club; Green University Debating Club; Spondon Madrasha Debating  Society; Dhaka City College Debating Club; BRAC University Art Society;  BRAC University Adventure Club.

Participants from other  organizations also like Center for Policy Dialogue; Department of Women  and Gender Studies, DU and BRAC Development Institute attended the  dialogue.

GJD as part of its innovation is prioritizing the  involvement of youth in its programs. GJD realizes that many problems  including violence and sexual harassment against girls cannot address  effectively unless youth, boys and men are included in the drives.


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.




22 January 2013, Dhaka. BRAC organised a press conference on Wasfia Nazreen’s return to the country after her successful expedition to Mount Vinson, the highest point of Antarctica. She reached at Dhaka airport on 22nd January at 9.20 am local time by Qatar Airways where she was received by BRAC officials. She reached the peak of Mount Vinson on 4th January 2013, as the fourth leg of her “Bangladesh on Seven Summits” campaign which kicked off on 26th March 2012.

Executive Director of BRAC Dr Mahabub Hossain, Head of Communication and Service Quality of BRAC Bank Zeeshan Kingshuk Huq, Head of Marketing Sania Mahmood from bKash, and Rashida Parveen from BRAC’s adolescent development programme were present at the press conference. Wasfia handed over the flag of Bangladesh, given to her on the flag-off ceremony of her expedition, to the ED, bKash and BRAC bank officials. The Mount Vinson expedition of Bangladesh on Seven Summits was supported by BRAC in collaboration with bKash Limited and BRAC Bank Limited. Wasfia Nazreen will also work as BRAC’s Goodwill Ambassador for the next one year to champion the cause of women empowerment. Congratulating Wasfia, Dr Mahabub Hossain said he hopes Wasfia “can be an idol for young girls and women to look up to, and that many young girls can draw inspiration from her”.

While sharing her experience of the expedition she mentioned that, “climbing Mount Vinson was a much tougher challenge than Mount Everest, due to cold winds and much lower temperature. However, I started Seven Summits to inspire girls, and I am proud to accomplish this with support from BRAC”.

Wasfia set off on her expedition with a flag-off ceremony on 8th November 2012 to climb Mount Vinson. She reached Canada on 29th November 2012 and underwent a three week long extensive training and acclimatisation in winter wilderness of Canada with Patrick Morrow, the first person in the world to have finished climbing the seven summits 30 years ago. Finally, she left for Antarctica from Chile on 29th December 2012.

On the eve of Bangladesh turning 40, she had taken up the challenge of climbing the highest mountains of each of the seven continents to celebrate women’s progress of the last four decades and highlight to the world the resiliency of our people.


14 January 2013, Dhaka. BRAC distributed 50,000 blankets worth around BDT  1 crore 60 lakhs in the coldest districts of northern Bangladesh.

In addition, 3,079 blankets have been provided to all the female artisans in the Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF) in Nilfamari, Kurigram and parts of Sherpur, which was a collaborative effort of AAF, BRAC bank and bKash. CFPR-TUP programme also distributed 34,076 warm clothes in 39 districts including blankets, shawls, sweaters, children's wear etc. through Gram Dariddro Bimochon Committee (Village Poverty Reduction Committee).

As the country is hit by the third cold wave of this season, people in the northern part of the country are hit the hardest, causing loss of many lives including young children. BRAC promptly took an initiative to distribute blankets from 10-14th January 2013 in eight districts. 8000 blankets in Rangpur, 9000 in Kurigram, 5000 in Lalmonirhut, 6000 in  Nilfamari, 5000 in Thakurgaon, 5000 in Panchagar,11000 Dinajpur, and 1000 in Pabna have been distributed.

Regional managers of BRAC’s education programme, health nutrition population programme, microfinance programme, and challenging the frontiers of poverty reduction-targeting ultra-poor programme (CFPR-TUP) and District BRAC representatives (DBRs) from the eight districts distributed the blankets, with support from local government officials.

07 January 2013, Dhaka. Wasfia Nazreen, the youngest Everest summiteer of the country, reached the peak of mount Vinson, the highest point of Antarctica, on 5th January, 2013, according to her spokesperson. She is the first Bangladeshi to climb Mount Vinson of Antarctica, the most isolated continent of the earth. This was the fourth leg of her “Bangladesh on Seven Summits” campaign that kicked off in 26th March, 2011.

