This was originally posted on Bridge International Academies blog.
BRAC’s annual event Frugal Innovation Forum in Dhaka, is now in its fifth year. The 2017 event explored education innovations and sought to connect innovators, social entrepreneurs and emerging leaders. Bridge was proud to play a part.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a global nonprofit that creates, finds and supports programmes that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families around the world, honoured Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury for his leadership in community-based primary healthcare, poverty alleviation programmes, education for children and women’s empowerment.
The Frugal Innovation Forum is a platform for leaders from the global south to connect and explore solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Development practitioners, social entrepreneurs, activists, policy-makers and academics collaborate for three days to work towards impact at scale.
Jazirah Namukose, 18, left school feeling the sting of rejection. Classmates discriminated against her because of her disability- a clubfoot. But her life changed when she started going to the Kikaaya girls’ club in northern Kampala, Uganda. She gained skills and the confidence to start her own business- and found friends who didn’t treat her differently because of her disability.
Stuart Rutherford is an expert in financial services for the poor, and the author of ‘The Poor and Their Money’. He founded SafeSave in 1996, to provide basic banking services in the slums of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Nearly two decades on SafeSave serves 19,000 clients, helping them afford everyday expenses and budget for bigger life events.
Amplifier Strategies and BRAC USA traveled to Bangladesh in March to meet with the BRAC International leadership team and discuss our ongoing partnership for Amplifier’s latest Collaborative Initiative. We built the Initiative as a special opportunity to engage family and individual philanthropists in a global partnership to end extreme poverty.
On a recent trip to Bangladesh, one question kept pestering me: if mobile bank accounts are so good for the poor, why haven’t they adopted them already? After all, financial products and services for the poor have the potential to improve lives, but only if they are actually adopted and used.
BRAC founder and chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed spoke as part of a panel discussion on labor and global supply chains, held at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City last week. Here's the full description from the Initiative website:
Bangladesh is a recent entrant into branchless banking – deployments only began in earnest in the middle of 2011. CGAP reviewed the first year of branchless banking (referred to as “mobile financial services” in Bangladesh) together with Bangladesh Bank up to March 2012.
Faustina Pereira, director of BRAC human rights and legal aid services, poignantly puts the focus where it needs to be.
She says - "we are dealing with a sector that directly touches the lives and livelihoods of millions of individuals and their families, and directly contributes to lifting them out of abject poverty," and that "We should go beyond nomenclature that alienates the players who should be [held] to account."