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.
Jun 11, 2012

When girls become mothers

Shiuly with a BRAC health worker
Shiuly with a BRAC health worker

While it's decreasing in prevelance through education and social interventions, child marriage still occurs in Bangladesh. With girls getting married as young as 12 years old, many girls become mothers before they are even adults. These girls are at increased risk for complications during pregnancy.

17 year old Shiuly Begum from Goudium village in Mymensingh got married at a very young age. She became pregnant soon after her marriage and didn't know what to do.

A health worker from BRAC visited Shiuly and taught her about care during pregnancy as well as complications and warning signs. BRAC's neonatal health worker visited Shiuly seven times to provide antenatal check-ups during her pregnancy. She also taught Shiuly essential newborn care.

When her labor began, the health worker noticed some complications, and Shiuly was taken to a BRAC health center, where she gave birth through a caesarian section. BRAC helped bear the cost of the surgery by paying TK 3,000 (about $36).

“The health worker from BRAC still visits me for checkup and gives me advice about taking care of the baby,"  says Shiuly. "I am very grateful to BRAC for all their support.” 

Jun 5, 2012

From child bride to successful student

Ruma is a member of Tollabari adolescent club in Magura, Bangladesh. Because her family was too poor to support her, Ruma was forced into marriage at the age of 13, when she was in seventh grade.

After a while, her husband and father-in-law began to pressure her for a dowry payment. She was not respected by her husband, and the pressure of the impending dowry payment caused her great hardship and stress. After discussing the situation with her parents, she decided to divorce her husband. Ruma returned home to live with her parents, who could barely afford to feed her, let alone continue her schooling.

Then Ruma joined the local BRAC adolescent club, where she received training in poultry rearing and took out a loan of BDT 7,000 ($85). She used BDT 2,000 ($25) to purchase chickens and used the remaining funds to purchase a sewing machine. She also participated in BRAC’s financial literacy training program and returned to school.

With her income from chicken rearing and tailoring, Ruma is able to pay her loan installments and also save money regularly. Now, she is able to bear her educational expenses, in addition to contributing to her family’s economic well-being.

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May 11, 2012

Education from chickens?

How much can you learn from a chicken?

With your continued support, plus training and a micro-loan from BRAC, Asha learned a lot. In fact, her chicken business is helping her go back to school so she can learn even more.

Asha used to sit at home with nothing to do. Her father couldn't afford to send her to school, and she had no skills with which to get a job. In short, her future seemed bleak.

She joined one of BRAC's adolescent girls clubs and signed up for livelihood training to learn how to raise chickens. After completing the training, she took out a micro-loan from BRAC and bought 200 day-old chicks to raise. Thanks to the training she received, she knew to get her chickens vaccinated and to give them the proper food and space to move around in so they would grow up healthy.

Asha's already sold 100 of her chickens, and is using some of the profits to go back to school! 

Click here to hear Asha's story in her own words.

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