She called her spokesperson Korvi Rakshand in Bangladesh from the summit, using a satellite phone, at 9:30 pm (BST) and said: "This was the hardest among the summits, but I did it for the nation so that we can start 2013 with new hopes, that everything is possible if our efforts are sincerely put into it.”

Congratulating Wasfia on this extraordinary achievement, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC said “Wasfia has shown the world how strong and courageous Bangladeshi women are. She is an inspiration to all women as we strive towards equity for all women in this world"
With a Flag-Off ceremony on November 8, 2012, Wasfia set off on her expedition to climb Mount Vinson. She reached Canada on 29th November, 2012 and went through a 3 week long extensive training and acclimatisation in winter wilderness of Canada with Patrick Morrow, the first person in the world to have finished seven summits 30 years ago. Finally she left for Antarctica from Chile on 29th December, 2012.

Mahabub Hossain ED of BRAC said,” Wasfia’s success reflects the enormous stride Bangladeshi women have taken towards empowerment and independence. I wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”

On the eve of Bangladesh turning 40, she had taken up the challenge of climbing the highest mountains of each of the seven continents to celebrate women’s progress of the last four decades and highlight to the world the resiliency of our people.

The Vinson expedition of Bangladesh on Seven Summits was supported by BRAC in collaboration with bKash Limited and BRAC Bank Limited. Wasfia Nazreen will also work as BRAC’s Goodwill Ambassador for the next one year to champion the cause of women empowerment.

Vinson Massif is about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) from the South Pole and is about 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide.  At 4,892 metres (16,050 ft), the highest point is Mount Vinson, which was named in 2006 after Carl Vinson, long-time member of the U.S. Congress from the state of Georgia.

Updates on her journey will regularly be posted on Facebook and Twitter via both Bangladesh on Seven Summits & BRAC pages.


27 December 2012, Dhaka. BRAC Founder and Chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed has been selected to receive a Central European University (CEU) Open Society Prize for 2013. The award is in recognition of Sir Fazle’s outstanding contributions to the principles of open society, and for his leadership and unwavering commitment to humanitarian aid and development as the founder of BRAC. 

Former recipients of the CEU Open Society Prizes include Sir Karl Popper (1994), Václav Havel (1999), Ricardo Lagos (2006), Carla Del Ponte (2007), Kofi Annan (2008), Martii Ahtisaari (2009), Louise Arbour (2010), the late Richard C. Holbrooke and Javier Solana jointly (2011), and Aryeh Neier (2012).  The prize will be presented in Budapest, Hungary, on 13th June 2013 at the annual commencement ceremony of Central European University. Sir Fazle will also deliver the commencement address on the topic of legal empowerment of the poor.

BRAC has been tackling poverty and empowering the poor, not only in Bangladesh, but also in 10 other countries spanning Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, changing lives of millions. In the span of four decades, BRAC has grown to become the largest development organisation in the world in terms of the scale and diversity of its interventions.

Central European University was founded in 1991, and is a new model for international education in Europe; a significant Central European convener on contemporary economic, social, and political issues; and a source of support for building open and democratic societies that respect human rights.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012 18:00

BRAC receives Good Practices Award for GQAL

26 December 2012, Dhaka. BRAC has won a Good Practices Award for its Gender Quality Action Learning (GQAL) programme, implemented by Gender Justice and Diversity.

The Good Practices Award was jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and UNFPA Bangladesh. There were two categories for NGOs’ violence against women (VAW) interventions —national and local; BRAC was the only NGO to win the award in the national category.

The award giving ceremony took place on 20th December 2012 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka.

Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs graced the occasion as the chief guest. In her speech, she called for all to end once and for all this demonic practice which is a social malice.

Mr Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh was also a special guest at the event.
Ms Sheepa Hafiza, Director, Gender Justice & Diversity and Migration programme, received the award on behalf of BRAC, and expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and UNFPA. She also thanked her BRAC colleagues for their commitment to the GQAL programme, as well as congratulating the thousands of GQAL women and men who she said really deserve this award.

GQAL is considered an important step in the internal process of promoting gender equality within BRAC. This was a training focused programme, which was launched in 1995, and aimed at improving gender relations both at the organisation level and community level. This aspect not only makes GQAL unique within the scope of Bangladesh, but also because GQAL’s approaches include both women and men from the same family.

