03 July 2012, Dhaka. On June 23 2012, BRAC held an informal round table discussion with various journalists from Dhaka’s most widely distributed newspapers concerning the relationship between NGOs and reporters. Notable attendees included Sanaullah, chief executive officer of ABC Radio, Riaz Ahmed, news editor of Daily Star, Nazrul Islam, special correspondent for The Independent, Munima Sultana, senior correspondent The Financial Express,and Shupriti Dhar, CEO of Just News.
The discussion was held to create clearer understanding and better modes of communication between BRAC and the news world, and also with the goal of setting the foundation for BRAC’s future media policy.
The dialogue surrounded various media issues of contemporary Dhaka, including the public perception of Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed in Bangladesh, the sudden rise in media proliferation with reference to new TV news channels and online newspapers, their impact on quality and reliability, the bilingual conflict between English and Bangla, and how political instability affects journalism and communications.
While journalists find BRAC active in issuing press releases, one concern was that BRAC is often too confined to bureaucratic sources of information. For this reason, it has been perceived by the media that BRAC is selective about responding to questions, especially to controversial questions, often risking the possibility of raising suspicion.
All the BRAC representatives and journalists present at the discussion were unanimous in deciding that communication between the two should be more accountable, punctual, transparent, and easily accessible. BRAC Communications needs to better communicate its effectiveness as an NGO by raising awareness through creative promotions, and a greater willingness to speak freely and frequently to various media.
A Message from the Friends of Rio 20
On the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we, the undersigned, come together as a coalition of business, science and civil society to call for greatly expanded action and cooperation by all stakeholders to meet urgent sustainable development challenges.
We live in a world where 1 billion people are hungry, 1.5 billion people lack access to clean water and electricity and half a billion new jobs will need to be found in the next decade. Climate research indicates that pressure on our environmental systems is increasing to the point where we may soon move beyond safe natural boundaries.
The magnitude and time-sensitivity of these challenges require the international community to adopt a more practical and results-oriented approach to organizing progress. Only if we take advantage of all the potential dimensions of international cooperation will we be likely to realize the vision of the original Rio Conference within the next 20 years.
There is now substantial evidence that clearly defined coalitions of government, business, science and civil society can mobilize their combined skills, creativity and resources to make progress at scale against specific sustainable development goals.
Therefore, we urge government leaders gathered at Rio 20 to take two initiatives:
We encourage governments explicitly to enlist the support of a wider range of partners, not as a substitute for multilateral agreements or national plans, but as a way of translating their aspirations into additional action.
By embracing the widest spectrum of cooperation capable of drawing more fully on the resources and expertise of business, science and civil society, the Rio 20 conference could leave a lasting legacy of accelerated progress on sustainable development.
Working together, we can get things done. To seize this opportunity, we invite government leaders gathered in Rio to engage us and others of like mind. There is no time for waiting.
The Friends of Rio 20
Fazle H. Abed, Founder and Chair, BRAC, Bangladesh
James Bacchus, Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council Governance for Sustainability, Greenberg Traurig LLP, USA
Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Switzerland
Marcos Bicudo, CEO; President CBDES (Brazil Business Council for Sustainable Development), Philips Latin America, Brazil
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board, Nestlé, Switzerland
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Belgium
Cynthia Carroll, CEO, Anglo American Plc, UK
Frederico Curado, CEO, Embraer, Brazil
Carlos Fadigas, CEO, Braskem , Brazil
Gao Jifan, Chairman and CEO, Trina Solar Ltd, People's Republic of China
Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Switzerland
Vitor Hallack, Chairman of the Board, Camargo Corrêa, Brazil
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, USA
Caio Koch-Weser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank Group, Germany
Barbara Kux, Chief Sustainability Officer and Member of the Managing Board, Siemens AG, Germany
Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International, Switzerland
Lee Yuan Tseh, President, Nobel Laureate, International Council of Science, France
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, Netherlands/United Kingdom
Maria Ramos, CEO, Absa Group and CEO, Barclays Africa, South Africa
Johan Rockström, Executive Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden
Richard Samans, Executive Director, Global Green Growth Institute, Korea
Josette Sheeran, Vice-Chairman, World Economic Forum, Switzerland
Wang Shi, Chairman, China Vanke Co. Ltd, People's Republic of China
B. G. Srinivas, Member of the Board, Infosys, India
Maurice Strong, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Institute for Research on Security and Sustainability for Northeast Asia, China
Ben J. Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel Lucent, France
To read the full message that the Friends of Rio 20 are presenting to leaders in Rio de Janeiro, and learn more about how collaborations can help to deliver sustainable development outcomes at scale, visit: http://wef.ch/rio20
Follow the conversation: wef.ch/facebook; #friendsofrio
“Friends of Rio 20” is a group of business, scientific and civil society leaders convened by the World Economic Forum.
