Sonali works as a Communications Specialist at the Communications Department at BRAC. She manages the communications portfolio for BRAC’s Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme, Integrated Development programme, Social Innovation Lab, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development and Social Compliance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from National University and has over 3 years of experience in the humanitarian sector. Her expertise includes content collection, crisis communications, social media management, internal communications, and case study writing.
Northern Bangladesh is home to 80% of the country's indigenous population. More than 18 languages are spoken by members of these indigenous communities upholding their rich culture, long practised heritage and colourful way of life. This diversity also lends itself as a factor in attaining universal acceptability for indigenous leaders which has historically led to a dearth of formal indigenous leaders. Can we foster local leadership by ensuring a safe platform at the community level?
Bangladesh is home to over 50 indigenous groups. They speak over 35 languages and comprise over 1.8% of the population. 80% live in the plainlands in northern Bangladesh and the rest live in the south, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. BRAC’s indigenous project has been working with indigenous people living in plainlands in Bangladesh for nine years now, and has learnt valuable lessons on what works.