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.
Jul 29, 2015

Ebola survivors face the future

Kulako, an Ebola survivor in Sierra Leone
Kulako, an Ebola survivor in Sierra Leone

This week, the last remaining Ebola survivors in Liberia were released from the hospital. Prior to this most recent outbreak in late June – six cases with two fatalities – Liberia had not seen a case of Ebola since March. While some may see the recent resurgence as a setback, Liberia's rapid and effective response demonstrates the success of measures implemented by the national government, the international community, and NGOs operating in Liberia. It also shows how community mobilization and trust-building can reshape the course of an epidemic.

Liberia cannot officially be declared Ebola-free until next month (42 days from the last identified case), and it – along with its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea – has a long road ahead to rebuild its health system and economy. But Liberia's progress serves as an inspiring illustration of what collaboration and determination can accomplish in the face of human suffering.

With your support, BRAC has been working in both Liberia and Sierra Leone to rebuild health systems, empower disenfranchised teenage girls, provide counseling to survivors, and fuel economic growth through small loans and business development.

Since the outbreak in May 2014, Ebola has claimed 11,276 lives. Ebola leaves in its wake orphaned children, families torn apart, and stigmatized survivors. BRAC, along with other partners, are training mental health clinicians, community leaders, and staff to offer necessary psychosocial support to survivors and victims’ families. Group counseling sessions and individual meetings create open discussions to help families cope. To date, BRAC has counseled 702 orphans and has held 226 group sessions over three months and will grow to reach 68,582 people.

In some cases, patients in quarantine come home to find their families safe and Ebola-free. Unfortunately, many others return to devastating circumstances. Kulako, a woman from the town of Kumala, Sierra Leone, describes her experience:

“I had four children, and I caught Ebola from one of them. All of my children died.” Kulako survived the Ebola virus, but she is still recovering. With BRAC’s support, survivors like Kulako will begin to rebuild their lives.

Thank you for helping to stop the spread of Ebola and alleviate the physical and emotional pain suffered by the thousands affected. To view more survivor stories from the areas BRAC works in visit the link below.

Links:

Jul 28, 2015

Empowering farmers in Tanzania

Mgeni a livestock promotor in Tanzania
Mgeni a livestock promotor in Tanzania

The agriculture and livestock sectors in sub-Saharan Africa have remarkable potential to foster economic growth – especially in rural areas. But in order to take advantage of regional resources, countries like Tanzania need to equip local farmers with the skills and tools they need to be successful.

With your support, the Livelihoods Enhancement through Agriculture Development (LEAD) program, conducted in Tanzania, has increased farmers’ incomes by teaching them skills such as effective bargaining and confidence in their product through marketing. LEAD also trains the farmers in business tactics: they learn competitive negotiating skills and cost reduction strategies.  By organizing groups through which farmers can cultivate markets and contacts, as well as offering easier access to supplies and modern agriculture technology, many more families have become food secure. In just two years of operation LEAD has formed 5,027 farmers’ organizations for both maize and poultry.

The majority of the farmers participating in LEAD are women. Mgeni is an excellent example of one woman who benefited from a BRAC agriculture program. To start her poultry business, Mgeni took out 250,000 Tanzanian shillings (120 USD) from a BRAC microfinance program. Now, she makes between two and three million shillings monthly (960-1,440 USD) by supplying local shops with eggs; Mgeni is considering buying a car to expand her market even further. Her first small loan has allowed Mgeni to expand her business and apply for a BRAC Small Enterprise Loan (up to 30 million shillings or 14,400USD). Mgeni success story is one of many that will continue to inspire farmers like her to get involved with LEAD and start their own competitive business.

Thank you for donating to this project. As it receives more funding and support, BRAC looks to expand its agriculture programs in Tanzania and continue to train farmers to plant their crops efficiently and maximize outputs.

Jun 29, 2015

Poultry hatchery in the press

Inquirer article features BRAC hatchery
Inquirer article features BRAC hatchery

Thanks to GlobalGiving supporters, BRAC’s poultry hatchery in Liberia has been paramount to Liberia rebuilding supply chains following the Ebola outbreak. Much of this was detailed in the last report.

To date, BRAC has trained 240 backyard poultry farmers and 200 community livestock promoters. Its nutrition campaigns and meetings have reached more than 90,000 people. BRAC was also featured in Liberia’s local paper, The Inquirer. Below is the article as it appeared on May 26, 2015.

BRAC-Liberia Gives Boost to Poultry Industry

BRAC Liberia, a non-government organization, which started its livestock and agriculture development program in Liberia in 2008, says while the poultry sector remains an important economic sector, it also plays a key role in income generation, poverty alleviation and food security of the country.

This intervention has made a tremendous change in the poultry industry and is helping scores of Liberians raise more chickens and meat as well as encouraging them to produce fresh eggs and meat in the country to reduce malnutrition.

BRAC Liberia has successfully established a poultry hatchery and feed mill in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and is currently producing quality feed for the poultry and pig farmers in rural communities.

Mr. Mohammed Abdus Salam, BRAC Liberia Country Representative said despite the difficulty the poultry industry continues to grow in Liberia. He expressed optimism that the poultry industry will play a key role in boosting the country’s economy in a not too distant future.

Salam added that more farmers are joining in the industry’s rapid development stressing, “The poultry industry is growing smoothly because of new technology and the use of locally available feed ingredients, breeding, hatching, and other inputs. Let this sector flourish to benefit the country.”

With the full implementation BRAC Poultry Hatchery and Feed Mill would serve as a remedy to the growing public demand for meat and fresh eggs in Liberia’s trade and commerce, thereby creating employment opportunities for poultry and livestock farmers.

More than 1,000 farmers and 600 livestock and poultry promoters are currently benefiting from the program styled as BRAC Diamond Poultry Feed and BRAC Diamond Pig Feed. Also this paper observed that some 20 staff is working with the project which includes technicians, shed supervisors, cleaners and laborers.

[The project] is expected to be sustained for several years wherein poultry farmers around the country will be self-sustainable and at the same time generate more income to improve their shattered lives after several years of civil war in Liberia.

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