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August 17, 2018
BLOG Youth

Living, learning, inspiring

Fast forward to 2018, and they are among the brightest employees at AR enterprise, a local print studio. Just three months into their training, they had mastered a variety of skills including typing in three languages (English, Bangla, and Arabic), Microsoft Office package, and Adobe Photoshop. They now provide graphic design and Microsoft Office training to other learners. Not only have they gotten into the habit of saving up in their own bank accounts, but they are also contributing to their families, who no longer think about their daughters’ marriage as a quick fix to everything.

Asma and Munni are

August 16, 2018

Walking three kilometres for a bathroom break

This presents various challenges in terms of hygiene, privacy and security. More than 40% of girls end up missing school during menstruation.

Tahia Toushin, a secondary school student, shares the challenges she faced when her school did not have a separate toilet for girls. Her school is one of 110 schools that have received improved latrines and drinking water sources. We have also provided nearly 1.5 million girls with counselling on menstrual hygiene management.

Tahia Toushin, 15 years

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

“I walked 2-3 kilometres from school every day for five years to use a washroom. The neighbours whose homes

August 14, 2018

Representing Bangladesh on Gujrat’s festival stage

Mitu is one of 100,000 young women in nearly 5,000 adolescent clubs across Bangladesh. These clubs provide safe spaces where young women can learn sports, life skills, social confidence and entrepreneurship. They share experiences, receive training and build networks.

Research has shown that adolescent clubs help girls to stay in school, become more financially literate and communicate more confidently. BRAC has set up nearly 18,000 adolescent clubs in six other countries; Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nepal.

Kaniz Khondokar Mitu, 22 years
Mymensingh, Bangladesh

“The magic of folk music had me spellbound from when I was

August 13, 2018

Where light is a luxury

How often do you have a candle-lit dinner at home? Or dimmed the lights to gaze out through a moonlit window, or lay on the roof staring at the stars? 

Let me guess – very rarely.

In the city you are constantly exposed to bright lights every night. You get used to the glares bouncing off street lamps and traffic signals. Neon advertising placards and the pear-shaped fluorescent bulbs glow from every shop.

Darkness is a luxury because light is abundant.

Now flip the coin. 

Over 700,000 Rohingyas living in Cox’s Bazar don’t have lights. More than half are women

August 12, 2018
BLOG Youth

Young people thrive when they have safe spaces

Millions of young people are fighting everyday to make the world a better place for all. Let’s meet three of these people from Bangladesh and Uganda whose stories confirm the remarkable things that happen when young people find safe spaces to learn and grow.

Mahinur: A 16-year-old’s fight to save child brides
Comilla, Bangladesh

“One of my proudest moments was when I stopped my classmate’s marriage. We went to her house and spoke to her parents. They did not listen at first, but we did not give up. We explained that girls – their daughter – can do amazing

August 12, 2018
BLOG Youth

Celebrate the world’s youngest majority! Join the movement in the Global South this November.

This is a unique moment in history. Young people between the ages of 15 and 29 have reached their peak, now numbering at 1.8 billion. This is set to decline in the coming decades.  Now is the time to focus on harnessing the power and potential of youth around the world. 85% of these young people live in the Global South, and they face some daunting statistics and barriers:

  • 60% of young people between the ages of 15-17 are not in school.
  • Global youth unemployment is rising, and underemployment has left more than one-third of young working people living
August 9, 2018

From health to wealth: Sanitation standards shifting in rural Bangladesh

There is more to the story of “sanitation” in a country like Bangladesh than meets the eye. Often viewed by most as merely a basic component of social development, the provision of proper sanitation has shifted with time.

Most people in Bangladesh now have access to a toilet, although 40% of the population still use shared, rudimentary sanitation facilities. The country has made significant progress in reducing open defecation from 34% in 1990 to 3% in 2017. Those who continue to practice open defecation vastly belong to the most marginalised communities.

The issue of adequate sanitation facilities in urban slums

August 7, 2018
BLOG Health

Garment factories embrace breastfeeding

In Dhaka, a small transformation is shaking up ready-made garment factories, an industry known for its exploitation of women. Seeking to change their reputation, and become more compliant with labour laws, two factories, DBL and Vision Apparels signed up to the Mothers@Work pilot in October 2016- a UNICEF led initiative that creates breastfeeding corners at work. With BRAC as a partner,  the project supports the maternity rights of women, and promotes breastfeeding, ensuring babies receive the nutrition they deserve.

At Vision Apparel’s factory in Mirpur, central Dhaka, 13 mothers are currently lactating.

Twice a day, at 10am and 3pm, relatives

August 2, 2018
BLOG Youth

Save the date: Dhaka to celebrate frugal innovations for youth this November

With 85% of young people in the Global South, the future is young!

Young people are the drivers of development, and now more than ever, we must ensure that they are ready to be their own leaders.

Registration for the forum will open on 12 August 2018.

Stay tuned for updates and share the news with your peers. Help us reach out to organisations and individuals that work on ideas to empower young people and create solutions that can be scaled up in the Global South.

This Frugal Innovation Forum, we will rethink and co-create solutions on the theme

July 31, 2018

Creating sustainable deathtraps

There is a kind of silent acceptance about the current state of affairs. We have accepted that this is what our city is meant to be. Dhaka in chaos is normal.

However, when the day comes that the inevitable happens and lives are lost, we sit up, look around and ask ourselves, how did we get here? How did we end up at rock bottom? Wasn’t there anything that could have been done?

Looking through the papers and the various videos on Facebook about the two young souls who lost their lives in the horrific road rage incident a few

July 25, 2018

Agriculture and nutrition: Exploring the links and disconnects

Despite this, and despite transitioning into the middle-income status, Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. Recognising the importance that agriculture plays in improving nutrition, Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), a consortium of six organisations including BRAC, was formed in 2012. As a research partner, BRAC aims to nudge and contribute to policies in order to establish agriculture-nutrition linkages, and improve nutrition in Bangladesh.

This week, key research findings from a study led by BRAC were highlighted at a concluding seminar.

Barnali Chakraborty, a researcher at BRAC, shared that nutrition progress …

July 22, 2018

Nutrition Action Week: Bringing the community on board

The dark grey skies overhead could not dim the welcoming smiles of the staff on the ground. Nutrition workers and volunteers were kitted in the brightest orange t-shirts and caps for this year’s Nutrition Action Week here in the makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Groups of little children walked intently through the sandy mud, holding hands, closely followed by a volunteer of BRAC’s communications for development (C4D), supported by UNICEF, who guided them to their nearest nutrition centre.

They looked on, curiously, at the various instruments that measure weights and heights, and the jars of vivid red and blue vitamin