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 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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Mar 20, 2012

Fizora: Growing stronger every day

Like too many girls in rural Bangladesh, Fizora was married when she was only 16 years old.

Four years later, she has two young children and a husband who is handicapped and unable to work. Her family was so poor that Fizora would regularly go without food so her husband and children could eat. 

Fizora joined the local BRAC girls club where, for the first time in her life, she got to interact with girls her own age as they learned valuable life skills. She also received financial literacy training as well as livelihood training on vegetable cultivation. 

Fizora used the skills she learned through BRAC to start a vegetable garden growing spinach and okra. Within a few months, she was able to sell her vegetables for a profit at the local market. She used the profits to feed her family and invest in additional seedlings and materials to grow her garden. She also started a savings account so she can afford to send her children to school once they're old enough.

Without your support, Fizora's life could have gone in a very different direction. What's more, all the benefit she's realizing from her participation in the girls club and her new livelihood is spread to her husband and two young children. 

By investing in a girl, you can benefit everyone around her. This is the Girl Effect.

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