12 October 2011, This Wednesday evening, BRAC UK will be running a LIVE telethon appeal on Channel S to raise much needed funds for Vision Bangladesh.
From 7 pm onwards, studio guests representing Vision Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi catering community across the UK will be appearing to discuss their involvement in Vision Bangladesh's new £1 on the Bill campaign. It would be fantastic if BRAC esteemed colleagues could encourage their friends and families to ring in on the night and make a personal donation.
Vision Bangladesh is a partnership between BRAC and Sightsavers and the aim is to eliminate avoidable blindness across Bangladesh by the year 2020 starting with the Sylhet region by 2013.
80% of blindness in the country is from easily treatable cataracts – occurring in both young adults and children, not just the elderly. Every year, 150,000 more cases are added to the backlog of nearly one million poor people who are denied the simple procedure that could save their sight – and their future.
Cataract surgery is one of the most cost effective health interventions (£20 for an operation). The real tragedy of blindness in Bangladesh is that the majority of the cases are unnecessary – having cataracts should not inevitably lead to blindness.
Vision Bangladesh is the biggest campaign of its type and has already implemented over 21,000 successful cataract operations since January 2011. The campaign needs your help to reach the whole of the Sylhet region by 2013.
So please watch Channel S (Sky channel 814) and ring in to donate and support Vision Bangladesh.
For viewers outside of UK, the details of the new transponder are as follows:
Satellite: Eurobird 1
Orbital Location: 28.5Âº East
Transponder: F1 Upper
Uplink Frequency / Polarity: 14 059.67 Vertical (Y)
Downlink Frequency / Polarity: 12 559.67 Horizontal (X)
Symbol Rate: 27.5 Msys/s
STUDIO HOTLINE: 44 208 523 411
DONATION HOTLINE: 44 208 523 1666
“It is the poorest people who are most at risk of blindness and low vision as they are more likely to go blind for a lack of simple treatment and stay blind for a lack of simple surgery.” - Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
12 October 2011, Dhaka. As part of BRAC Advocacy month-long activities on the observance of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2011, Dhaka University Debating Society (DUDS), in cooperation with Advocacy for Social Change, BRAC and Youth Forum for Poverty Alleviation and Development (YFPAD), has organised a debate competition titled BRAC Advocacy 1st Inter Hall Female Debate Championship 2011 in the University of Dhaka on Ultra Poverty issue at TSC, Dhaka University on October 2-3, 2011.
Advocacy for Social Change, BRAC seeks to mobilise and raise awareness among youth towards the issue of extreme poverty. We organise quiz, seminar and debate from grassroots to national level to address the issue. We have already reached 2.17 million school, college and university level students. Now we have taken a step forward in engaging the youth of urban areas.
The topic of the final debate was “We are Poor because we are Poor.” Samsun Nahar Hall, became the champion and Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall, was the runner-up.
Dr. A.A.M.S Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University was present as the Chief Guest of the event. Special guests were Professor Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin - Professor of mass communication & journalism department, Moderator of DUDS; Professor Mahfuza Khanam; General Secretary of Asiatic Society, Bangladesh; Khushi Kabir - Coordinator of Nijera Kori and Sheepa Hafiza - Director of BRAC Gender Justice & Diversity and Advocacy. Provosts of female halls and Alamgir Hossain - Director of TSC were also present.
We strongly believe that engaging the youth in such national issues will bring about positive changes in the future.
28 September 2011 - With global recognition that microfinance institutions should be placing emphasis on social as well as financial goals, the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) gathered representatives from microfinance institutions across the country for the first Social Performance Management Awards on September 27, 2011. This aimed to create awareness and promote social performance management across Uganda’s microfinance industry and to identify whether microfinance service providers are meeting their individual goals of poverty reduction and empowerment.
A number of microfinance institutions were recognized for their efforts in integrating social performance management into their operations. After the bronze and silver awards were distributed, Khondoker Ariful Islam, Country Representative of BRAC Uganda was called to accept the only Gold Award for “Outstanding Recognition in Implementing Social Performance Management”. While through its partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, BRAC has emerged as the largest and fastest-growing microfinance providers in Uganda, this Award reinforces BRAC's commitment towards maintaining its focus on social performance and poverty alleviation.
The audience warmly received his heartfelt speech that touched upon the successes and challenges that BRAC Uganda has experienced in Social Performance Management, and stressed that above all, BRAC’s achievements are based upon our role as a learning organization, that through its coordinated system of program management, monitoring, auditing and research departments strives to learn everything about our microfinance programs - including what works, as well as what doesn’t. Only this way, he said, can we be confident that as an organization we are meeting our target clients of poor rural and urban women, as well as being aware of and responsive to the needs of our over 100,000 borrowers across the country.
