For an organisation like BRAC, the implications of using AI to better understand clients needs has limitless potential. Imagine the students from our 20,000 schools getting customised feedback on their learning needs. With our vision centres in place, aiming to complete 1 million eye check-ups in the next two years, an Aravind-esque project is not a distant reality to provide better support to medical professionals.
According to the Pareto principle, 80% of the world’s wealth is in the hands of 20% of the people. Even if more resources are created, the distribution of the new wealth will follow the same rule. This rule does not only work in economics, but it also applies in science and sports for the prediction of results, and in computer engineering for simulation and testing.
You may have read the news today. A teenager was harassed on her way back from school. A housewife, raped and murdered. Just the other day, you read about the rape of an eight-month-old baby. Do these stories bother you? Or did you fold up the newspaper and sigh in relief thinking, “At least my daughter is safe.”
Waiting at an airport on my way home from a trip to Malaysia, a man walked up to me hesitantly and asked if I could help him fill out his immigration card. He was a Bangladeshi man in his mid-40s. While filling out his documents, we started talking and I learned that he was on a migrant worker’s visa and used to be a chef at a resort. When I asked him if he was headed home for a vacation, he informed me with a stoic expression that he was being deported for being Hepatitis B positive.
“I couldn’t help but teach – it was the only way I could manage time and space to get my own studies done,” says Habib with a wide grin. He was enjoying my reaction as upon hearing this, the biscuit I was having dropped from my hand. Habib is from the first batch of students to receive BRAC’s Medhabikash scholarship. He is now a lecturer at a private university in Dhaka, and he looks nothing like one.
After the mass destruction during the civil war in Sierra Leone, I had a desire to give back to my country and help in nation building. Starting off as a child activist for Search for Common Ground, I have represented the vulnerable war-affected children of Sierra Leone both nationally and internationally, ensuring that their voices are heard and attended to. Working in development was always my utmost desire.
This song is an African anthem from the highlife era of the 1970s. It is a tune that speaks of the love, gratitude, appreciation and admiration that most children reserve for their mothers. It celebrates the universal bond between mother and child. In that spirit, I would like to tell you about two special mothers and how the vision, sacrifice and hard work of one brought me to the other
The woman was crying and saying something in an incomprehensible manner. I was sitting there, a couple of feet away, wondering what I had said wrong. The man sitting beside her didn’t react to her sudden burst of tears – she is his wife and he has gotten used to seeing her like this. My colleague Lusana and the BBC documentary producer Sarah both went quiet for a while.