18 June 2012, Dhaka. On 12th June 2012, the World Bank (WB) appointed BRAC's Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain, to its ‘Knowledge Advisory Commission’. Established by WB's president Robert Zoellick, the new commission will help WB to not only be the most important international institution for development financing, but to become the leading 'knowledge bank'. Investing in the creation of problem solving knowledge, bringing together the best knowledge available on a global scale, and engaging in knowledge transfer to partner countries are some of WB’s strategic instruments for its international cooperation efforts.
Dr. Hossain said, “I feel honoured to be included in this high level commission that consists of eminent professionals”.
In 2011, WB invested USD 600 million in knowledge products and services to solve global development problems; from now on these efforts will be supported by the knowledge advisory commission. The commission will help WB to undertake innovative efforts to improve WB's methods for measuring impact of knowledge services, effectiveness of new and collaborative efforts with partners and ways to best play a knowledge connector's role.
The commission consists of 21 members from all over the globe with five members from Asia, including Dr. Mahabub Hossain. Other members include:
This year's forum will focus on 'Culture. Education. Media: Shaping a sustainable world' and is scheduled to be held from 25-27 June at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany.
14 June 2012, London. On 13th June Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, Australian High Commissioner, Mr John Dauth and Sir Fazle Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC, strengthened their joint commitment to supporting the livelihoods of some of the poorest and most marginalised people in Bangladesh through a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between DFID, AusAID and BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs.
The partnership will maximise opportunities for learning across BRAC programmes, and between BRAC, AusAID and other DFID programmes in Bangladesh, and is based on shared goals, clear results and mutual accountability. It will support continued innovation and best practice by BRAC, and will provide opportunities for DFID, AusAID and BRAC to collaborate on new areas of strategic focus such as climate change. In addition, the partnership will strengthen BRAC’s institutional capacity and long term sustainability.
Over 5 years, the partnership will deliver results that include:
Speaking during the launch event, Mr Mitchell said:
"The British Government and BRAC have worked together for many years to lift some of the very poorest people in Bangladesh out of extreme poverty. BRAC has a proven track record of delivering results and value for money, and has robust financial management systems which enable it to account effectively for donor funds.
"Through this agreement, we are re-affirming our commitment to work together to tackle the causes of poverty - focus our effort where the need is greatest, not only saving but transforming millions of lives by providing access to food, clean drinking water, basic healthcare and education”
Bob Carr said:
“The work of the last 40 years by BRAC – fighting poverty in Bangladesh and beyond – is quite literally changing lives and providing opportunities for an estimated 110 million people.
“And Bangladesh is seeing the results. The under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half since 1990, literacy rates have risen steadily in the same period and equal numbers of girls and boys are now enrolled in school.
“This partnership will enable BRAC to help many more of the poorest and most disadvantaged in Bangladesh – including giving more children a primary education and ensuring millions of pregnant mothers give birth with the support of skilled attendants.”
Sir Fazle Abed said:
"This partnership is a strengthening of the deep bonds and commitment that exists between Bangladesh, the UK and Australia. At BRAC, we feel this partnership is a reflection of the confidence that development partners have in our ability to deliver sustainable results and achieve ambitious targets."
BRAC, established in 1972 in the aftermath of Bangladesh’s war of independence, has been widely credited as making a significant contribution to the country’s progress to date and has built up an impressive track record of highly effective development activities working with a DFID and AusAID since the 1980s. This new partnership arrangement is a maturing of those long-standing relationships away from a funder-implementer relationship to one of equal partnership based on mutual trust, shared commitment to results, and common objectives. BRAC has a clear focus on the poor, and its key strengths include its emphasis on support for women and girls allied with its scale, coverage and cost effectiveness.
