BRAC USA

Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable men and women to realize their potential.
Apr 1, 2015

No longer in need of support

We are still in the process of donating and distributing food supplies and offering other support to families who have been impacted by the avalanche. The disaster in Afghanistan has been devastating for many of the communities that BRAC works in. However our program team in Afghanistan have received support from other funders and we no longer need GlobalGiving donors for this opportunity. We are always grateful for the opportunities that arise from GlobalGiving, but we want to make sure we are maximizing donor support where we need it most. For this reason, we would like to deactivate the project at this time.

Apr 1, 2015

Steps to rebuild

Fatu Whongle, pig farmer in Sierra Leone 4/2014
Fatu Whongle, pig farmer in Sierra Leone 4/2014

With a six-year history in West Africa, BRAC has reached more than a million people in nearly every province of Sierra Leone and Liberia before the Ebola outbreak began. Now, its efforts and network are instrumental in helping West Africans rebuild. With support from GlobalGiving donors we have started survivor support programs to offer psycho-social support and combat community stigmatization, We are taking measures to fuel economic growth through cash transfers and fixing broken supply chains, and we are reaching populations left especially vulnerable after the outbreak, such as orphans, the disabled, as well as women and girls. We are grateful for your support, but need your help to continue this work.

As of March 2015, there were 21,443 confirmed cases of Ebola and a total of 8,084 deaths in Liberia and Sierra Leone combined. But beyond the death tolls, economies in both countries have taken a hit. In October, the World Bank forecasted that the economic impact of the outbreak could cost West Africa $33 billion.

The agriculture sector illustrates how the supply-chain breakdown continues to impact the economy. When governments closed or restricted cross-border transactions, there was a scarcity of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and agro-tools. This caused a drop in output from farming activities and also disrupted the regular farming cycle. BRAC agriculture operations resumed at the end of last year but farmers are still struggling to sell their produce in the market due to a price hike for limited food supplies. In addition, farmers who survived Ebola returned to find their livestock stolen, eaten or dead, and their businesses ruined.

BRAC’s recovery programs targets farmers through training and improving supply chains. Financial and credit support for farmers that have been directly affected by the outbreak will also be provided. BRAC is looking to raise funds to provide cash transfers to the farmers and livestock promoters in order to support household income and help replace raw inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers, or livestock.

The adolescent population is especially vulnerable, particularly girls. There have been increased reports of teenage pregnancy during the outbreak when girls weren’t in school. Girls were also put at risk due to their traditional roles as caretakers, as they were required to take care of infected family members. Many adolescents also fear that they will not be able to afford schools following the outbreak, and are being forced into the role of heads of household in the wake of the death of their parents or older siblings. BRAC’s existing Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) program, targets girls between the ages of 10 to 24, equipping them with life skills, financial literacy, and job training to start their own businesses. After the outbreak, we are incorporating new components like psycho-social support to empower adolescent female survivors their families, and orphaned girls.

With support from UNICEF and the Malala Fund, BRAC is using its ELA clubs as safe spaces for radio schools. Read more about the initiative on NPR.

My colleague, Aissatou Diallo, returned from Liberia in January and noted that she was astounded by the resilience of the human spirit. Thank you for supporting the people in Liberia and Sierra Leone. We apologize that this report is delayed, we were waiting to hear back regarding progress from the field.

Girls empowerment club in Sierra Leone
Girls empowerment club in Sierra Leone
Liberia feed mill worker
Liberia feed mill worker
Mar 13, 2015

Agriculture Innovations Empower Farmers

Grace is a farmer in BRAC
Grace is a farmer in BRAC's Agriculture project

BRAC takes an integrated approach to help people rise out of poverty and realize their potential. This is why BRAC has been developing an extensive agricultural network that invests in research and technology that could increase farming yields, and as a result empower farmers in Tanzania.  

BRAC has already established an effective method of production, distribution and marketing of quality seeds at reasonable prices and has created a system where poor farmers receive microcredit support. There are also numerous agricultural training programs provided to the farmers, such as the Vegetable and Kitchen Farmers program, where the farmers are provided with technical knowledge about producing simple crops in small pieces of land.

However, BRAC wants to go beyond its current success in Tanzania and develop a system where production is increased by expanding irrigation, there is greater access to quality fertilizers and pesticides, and larger investment in its agriculture research stations to develop disease-resistant seed varieties. The current activities along with BRAC’s plan to expand the project will target the problem of poor crop productivity in a more effective manner.  

Thank you for donating to support this work. As we look to catalyze agricultural innovation in Tanzania we appreciate your help in empowering our farmers! 

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