23 December 2012, Dhaka. As per WHO report, at least 10 per cent of TB patients in the world are children and yet only three per cent of them have been detected in Bangladesh, despite being ranked sixth among the 22 High Burdened TB countries in the world. Experts illuminated this dire issue at the roundtable on “Child TB: Achievements and Way Forward”. The roundtable was organised jointly by the National TB Control Programme, Directorate of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Daily Jugantor and BRAC at BRAC Centre, on December 22, 2012.

In his speech, the honourable chief guest Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said, “This is a timely occasion as situation demands more attention on Child TB detection and its preventions because child development is a crucial issue to our prosperity.”

Mr Rafiqul Islam Ratan, Panel Editor, the Daily Jugantor, chaired the occasion and Mr Asraful Alam Pintu, Senior Sub-Editor, the Daily Jugantor, was the moderator. Dr Ahaque Hussain, Director, MBDC, and Line Director, TB & Leprosy, and Prof Ruhul Amin, Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, were present as special guests.

Keynote was presented by Dr Mojibur Rahman, National Programme Cosultant, NTP. Paediatricians, TB experts and representatives from NTP partners were – Dr Nuruzzaman Haque, Programme Manager, National TB Control Programme, Dr K Zaman, Scientist & Epidemiologist, ICDDR’B, Dr Asif Muztoba Mahmud, Associate Professor, Respiratory Medicine, IEDCR, Dr Md Abdur Shakur Khan, Assistant Professor, NIDCH, Dr Sayeda Afrooja, Professor and Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Sir Solimullah Medical College & Hospital, Professor Dr Khan Nizamuddin, Head of the Department, Paediatrics, Shaheed Monsur Ali Medical College & Hospital, Dr Shakil Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Shaheed Sohrawardi Medical College & Hospital, Dr Vikarun Nissa, NPO, WHO, Khair Uddin Ahmed Mukul, NATAB, Dr Akramul Islam, Associate Director, BRAC Health Programme, and many others from the civil society and media houses were present in the roundtable.

In her welcome speech, Dr Kaosar Afsana, Director, BRAC Health Programme, emphasised on increasing attention and works on Child TB in the coming days.

Detection of TB among children becomes difficult when the children under 10 are unable to provide cough and intestinal juice, and as a result, X-ray and Tuberculin tests show doubtful or insufficient results. Experts emphasised on the collection of previous records, close observation on growth curves (Graphical features of Weight by Age), and routine check-up through smearing (if available), weighing, X-ray, Tuberculin test etc of TB suspect children to meet the goal. Absence of proper guidelines was the primary cause behind the below per case detection rate; it has been published in 2012 and need to be circulated nationwide to help/support the physicians for comprehensive handling of Child TB cases, they added.

The chair of the event, Mr Rafiqul Islam said, “The role of media in effective messaging and awareness build-up is well recognised; though on question of media mobilisation, we can step forward through time to time, sitting with focal media groups, targeting the respective pages in the dailies.”

20 December 2012, Dhaka. Kevin Watkins, Senior Fellow, Centre for Universal Education, Brookings Institute, Washington, DC, said, “Bangladesh has achieved enormous progress in education but some challenges like financing, child labour, natural disasters etc. still exits”. Mr. Watkins, the former director and lead author of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), presented a speech on ‘Education MDGs and Beyond’ which was held on 19th December, 2012, at BRAC Centre auditorium.

Mr. Shymol Kanti Ghosh, Director General, Directorate of Primary Education and Rasheda K. Chowdhury, Executive Director, CAMPE were also present  in the event. The entire session was chaired by Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive director, BRAC.

In his speech, Watkins introduced the audiences with a new concept of ‘Education Poverty’ and ‘Education marginalization’ and also talked about post MDGs.  The situation of people with less than four years of education is termed by him as ‘Education Poverty’ and according to his findings most of the developing countries in the world are submerged in this situation.

According to him, ethnicity, indigenous status, cast, language, location & livelihood, disability and HIV & AIDS are some of the key determinants of education marginalization. Mr. Watkins is also the author of Human Development report for UNDP. His research focuses on education, globalisation and human development.

Mr. Shymol Kanti Ghosh, mentioned in his speech that despite achieving development in the access to schools in Bangladesh, maintaining the quality of education is still a challenge.

Dr. Mahabub Hossain concluded the session echoing with Watkins’s presentation, “we must link marginality with education and look for post MDGs at international level as well as Bangladesh.”

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