The speech was particularly poignant, considering the Mr. Islam would be soon departing Uganda to take over as the Country Representative of BRAC Afghanistan. As the Country Representative, Mr.Islam had played an instrumental role in launching BRAC Uganda - growing it to become one of the largest microfinance institutions in the country. In a span of four years, BRAC Uganda has disbursed more than $71 million in loans through its network of 94 branch offices. It has also scaled up Health, Agriculture, Adolescent Development and Education programs. Under his visionary leadership, BRAC has emerged as the largest non-profit organization in the country, employing more than 1,800 people and touching the lives of 1.8 million poor people in Uganda.
AMFIU, the Commissioner of Microfinance, and representatives of other MFI’s thanked him for the huge contributions that BRAC has made in Uganda under his leadership over the past six years, changing the microfinance landscape in scale, poverty outreach, and reputation. Although secretly hoping that he would take up one of the many offers he has had for Ugandan citizenship, the team at BRAC Uganda are immensely proud of him and wish him the best as he takes his many strengths of leadership, honesty and dedication to Afghanistan.
27 September 2011, London.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson and Founder of BRAC, and Dr Caroline Harper, Executive Director of Sightsavers, officially started the £1 on the Bill campaign today at the national committee meeting with leading Asian restauteurs from around the UK.
Vision Bangladesh is a ground breaking partnership between BRAC and Sightsavers – two highly respected international charities. The aim is to eradicate avoidable blindness in Sylhet by 2013 and across the whole of Bangladesh by 2020.
A simple 20 minute operation costing only £20 can change a person’s life forever.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder & Chairperson, BRAC comments: “I am so pleased to announce today the start of this innovative campaign that brings together BRAC, Sightsavers, and Britain’s leading Asian restaurants and their customers to eliminate avoidable blindness in Bangladesh by 2020.”
Dr Caroline Harper OBE, Chief Executive, Sightsavers said: “On behalf of Sightsavers, let me say how pleased we are to partner with BRAC on Vision Bangladesh to eliminate preventable blindness in Bangladesh. I am delighted to meet some of our country’s leading restaurateurs here tonight and admire your commitment to this important programme.”
The campaign will run from October 3rd for up to eight weeks in restaurants around the country. The national committee meeting was attended by Vision Bangladesh’s British-Bangladesh regional representatives covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each regional representative reported on how many restaurants had signed up for the campaign in their area. To date, the campaign has secured commitments of up to 300 restaurants with more expected to join up in the next week.
Customers at participating restaurants will be given the option of donating £1 per table at the end of their meal. Those not wishing to take part can easily opt out. It is expected that each participating restaurant will be able to raise £1,000 during October and November. 95% of funds raised will go directly to deliver the Vision Bangladesh programme in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh.
Members of the publicn in UK can also donate online at: www.brac.net/visionbangladesh/direct/view/ or by a simple text message. Text BRAC20 and the amount you wish to donate (up to £10) to 70070 (e.g your text could read BRAC20 £10).
In the photo:
Back row from left to right:
Councillor Prince Sadik Chaudhury
Mokhtar Hossain Khokon
M. R. M. Choudhury
Shabbir Ahmed Choudhury
Syed Siddik Ali
Dr. Wali Tasar Uddin
Rtn. Abdul Latif JP
Manchob Ali JP
Councillor Abdul Harid
Shah F. Athar
Front row from left to right
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
Now available: Buy The Book from amazon
Like many of BRAC’s programs, its community-based model for TB has garnered much praise: it’s been profiled in articles in the New York Times, documented in Harvard Business School case studies, received the Stop TB Partnership Kochon Prize, and hosted dozens of distinguished visitors. Some of its methods have brought them under fire, within conservative communities, with the public sector, and international donors—it was one of the first to treat patients with lay volunteers (called shasthya shebikas), all women, in the community. And while medications have always been provided for free by the government, BRAC requires patients to hand over a small deposit prior to beginning treatment that’s returned only when the patient completes the six months of treatment (this can be paid by the community or waived when necessary). Shasthya shebikas watch the patients take their medications every day (a strategy now called directly observed therapy, short-course or DOTS) at their homes, receiving a small payment upon treatment completion.When pressured to change its delivery strategy, BRAC has refused, with one argument amply supported by program data and rigorous research studies: this model works. With adherence as an Achilles’ heel for treating infectious and non-communicable disease alike, BRAC found a way to engage patients and motivate them to continue the full course of treatment, defended it, and then scaled up to one of the largest programs in the world. Now a critical member in a national partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, over 40 other non-governments organizations, BRAC treats close to 100,000 patients a year with a success rate of 92%, defying the assumed trade-off between quality and scale. These achievements reflect significant contributions from many, including technical expertise from the World Health Organization and the Japanese Anti-TB Association, and resource mobilization by the Country Coordinating Mechanism, and transcend national borders.Internationally, BRAC has begun to adapt the model to new contexts. BRAC Afghanistan has worked with the government to make community-based TB treatment options part of the standard package of health services offered nationally.
