All Blogs

September 1, 2018

Creating the future I want

Playing its part to improve opportunities for young people, Aarong, one of BRAC’s largest social enterprises, employs over 200 full-time staff every year while also hiring close to 3,000 part-time staff on a seasonal basis.

Shaymoli Biswas Ohona, 32 years
Dhaka, Bangladesh

“I bought my mother a purse with my first salary. The smile it brought to her face was priceless. I knew then that no matter how expensive a gift she received later, nothing would compare.

It was back in 2008 when I was doing my honours and came upon a job opening at Aarong. I applied immediately and

August 30, 2018

Shaking up traditional farming in rural Bangladesh

Agriculture is the largest employment sector in Bangladesh, and women make up more than 50% of the agricultural labour force.

Madhuri shares her journey of expanding her little farm and using a machine to harvest crops, much to the dismay of fellow farmers and landowners.

Madhuri Mallick, 34 years
Khulna, Bangladesh

I was about to sit for my secondary school certificate exams when I was married off. I struggled for years with my in-laws to complete my schooling and start earning through tutoring.

As soon as I started making some money, I used it to buy seeds from BRAC. I

August 27, 2018

Finding friendship in the face of a crisis

More than 41,000 children are singing, learning and playing in our 234 child-friendly spaces and 365 learning centres in the camps and in Ukhiya and Teknaf. These spaces are safe, colourful places for children to be children. Our para-counsellors provide them with psychosocial support to help them deal with trauma.

Mohammad Ayaas, 12 years
Cox’s Bazar

I came from Myanmar on a boat full of strangers. No one held my hand and no one told me what to do. My father and mother were killed. I got separated from my sisters and brothers. I have not heard from them since

August 19, 2018
BLOG Youth

Skilling can unlock girls’ potential – when we can get it right

A third of Bangladesh’s population is 10-24 years old.  Approximately ten million young people are currently unemployed or underemployed.  An on-the-job apprenticeship model is slowly changing the employment landscape in Bangladesh.  It equips young people with the skills that employers need.  It has graduated more than 28,000 apprentices to date, skilling them under master crafts persons in 25 different demand-driven trades. Shireen is one of them. After graduating, 95% continue in employment or become entrepreneurs.

Shireen Akhter
Dhaka, Bangladesh

 

“I got married at 13. My husband criticised my dark skin and left me with an 11-year-old child. I

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
BLOG WASH, Youth

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