Safe Spaces & Loans for 2,000 Girls in Bangladesh


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.


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.


BRAC is proud to share with you a wonderful new children’s book that features the creativity of 20 girls from one of our clubs in Dhamrai, Bangladesh. 

Shuba and the Cyclone is an adventurous tale of a Ganges River dolphin who must find her way home after a cyclone. Published byDot-to-Dot Children’s Books, the book is based on stories written by participants in BRAC’s SoFEA program in Dhamrai, Bangladesh. Click here to read about the writing workshop the girls participated in last year.

Dot-to-Dot’s creative writing team selected favorite elements written during the workshop and combined them into a single story, making Shuba and the Cyclone an expression of the collective creativity of the young women who helped write it.

However, Shuba is not the only hero whose story is told through this book. The girls who helped author the book are prominently featured in the book as role models for generations of youth around the world.

Meet these amazing girls and pre-order a copy of the book now by clicking here! Books will ship by November 1st - just in time for the holidays! Enter the code BRAC at checkout and BRAC will get 40% of the proceeds.


The 50 clubs being supported by this project are still going strong, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share Sanchita's story with you. Sanchita was one of the first members of our clubs in Bangladesh and, as you can see from the video above, her hard work and investment are paying off for her and her family.

Click here to watch the video.



For this project report, I wanted to share with you the story of a girl who had to make a heartbreaking decision to give up on her dream of an education and a chance at a better life in order to help her family. Thanks to your generous support, she is now living her dream and supporting her family: Insana is 18 years old. She lives in a village in Kalampur, Dhamrai in Bangladeth. When she was in Grade 10, Insana was forced to drop out of school as her family was unable to bear the associated costs and needed one more hand to add to the meager family income. This was a big blow for Insana, as she enjoyed school and wanted to continue her education further. Nevertheless, in response to her family’s needs, Insana stopped going to school and started rearing some chicks and ducks to help support her family. Insana was a member of a local SoFEA club, and her club mentor and the staff became aware of this and offered her the chance to enroll in a training program to learn tailoring came. Although there was pressure from her family to find a higher earning job, Insana decided to take up the training. With great determination, she completed the training and won a sewing-machine for her outstanding performance. After the training, Insana started making dresses for her neighbors. Her designs became so popular that she was asked if she would be willing to train others. Hence, along with making dresses, Insana started earning additional income by training girls from her neighborhood. Insana now earns a good living and supports her family by making dresses for neighbours and providing training on tailoring to others. She has enrolled back into Grade 10, covering her own expenses, and is preparing for her Secondary School Certificate exam! Today, thanks to your support, Insana stands confidently, with great faith in her own potential and serves as an inspiration to her fellow club members and her community.


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Organization Information


Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Scott MacMillan
New York, New York United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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