Since its first write-up in a scientific newsletter in 1991, BRAC has published several academic articles on its successes in tuberculosis. It has even written chapters on the program in Tuberculosis: an interdisciplinary perspective and more recently, in From One to Many, a collection of programmatic experiences in scale up edited by BRAC. Ian Smillie dedicates a chapter of his book on BRAC, Freedom from Want, to tuberculosis control. But a thorough, reflective documentation, one capturingthe broader elements of the history, collective insights, support systems, strategic thinking, and overall, the story of what had built the program, written by its veteran leaders and staff, was absent. Finally, in Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solutions for Millions, we have achieved just that. The book offers a complete account of the program: how it was conceived, piloted, refined, scaled, managed, and ultimately adapted for new contexts, including Bangladesh’s rapidly growing citiesand Afghanistan’s remote mountainous regions. Summarizing past successes and current dilemmas, the book’s ultimate aim is to advance efforts to eliminate poverty and disease globally. The public health challenges facing the world today demonstrate the critical need for large-scale thinking; lessons from BRAC’s TB program can inspire others to think creatively about health delivery and advancing towards health for all.
Making Tuberculosis History will be formally launched on October 27th at the 42nd Union World Conference on Lung Health. All conference participants are welcome to attend. BRAC plans to hold additional book launch activities in Dhaka, New York, Boston in the coming months. Those interested in purchasing the book can find information at the University Press Limited website.
Buy The Book from amazon
14 September 2011, Dhaka. ADP trained 500 adolescents on facial, hair cut, bridal make up and other beauty enhance activities so that they can start beauty parlor business from their home. Among them seventy successfull adolescents were invited in this conference to enrich their knowledge in this business. Kaniz Almas Khan - Managing Director of Persona took a session where she gave them tips on how to run business. Mamun Rashid – Professor of BRAC Business School talked on how to attract new customer and work on experienced employee retention. Asif Saleh – Director of BRAC Communications and Shameran Abed - Programme Head of BRAC Microfinance Programme discussed with them about financial need and support. Rashida Parveen - Programme Manager of BRAC Adolescent Development Programme took an interactive session where girls shared their work related experiences and asked for guidance. Rokeya Afzal Rahman, Chairman- Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs mentioned that girls can do multitasking very well. Besides building career, family should be first priority in a girl’s life. Dr. Mahbub Hossain - Executive Director of BRAC mentioned that without economic development of women, our country cannot move forward.
Lady Sarwat Abed - Director of CFL BRAC University, Dr. Safiqul Islam – Director of BRAC Education Programme, Md. Monowar Hossain Khondakar - Programme Coordinator of BRAC Education Programme, Dr. Obaidur Rob Chowdhury - Chairperson of UCEP, Munni Saha - Chief Editor of ATN News channel were also present in the event. At the end of the event all participants received certificates.
Tune in on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm (ET) to see BRAC Founder and Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed speak on the "What to Scale, When to Scale" panel at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiatives.
17 September 2011, Dhaka. BRAC’s Human Rights and Legal Aid Services (HRLS) Programme in association with partners Ain o Shalish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust (BLAST), Nijera Kori, and Action on Disability and Development (ADD) organised a roundtable discussion titled ‘Vagrants’ and Shelterless Persons (Rehabilitation) Act 2011 to address and protest the gaps that the current law comprises especially in light of upholding human rights of this vulnerable community.
The event was held at the Reporters’ Unity at Shegunbagicha, Dhaka and was presided over by Chief Guest, Dr. Mizanur Rahman - Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The Chair of the session, Khushi Kabir - coordinator of Nijera Kori, along with distinguished panelists presented a set of recommendations to revise the current rehabilitative law which will be submitted to the parliamentary standing committee responsible for reviewing the Act before presenting it to Parliament.
As one of the esteemed panelists during an open discussion at the Roundtable, Dr. Faustina Pereira - Director, HRLS Programme expressed her concern for both the process through which this Act has been passed and its content which is disgraceful and humiliating for deprived and dispossessed sections of citizens. Along with this, she urged that the law be accessed through initiating consultations with affected persons, practitioners and agencies involved in providing support to the poor.
