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.
Dec 22, 2014

BRAC steps up its response

BRAC is responding to the ongoing West Africa Ebola outbreak, which has infected over 14,000 and killed over 5,000 people. The capacity to deal with health emergencies must be built and maintained at the local level, and therefore BRAC is training our existing network of 6,000 community leaders to raise awareness and stop the spread of the disease.Tackling the Ebola virus rests on four pillars: avoidance, early detection, isolation and safe burials.

With the help of Global Giving supporters, BRAC has distributed Ebola hygiene messages in local languages to remote areas, conducted street theatre and delivered radio broadcasts about the symptoms of Ebola and the responses that are necessary to keep people safe and reduce the spread of the disease. In addition, BRAC has donated supplies including gloves, chlorine, face masks and buckets with taps for hand washing.

BRAC has nearly 1,000 community health promoters in Sierra Leone and Liberia. These self-employed women, committed to the protection of their own communities, are the best front-line defence against Ebola. BRAC’s Ebola response in Liberia and Sierra Leone consists of the following elements:

  • Capacity building and training: Training provided to the existing force of nearly 6,000 BRAC community promoters, youth leaders, school teachers and Ebola survivors enables them to become change makers, sharing Ebola awareness messages and knowledge in their communities.
  • Community sensitization and outreach: BRAC’s community Ebola prevention workers will engage in awareness and sensitization training interventions, focusing on community and village leaders, survivors, women and children. Activities will promote the benefits of early presentation of suspected patients at Ebola facilities and the need for safe, culturally acceptable burial practices through leaflets, flyers, posters, billboards, radio jingles and theatre.
  • Ensuring adequate supplies are available:BRAC has assisted in the distribution of essential Ebola-related health commodities including gloves, buckets and chlorine.
  • Psychosocial support: BRAC plans to provide psychosocial support to affected community members including family members, orphans and survivors.
  • Building economic and social resilience for the future: beyond containment of Ebola, BRAC is planning long-term to support communities against future shocks. This includes working to develop a higher quality, integrated health system, assisting affected communities with livelihood support to enable their recovery, promoting financial inclusion and entrepreneurial capital through access to microfinance and strengthening social protection mechanisms by provide Ebola affected communities with food and cash transfers.

Thank you for continuing to support our efforts, we will continue to provide updates as the situation on the ground changes.

Links:

Nov 19, 2014

We're reaching girls left behind

Momina  BRAC
Momina BRAC

BRAC's pre-primary education program in Pakistan reaches children left behind by the formal education sytem. Often these are girls who are needed at home, or more often, children whose parents can't afford to pay school fees. Muhammed Rafaqat is one of those parents. He is a shopkeeper and a father of two. He said his son grew up healthy, but his daughter, Momina, was born with special needs. Together with his wife Zarqa, Mahammad consulted doctors in their area and were able to get her the best treatment they could afford.

Muhammad and Zarqa wanted their daughter to have an education, but it was extremely difficult. There were no schools in their area that could offer the special attention Momina needed and it was impossible to send her to a school in another region.

"When BRAC started its pre-primary school in our area," Muhammad said, "we met the teachers who informed us they could take Momina in. Our hearts were filled with joy at the prospect of getting our daughter into school."

Now, Muhammad says he and his wife regularly meet with Momina's teachers and get updates on her progress at school. She was initially shy and timid, but now her teachers say she takes part in classroom activites and extra curriculars.

"She has made lots of friends and she talks about them when she gets home," Muhammad said. "My daughter seems more confident now."

Zarqa became a member of the school management commitee (similar to a parent-teacher group that meets regularly), and both parents continue to support their daughter.

Thanks to GlobalGiving donors and help from partners, BRAC opened and currently runs 100 pre-primary schools in Khybur-Pakhtunkhwa province and graduated nearly 3,000 girls in March 2014. Please continue to support our efforts by empowering girls and families most in need of second chance at an education.

Nov 4, 2014

Ebola compromises food supply

Musu Flomo, Liberia, April, Alison Wright 2014
Musu Flomo, Liberia, April, Alison Wright 2014

Musu Flomo in her kitchen garden in Gbarnga, Liberia on April 25, 2014. Musu received her seeds, watering can and training from BRAC. She grows okra, peppers, cassava, and watermelon for her family and to sell in the market. BRAC is working to stop Ebola so farmers like Musu can continue their work.

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone has been catastrophic, putting a severe strain on already over-burdened and under-resourced health care systems. BRAC staff were some of the first responders, distributing disinfectant, chlorine as well as providing educational materials such as flyers, posters, and broadcasting radio jingles about preventative measures. Global Giving donors were instrumental in supporting these efforts. To find out more about how we are combating Ebola, see the links below.

Due to travel bans and restrictions on public gatherings, BRAC was forced to temporarily halt programming, including its agriculture and livestock operations, in August. BRAC offices reopened in September and programs are being modified, adjusting to government restrictions during this state of emergency. Luckily, BRAC offices, residences, poultry and seed farms have been found in good condition, although marketplaces are not yet operating as usual.

These closed markets and disruptions in food supply have caused devastating shortages in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. BRAC’s emergency response plan complements the efforts of the World Food Program by distributing food and other necessary supplies to quarantined households.

BRAC asks that you keep in your thoughts the families of farmers, community health promoters, mentors, staff, and volunteers who have lost their lives combatting this deadly disease.

Please support our emergency response plan by visiting the links below.

Links:

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