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.
Sep 3, 2013

Impact that lasts

Rehema Saidi, an ELA club mentor in Tanzania.
Rehema Saidi, an ELA club mentor in Tanzania.

It's easy and exciting to say that social and economic empowerment should go hand-in-hand. But how does that end up changing lives for girls in countries like Tanzania? Here's a hint, as published recently in The Guardian:

"...self-reported condom usage rose 12.6 percentage points among those participants who are sexually active, and two years after they entered the programme, fertility rates were 28.6% lower compared to a control sample. Participants' reports of having sex unwillingly decreased by 83% from the baseline during a one-year period, which the report calls the clearest marker for the programme changing how empowered adolescent girls are in their relations with men."

That's the kind of impact BRAC's empowerment and livelihoods for adolescents (ELA) approach aims for -- real behavioral change that has an impact on future generations too. Everyone, from us at BRAC USA to BRAC's field staff to ELA club mentors to club members to future children of ELA club alumna, is grateful to count you as partners in making that happen.

Sep 3, 2013

A tradition of impact

BRAC
BRAC's frontline community health promoters, 1979.

Today in Bangladesh, there are over 105,000 women who are proud to call themselves Shasthya Shebikas, the army of BRAC-trained and branded para-professionals who provide basic healthcare to their neighbors in some of the world's poorest villages and slums. A lot of that pride comes from knowing they are just the latest generation in a tradition of women living in poverty themselves who have stepped up nonetheless to become leaders for development -- a tradition that extends back to the 1970s, when BRAC first started piloting and then scaling up its community health model featuring these women from poor communities in such a central role.

As you may have read earlier this year, these women were recognized for their work by Dr. Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manisfesto, in an article for the The New Yorker, "Slow ideas: Some some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don't?" Dr. Gawande calls their early work "stunningly successful," as they started out by targeting child deaths due to diarrhea.

Today that tradition of stunning success, on a massive scale, continues thanks to your support.

Aug 29, 2013

Looking to the future

ELA members at a microfinance group meeting.
ELA members at a microfinance group meeting.

With the support of the Nike Foundation, BRAC’s girl effect work in Bangladesh continues to make important strides forward in improving the social as well as economic standing of girls in their community. BRAC Bangladesh reports that 65 percent of club members in Bangladesh now have a savings account with the program, showing how they are putting in action the lessons they've learned so far about financial literacy.

Club committees have also been established for 360 clubs, made up of older members of the community who may be club alumnae or may otherwise be interested in supporting the clubs locally. Thirteen of the committees have even successfully established local trust funds expressly for that purpose.

As BRAC had experienced decades ago with its microfinance village organizations using philanthropic capital as a catalyst to reach self-sustainability, that same transformation is taking root with our adolescent girls programming, and everyone is grateful to have you on that journey with us.

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