13 September 2011, Dhaka. Chief Guest of the Seminar titled “Role and experience of teachers-guardians in eradicating sexual harassment’’ ycleped Eve teasing a certain form of sexual harassment and called on to come together building social awareness. The seminar was organised today by MEJNIN Programme under BRAC Gender Justice and Diversity Unit at BRAC Center. The seminar was chaired by Education Minister of the Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. He also stated ‘The term ‘Eve-teasing’ does not reveal the degree of harassment it causes to the girls and the teasers should be treated as criminals. Education Ministry has taken steps to prevent sexual harassment. To eliminate this ailment from the society we have to change our perception. Our next generation will grow up with stronger moral values introduce by advanced curriculum and only then we will be able to eradicate recurrence of sexual harassment from the society.’
The Deputy Minister of the ministry of children and women affairs, Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury was the Special Guest of the Event. Dr.Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury said, ‘Women are facing harassment in everywhere -their work places, in educational institutions, on the way to their school, colleges. We have to change our society’s overall approach towards the women and that has to be incorporated through introducing new national curriculum and legislative decree. Government is considering formulating law against ‘eve-teasing’ and in future further initiatives will be taken such as forming sexual harassment elimination committee, in every ministry and institutions.
The programme was addressed by Principal Kazi Faruk Ahmed chief co-ordinator of Jatiya Shikkhak Karmachary Front, directed and key note presented by Sheepa Hafiza, Director BRAC Gender Justice and Diversity and presided by BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahbub Hossain.
Teacher, students and guardians from different schools of Dhaka was present at the programme.
Arua, in the West Nile region of Uganda was the host of this year's International Youth Day celebrations, which was presided over by His Excellency General Y.K. Museveni, President of of the Republic of Uganda. Youth groups and adults came from all over the country for the event, including members from BRAC Uganda who travelled to Arua to join in and see how lessons from BRAC could fit in with this year's theme, Accelerating Youth Empowerment through Skills Development.
The day commenced with cultural performances from youth across the country who filled the stadium with color, dancing, and singing. Youth delegations came from far and wide and were joined by fellow youth, politicians, senior civil servants, foreign diplomats, donors, NGO staff, and members of civil society. Participants also included local celebrities Dorcus Inzikuru (aka the "Golden Gazelle," Uganda's fastest runner) and Bobbi Wine (aka the "Ghetto President," a popular singer) to inspire the youth with their success.
Uganda has the world's youngest population and the highest prevalence of poverty among its youth. Over half of its population is under the age of 18, and 94 of its young people live on less than US$2 a day. Skills development was chosen by the government as this year's theme in Uganda to help address the youth unemployment problem in the country. Youth face large barriers to securing stable employment given limited job opportunities and for many, inadequate skills and education. Skills development, therefore, is critical to assist youth in in the transition to work, equip them with the skills to become job creators, rather than seekers, and to allow youth greater participation in the social and economic transformation of Uganda. One of the many questions asked on the day was what strategies and programs do we put in place to do this?
BRAC Uganda has been developing the skills of young men and women in Uganda since 2008, when it launched its Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents (ELA) program, offering adolescents and young girls a safe space in which they can socialize and be provided with life skills training, financial literacy training, livelihoods training, vocational training, and access to microfinance. The clubs, launched in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, reach nearly 28,500 adolescent girls through the 743 clubs in 26 districts of Uganda. More recently, BRAC has launched two additional programs for youth skills development and empowerment, making youth one of its key focal areas. In 2010, BRAC supported 278 young men and women to undergo vocational training at registered institutes under their vocational training program, offering them assistance afterward with job placement, tools to generate self-employment and formal certification of their course. In addition, 2011 marked the opening of 120 Youth Centers in partnership with UNICEF in the Karamoja Region of North Uganda. Through this initiative, nearly 3,000 young women will have access to skills training and some initial input supply for becoming self-employed in the trade they have learned. To celebrate International Youth Day, UNICEF has created a video to highlight how youth supported by BRAC's initiatives are overcoming various barriers.
BRAC's work with youth has led us to recognize the need for a deeper understanding of the complex challenges they face as they negotiate the transition to adulthood. In light of this, the Research and Evaluation Unit has undertaken a large nation-wide research study on youth, to be launched soon in November 2011. Combining a nationally-representative survey of 5,000 youth with in-depth qualitative research methodologies, the report will provide a dynamic understanding of the experiences and aspirations of youth, and identify the forms of support that have allowed youth in Uganda to overcome these challenges, providing important lessons on how to adopt policies and programs to the needs, preferences and priorities of youth.