A woman’s handbag seemingly contains a world of mystery. Her phone, keys, wallet, some tissue to wipe the nose, a sanitary pad just in case, maybe sunglasses, and receipts from the supermarket. But what does one carry in a crisis?
People stretched as far as I could see. Young, old and every age in between, all standing in lines for hours to receive food. What most shocked me was the number of children. There were just so many of them. So many hungry eyes.
A diphtheria outbreak in the Rohingya makeshift settlements has killed 20 people as of December 17, 2017. With 1,500 suspected cases, the number is growing. The 656,000 Rohingya people who sleep every night without electricity, dream in the colours of recent trauma and wake up to uncertainty, cannot afford to be hurt further.
The child with his nose in a book might not be the only one learning. This was one of the bold messages from the Frugal Innovation Forum 2017. The forum’s innovators and speakers called attention to children’s right to education and play.
Even when introducing herself, Babita’s enthusiasm is contagious. “Maybe you think that you can’t change how you manage your money. It’s too hard. Well, I used to think that I could never get up in front of a group of people and give a presentation. But here I am. BRAC taught me how. So if I can do this, then you can do anything.”
Meet Sonya –an 18 year-old girl living in Narayanganj, Bangladesh. Sonya lives a typical Bengali lifestyle; she enjoys the park with her friends and helps her parents with chores. But Sonya isn't typical. At an age when girls are often expected to get married, she is breaking gender stereotypes, instilling confidence, and empowering a new generation of girls… all through her love for karate. Sonya is among a group of girls who are taking part in BRAC’s Adolescent Development Program where they are mentored in life skills, in this case, through the art of karate.
Let’s start by asking, what does the name BRAC represent to you? Sure, it is the largest NGO in the world that confronts poverty with a holistic approach by providing financial services, health, education and social justice. Statistics will tell you that more than 100,000 BRAC-ites are working ceaselessly to reach 135 million people in Bangladesh and 11 other nations. As a revered and inspired global leader in international development, BRAC has an indubitable presence of its own.
People often ask what BRAC stands for, and why they should support a nonprofit with such a strange name. BRAC is among the most credible and cost-effective nonprofit organizations in the world, but I think people should remain skeptical of such claims, even when they come from a cause that seems worthy.
BRAC is working to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and promote safe hygiene practices across Bangladesh. Promoting safe hygienic behavior helps break the contamination cycle of unsanitary latrines, contaminated water, and water borne communicable diseases.