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

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.

Links:

May 23, 2013

From safe space to salon

Jackline Chikusa, ELA member, salon owner.
Jackline Chikusa, ELA member, salon owner.

Jackline Chikusa, who turns 22 this year, is proud to be an alumna of one of 180 Empowerment & Livelihoods for Adolescents (ELA) Clubs BRAC has established so far in Tanzania.

“Before joining the club, I had no future plans. I did not know how to control my emotions, make decisions, solve problems and choose my friends. Through this club I received various kinds of information and also life skills training in beautification and salon operations”, she said.

Jackline is one of over 1,190 young women in Tanzania that have received livelihoods training so far, choosing from a menu of training options including running a beauty salon. After her training, Jackline took her first loan of 150,000 Tanzanian schillings ($107) and started a salon business. With her second loan of 250,000 schillings, ($179) she expanded her business successfully, and it now earns profits of up to 150,000 schillings ($107) per month.

With your support, Jackline is more than a business owner. She's a role model for other girls in her community. Or in Jackline's words, “Now I am aware of many things and I’m trying to make my friends aware as well.”

 
   

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