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May 5, 2021
BLOG General

The Circular RMG Practices in a Remote Rural Setting

Mizanur Rahman runs a shop selling sweaters at a busy market in Noyarhat Bazar of Gaibandha district, Bangladesh. He also has a sweater factory right behind his shop, and his products fetch one of the best prices in that market. Mizanur owns eight jacquard machines in his factory, which are run almost 24/7 with high-end operators.

Noyarhat Bazar is located almost off the grid, right in the middle of low farmlands that cultivate rice. Additionally, running these jacquard machines require the availability of high-end operators and a maintenance crew.

How then, is Mizanur managing to successfully run his business

May 5, 2021
BLOG History

From Sulla to the world: Happy birthday, Abed bhai

One thousand hammers, eight-inch screwdrivers, shovels, handloom weaving tools, a hundred one-inch and half-inch chisels, thirty measuring tapes, pliers, saws, and a heart heavy with agony but full of conviction and indomitable hope.

Anguished, because the people in his country were in ruins from an atrocious war, but convinced that history would soon be re-written, a nation labelled a ‘basket case’ would emerge from the ashes.

With this conviction, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and his team of dedicated volunteers made their way to Sulla on 17 January 1972 with these supplies to take part in repairing and building a …

May 2, 2021

Addressing the impact of COVID-19 on infants and young children

A new early childhood development infrastructure has been built in Bangladesh by BRAC, the largest international development organisation in the world, providing weekly one-on-one phone calls by trained specialists to the caregivers of 40,000 infants and children under the age of six. It offers educational and psychosocial support – and a model that can benefit children worldwide.

A child’s early years are crucial to brain development, and stimulation is especially important. With schools closed in Bangladesh beginning in March 2020 – and play groups thereby halted and young children largely at home – the challenge was to ensure …

April 29, 2021

How BRAC’s barefoot lawyers are supporting women in Bangladesh to raise their voices

The barefoot lawyers of BRAC’s human rights and legal aid services programme – known locally as ain shebikas – are trained to act as one-woman, mobile legal-aid service clinics. Women, particularly in Bangladesh’s rural areas, hesitate to talk openly about abuse and domestic violence, so having another woman to speak to, who is trained specifically to help people take action on these issues, helps to encourage women to report cases. As of December 2020, more than four million women have been trained on legal rights by barefoot lawyers.

In 1986, BRAC established the Human Rights and Legal Aid Services …

April 25, 2021
BLOG Health

Liberating Bangladesh from malaria: How far have we come in the last 50 years?

Malaria is a worldwide endemic illness that has affected approximately 229 million people in 87 countries in 2019, killing an estimated 409,000 people.

Bangladesh contributed to less than one percent of the total reported cases in Southeast Asia in 2019 compared to ten percent in 2008. 

Nineteen million people in 13 malaria-endemic districts share boundaries with the eastern states of India and Myanmar, and endure the brunt of the disease. Contributing to about 93% of malaria cases in the country, the Chattogram Hill Tracts stands as the highest risk zone in the country.

Elimination through alliance

BRAC’s initiatives to

April 22, 2021

Snapshot: 9 ways BRAC is prioritising the Earth

BRAC started in Bangladesh, as a response to the Bhola Cyclone in 1970.

Bangladesh is situated on the world’s biggest delta, with more than 700 rivers crossing the land. The environment is closely tied to the lives and livelihoods of its people. For the past 49 years, BRAC has prioritised the climate in its programming, focusing on supporting people to both mitigate and adapt to changes.

With the impacts of climate change increasingly affecting even more people more severely, our climate change efforts have significantly strengthened.

Here is a snapshot of nine ways BRAC is addressing the impacts of …

April 21, 2021

Climate resiliency through the lens of ultra-poverty: Six interventions from BRAC

Rani Begum was 15 when she was married off to Raju Shikder. They lived in a two-storied wooden house close to a riverbank in Gopalganj district. One day, the water level of the river adjacent to their house started to rise and submerged the entire village.

The situation deteriorated at night, when one by one, the trees, cattles and houses – including Rani’s – crumbled into the river. Rani and her family moved to the nearest shelter empty-handed, and survived on rice starch and leafy vegetables for the next two months. Anticipating a better life with two proper meals …

April 21, 2021

Climate solutions from Bangladesh: The Climate Bridge Fund

The people closest to a challenge are often closest to its solution, but farthest from resources.

The Climate Bridge Fund is an effort to change that – a direct climate financing mechanism to support organisations working with people who have been or are at risk of being displaced by the impacts of climate change. 

Climate stressors have been increasing in Bangladesh – flooding is intensifying, rainfall patterns are changing, and riverbank erosion is increasing.

Higher-magnitude flooding has meant that more than 22% of Bangladesh’s total land has been submerged every year for the last six years. This …

April 20, 2021

Disability during Covid-19: A way to end the exclusion

Molly taught herself to read and write. She is one of over 1.5 million young people with disabilities in Bangladesh who are not enrolled in schools. Molly’s disability makes it impossible for her to walk, but she dreams of being able to work and live a life free of dependency. 

When Covid-19 cases rose in Bangladesh in March 2020, Molly found herself stuck inside her home with the rest of her family. Her father owned a small grocery shop. As the lockdown period lengthened, the family began to run out of savings and started to consume what food was

April 20, 2021

How BRAC’s urban health centres are responding to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people in every corner of the world. In Bangladesh, this pandemic, coupled with subsequent lockdowns imposed by the government to curb infection rates, have severely affected people’s livelihoods, particularly in low-income communities.

As a response to the pandemic, BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Programme has continued providing affordable, and quality healthcare services to urban communities through six urban health centres in the capital, in the following areas: Badda, Jatrabari, Kamrangirchar, Mirpur, Shampur and Mohammadpur.

Over the last few decades, BRAC’s health programme has evolved to provide health education, awareness, and general …

April 20, 2021

New tools for doing the old tasks better

BRAC Social Innovation Lab has been working on a new project titled “Innovation Fund for Futureproofing the RMG Sector of Bangladesh” funded by the H&M Foundation. This project aims to alleviate the lives of women employees in the ready-made garments (RMG) industry and increase the competitiveness of the RMG sector of Bangladesh.

Read more: Study explores COVID-19 impact on the lives of garment workers

The project has been making use of some new web-based tools to manage the project better, manage the databases more efficiently and tell stories in a more convincing way. These are tools most professionals have …

April 19, 2021

Disaster within a crisis: How did COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan affect families living in ultra-poverty?

Sufia Begum and her husband Golam Hosain live in a remote village in Satkhira in south-western Bangladesh – a hotspot of climate-related hazards such as cyclones, tidal surges, and salinity intrusion.

Married at 14, Sufia raised her four children on the income Hosain made as a day labourer, until he became ill and could no longer work. To support her family, Sufia began working as a househelp. Even as their children married and moved out of the house, there was barely enough income to survive.

In 2019, Sufia was selected as a participant in BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) Programme. …