London, 12 June 2012. Peace One Day, Jeremy Gilley’s not-for-profit organisation, has teamed up with Interpeace to establish the NGO coalition for Global Truce 2012. Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and Emmanuel Jal, former child soldier and South Sudanese musician, launched the Global Truce 2012 NGO Coalition this morning in Central London.
Martin and Emmanuel were joined by representatives from leading NGOs across the world. BRAC, MAG (Mines Advisory Group), Mercy Corps and War Child, came together to confirm their commitment to Peace Day 21 September 2012 and to the Global Truce 2012 campaign. Video statements from ACCORD and Viva Rio completed the line up of founding NGOs.
Jeremy Gilley, Founder of Peace One Day said: “To see such a strong show of support from the NGO community is inspiring. I’m grateful to Interpeace and all the participating organisations here today, and we invite others around the world to join us. Having established 21 September as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, unanimously adopted by United Nations member states, we now hope to see the largest ever reduction of violence on one day – Peace Day 21 September 2012. What a powerful message of hope that would send to the global community, particularly young people. With support such as we are seeing here today I’m very hopeful that we can achieve it and make history.”
Scott M. Weber, Director-General of Interpeace, said: “This is an exciting line up of leading international organisations. It is a clear demonstration of just how important peace is for all of us to do our work and achieve our goals, no matter if we’re in conflict prevention, humanitarian work, peacebuilding or development.” He added: “We will be taking this coalition to the next stage and welcoming other NGOs to join as our peacebuilders in Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe and the Middle East plan how they will be marking Peace Day and Global Truce 2012 this September in their countries."
Nick Roseveare, Chief Executive of MAG (Mines Advisory Group) said: “After 23 years of working in over 40 conflict-affected countries, it is sometimes hard to see a day when the world will be completely free from war and armed violence. Until then, we have a responsibility to work towards securing some form of peace for the global communities we serve. Initiatives such as the UN Peace Day are crucial in raising awareness of the barriers to peace and inspire us to look towards the solutions, of which we can all be part.”
Valerie Ceccherini, Mercy Corps Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor, said: “Violent conflict takes a terrible toll. Generations of children around the world suffer its effects every day, and have grown up believing that violence is the only way to find a job, to find meaning or to simply stay alive. We are committed to changing this reality and are very proud to be here today at the launch of the Global Peace 2012 campaign. By working together we can bring the issue of peace to the fore and really draw attention to conflict issues and peacebuilding worldwide.”
Vasu Gouden, Founder and Executive Director of Accord, stated: “There are many conflicts in Africa today and we have made huge progress but are still plagued in other parts. Significantly I am currently in Ghana to announce ACCORD’s 2012 African Peace Award in recognition of stability and hope. One day we will get rebel groups and insurgent groups to lay down their arms and call a truce – so we can show as humanity that we can make peace happen.”
Robert Evans, a Trustee of BRAC UK, stated: “As an organisation that works in some of the countries heavily hit by war, for example South Sudan and Afghanistan, we are pleased to provide some of the building blocks that are empowering a new generation of believers in peace, especially women and children. A war-torn region in one generation can be a holiday destination in another – it clearly demonstrates peace is possible.”
Helen Ord, War Child Finance Director, stated: “Nothing worth doing is ever easy. But if children and young people are the catalyst, Peace One Day could just be the vehicle for change.”
Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent commented: “Peace One Day is one of the life-saving peace initiatives of our time and I do all I can to support it. I have deep personal experience of both war and peace. In 1972 I was in Vietnam where I thought peace was unimaginable. At the time, I wrote that peace was like snow, something only ever heard of there, but never actually experienced."
Emmanuel Jal, former child soldier and South Sudanese musician, said: “Peace is justice, equality and freedom for all. Peace is when my belly is full. Peace is when conflicts are managed in a mature manner and violence is reduced. I’m passionate about peace because I’ve experienced life both with and without it - I can sleep in a peaceful place now and I want children to enjoy the same.”
The event was held at London’s unique and historic Central Hall Westminster, which was the chosen venue for the very first meeting of the United Nations in 1946.
The NGO Coalition is the third Global Truce 2012 coalition to be launched by Peace One Day. Baroness Scotland (EDV Global Foundation) leads the Coalition on ‘Reducing Domestic Violence’ and the National Union of Students in the UK, along with student leaders from around the world, are championing the Student Coalition. A Peace One Day concert opening the London 2012 Festival on 21 June 2012 in Derry-Londonderry will mark the three-month countdown to Peace Day 2012. A second concert, effectively the final show of the Festival, will take place at Wembley Arena on Peace Day, 21 September 2012.
The Learning and Organisation Development (L & OD) Roundtable organised a Seminar and Awards Ceremony on 7th June 2012 in Mumbai, India, and invited BRAC to participate in the competition, “The Best Learning Organisations of Asia Study, 2011”. In response, BRAC Learning Division (BLD) submitted a write-up in early August 2011 following L & OD’s prescribed format and joined as one the finalist organisations. The Award was given in two categories: Large and Medium/Small Businesses/Enterprises.
BRAC won the Winner Trophy in Medium/Small category; while Tata Motors Ltd. received the Winner Trophy in Large category. Interestingly, apart from BRAC, the other 8 finalist organisations were mainly business organisations and they were all from India. Bangladesh was the only other country, beside India, selected amongst the Asian countries; and BRAC was the only development organisation who received the award. Mohammad Abdur Rahman, Program Coordinator of BRAC Learning Division, spoke in the magnificent event as one of the panellists amongst the presence of 300 delegates.
The selection of the participating organisations followed a rigorous scrutiny process by a distinguished Jury, Chaired by Dr. T V Rao, commonly referred as “the Father of Indian HRD”. A list of 9 finalist organisations out of 28 submissions, from different Asian countries, was presented. The Jury included luminaries such as Robert Whitman, Global Chairman of the Board and CEO, Franklin Covey, US, Sarah Cook, author of the Essential Guide to Employee Engagement, and other books, UK, Kishore Dash, Associate Professor of Global Studies, Thundered School of Global Management, US, Ganesh Natarajan, CEO, Zensar, and Adil Malia, Group President – HR, Essar Group, India.
Founded in the year 2009, the Learning and Organisation Development Roundtable is a not-for-profit society driving the cause of Learning & Organisational Development (L & OD) across India and Asia. Based in Mumbai, L & OD Roundtable serves as a knowledge-sharing and networking platform for practicing L & OD professionals in Asia. A pioneering initiative in its own right, the Roundtable is committed to help L & OD practitioners build scalable and sustainable Learning Teams and Organisations. (Source:www.lnodroundtable.com)
05 June 2012, Dhaka. “BRAC will continue to be a learning organisation and work with government in a complementing its capacity” -Speakers vow at the annual report launching.
BRAC, in its 40th anniversary annual report launch, paid rich tributes to the social innovators of the organization and vowed to continue to be a learning organization. BRAC’s Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain officially launched the 2011 Annual Report today at a discussion aimed at upcoming development priorities in the national agenda and BRAC’s role in it. Present during the occasion was Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises & Investments Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, BRAC group’s CFO S.N. Kairy, BRAC International’s Deputy Executive Director Faruque Ahmed, Director of Communications Asif Saleh and all the directors of BRAC’s various programmes.
Dr. Mahabub Hossain said “Even though we have passed 40 years, we still feel there is a lot more to learn. We strive to remain youthful through continues learning. We have always wanted to be self reliant, hence even though at the initial stage, we were 100% donor reliant, it has now reduced to a mere 30%. We plan to become 100% self reliant when Bangladesh emerges as a middle income country in the coming future”.
The Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises & Investments expressed that, “...the main driving force of BRAC businesses is social responsibility. This is engraved in our DNA. Our businesses define Social Responsibility in the best way”.
Asif Saleh, Director of Communications, presented a photo essay on portraying some of the stories of people whose lives have changed through BRAC’s various interventions. S.M. Hashmee, director of BRAC Development Institute, moderated the open discussion session, with participation from the civil society, government officials and BRAC’s senior officials.
In the discussion Khushi Kabir, Coordinator of Nijera Kori, highlighted that BRAC could perhaps do better in interlinking their programmes. Director General of Disaster Management Bureau, Ahsan Zakir shares his opinion, “It will be difficult for the government to tackle the situation on its own if there is ever a massive disaster situation in the country. Hence collaborating with BRAC we are working to build a team of 62,000 urban volunteers who will be stationed in different wards, and undertake emergency relief programmes whenever needed. BRAC has committed to provide 1000 volunteers around Dhaka city. I wholeheartedly thank BRAC for assisting the Government in such an initiative.
Economic development, health, education, sanitation, gender, justice and social awareness programmes are some of the areas of BRAC where BRAC, alongside the government’s efforts, have worked. Two initiatives can be exemplified to measure the effectiveness of such correlation. As an added measure to the success of National Tuberculosis Control Board in combating tuberculosis epidemic throughout the country, BRAC has ensured the support of its ninety-thousand field level workers to disseminate the programme’s objectives to the grass-root people. According to the government’s policy and initiative, BRAC has guaranteed the necessary services to almost 9.3 million people across the country. Almost one million people in 42 upazillas, and 297 upazillas, have received successful treatment against the disease. The margin set for identified (70%) and cured (85%) has been well over exceeded under this program. The current statistics show, the rate for identified is 72% and that of cured is 93%, and this proves the immense success of such cooperative programmes.
The Government of Bangladesh and BRAC has been jointly working for the development of the tenant farmers. Bangladesh Bank has given a loan of BDT 500,000,000 to BRAC for providing necessary financial support to these tenant farmers. They are provided with adequate capital and technological support for their sustainable development.
Following the National policy, the Government continues to commence various programmes on its own or with support of other organizations. The effective relationship that the Government and BRAC shares, is a thriving example of such productive ventures.
The Annual Report stated that BRAC’s service is now reaching to 113 million of our clients through our more than 90,000 workers. Last year, the total expenditure for BRAC was USD 572 million. BRAC, the largest NGO in Bangladesh, is operating 37,452 pre-primary and primary schools across the country. From these schools, over 92 lakh, 80,000 disadvantaged children have graduated. In the health sector mentioned in the annual report, over 91,000 shasthaya shebikas are under our employ, and they have provided pre-natal care to 44,000 pregnant women, and ante-natal care to 8 lakh 60,000 mothers. Aside from that, they have identified malaria in 3 lakh 13,513 patients, and tuberculosis treatment has been given to 4 lakh 64,334 patients. Under our TUP programme, 3 lakh, 70,300 ultra-poor women have received various assets from BRAC. Some of these assets include livestock and poultry, land, etc.
This year, BRAC celebrated its 40th anniversary. Practical education, village organisations, oral saline preparation training, education for drop-out children, tuberculosis treatment, and loans for tenant farmers etc are some of the innovations that BRAC has made in the last forty years.
04 June 2012, Dhaka. BRAC’s Gender Justice & Diversity has taken part of a human chain and procession on 3rd June 2012, as part of the Samajik Prodirodh Committee, a national platform of 67 different development and civil society organisations, working to ensure human rights for all. The committee organised the human chain and brought procession in front of the National Press Club, protesting against police brutality. A member of the police force allegedly abused a girl inside the Police Club adjacent to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s (CMM) court in the old part of Dhaka City on 29 May afternoon.
Leaders of civil society organisations demanded justice by taking the necessary steps to put an end to all kinds of violence against women and girls. In a speech, a speaker said, “there should not be any compromises with the police and other law enforcing agencies in dealing with inhuman behaviour or misconduct of duties with the citizens of the country. Police are crossing in some cases their level of undue illegal action, on individuals and groups. It has to be stopped right now.”
Several speakers also noted that crimes committed by a handful members of the law enforcing agencies should not be taken lightly, rather severe and long term punishment should be replaced with immediate sacking from their jobs and taking away of all the service benefits. The Home Ministry, along with police HQs, should arrange special training and information session for the police officers from SI to additional IGs to participate in on the importance of respecting and protecting humanity and human rights while on duty.
31 May 2012, Dhaka. BRAC launched its operation in Philippines yesterday setting a lofty goal of bringing the light of education in the troubled region of Muslim Mindanao. This will be BRAC's 10th country where it has direct operation in place since the launch of its international programmes in 2002. At a ceremony held yesterday in Dhaka, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed launched the programme in the presence of senior representatives from Government of Bangladesh and Philippines, Development partner AusAid and BRAC.
Sir Fazle said, “What BRAC brings to the Philippines is not just an education delivery system but a vision of a just and fair society which is based on educating our children. It’s through this partnership of vision and action that can take the people forward. With the support of the Philippines Government and development partners, we are hopeful to make great progress with this challenging task at hand”.
Already operating in nine countries in South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, BRAC, the largest development organisation in the world, will operate at least 1,600 pre-primary and primary schools through its Education programme in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Philippines.
“BRAC is working in different parts of the world not only to alleviate poverty, but also as a peacemaker. It is a torchbearer in the dark of illiteracy, the dark of poverty”, said PS- I (Secretary) to the Honourable Prime Minister Government of Bangladesh, M. Nazrul Islam Khan in his speech at the launching event.
Public education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) faces a shortage of teachers. The drop-out rates for basic education are high, while the completion rate is low. These problems are particularly acute in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao, where there are as many school-age children and youth who have dropped out of school as those who are still in school.
With the participation of officials from the Department of Education of the Philippines, a series of workshops was conducted by BRAC in the country to develop the curriculum and instructional materials which will be used in the BRAC schools in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The curriculum will primarily utilise the Philippine’s standard proficiencies for pre- primary and elementary education, enhanced in the local cultural context, and delivered through the BRAC.
BRAC will manage and be responsible for programme implementation and will be working in conjunction with the Department of Education - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Local partner NGOs will also be involved in operating the schools. Evaluation has been integrated in the project to asses result and impact which will be conducted by SEARCA and BRAC.
“We face extraordinary challenges in the ARMM and the BRAC model would allow us to become more effective in responding to the unique and difficult conditions that we face there. We also hope that we can also bring the BRAC approach to other parts of the country, where extraordinary and challenging conditions prevail”, said Francisco M. Varela, Under Secretary of Department of Education, Philippines, at the launching event of BRAC's education programme in ARMM in the Philippines.
Under Secretary of Department of Education Philippines Francisco M. Varela, PS- I (Secretary) to the Honourable Prime Minister Government of Bangladesh M. Nazrul Islam Khan, Justin Lee, Australia’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, AusAid Bangladesh Head of Mission Mark Bailey, H.E. Bahnarim Abu Guinomla Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Assistant Secretary of Programmes Department of Education in Philippine Maisara Dandamun- Latiph, AusAID Counsellor, Philippine Elaine Ward, Management Consultant of BRAC Philippine Ramon C. Bobier, Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Director of BRAC Education Progarmme Dr. Safiqul Islam, Director of BRAC Strategy and Communications Asif Saleh and high officials of government and BRAC were present at the launching event.
With its innovative and cost effective approach to education BRAC now runs the largest secular private school system in the world in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uganda and South Sudan.
30 May 2012, Dhaka. BRAC- the largest development organisation and D.light Design- a US based social enterprise coming up with solar solution to power crisis- have signed a MOU on 28 May, 2012 in Mohakhali BRAC Centre. Dr. Mahbub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO of D.light Design signed the MOU on behalf of their organisations. Asif Saleh, Director BRAC Communications, Mandeep Singh, Managing Director, D.light Design India, Sudhir Chandra Nath, Programme Head BRAC Agriculture and Food Security Programme were also present at the event.
D.light Chairman and CEO Donn Tice expressed, “ D.light is happy to be with BRAC in this mission of providing the rural poor of Bangladesh with better quality light".
BRAC Agriculture and Food Security Programme has taken the initiative to launch D.light Design’s solar products in Bangladesh, aiming to provide power sources for the marginalised people who do not have access to the national power grid. On 28 May 2012, the products were officially launched through an event where BRAC officials met the press and answered questions regarding the products.
Dr. Mahbub Hossain said, “Almost 40% of the rural poor do not have access to the power grid, therefore we believe this will improve the quality of their lives, specially the school going children, as they will now have better quality light!” The speakers said, “This initiative will help rural people with an alternative low-cost light source to kerosene lamps and reduce the health risks posed by the kerosene fume.” BRAC officials also shared that this will contribute in meeting the growing demand of electricity in Bangladesh. BRAC AFSP will distribute the products by using their extensive network and appointing local dealers.
D.light design is a social enterprise started out in Palo Alto, California in 2006 fathered by a socially motivated team of business people and engineers. Currently their products are marketed in 40 countries and reaching around seven million people. D.light is operating with a mission to enable households living without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity. The company targets to reach 50 million people by the end of 2015. BRAC, being the largest development organization reaching over 120 million people worldwide, presents the most suitable opportunity for a successful partnership which can change millions of people’s lives and create a better future.