About two dozen shoes and sandals had been arranged in a neat circle outside the classroom of a community-based school run by BRAC in Afghanistan. This school in part 13 of Charikar town, Parwan district is not a formal one; it is part of a programme that takes the classroom to the community, allowing children – especially those still out of school – to easily access early education.
“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.
When I visit communities for the BRAC Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, I am met with examples of both good and bad practices. One can draw inspiration from the many success stories while also taking into account the many obstacles that some families have to continually deal with.
I was psyched to read about David Lee Roth and his famous brown M&Ms in Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto over the weekend. It's a favorite story of mine, as I've often considered it a metaphor for Great and Meaningful Things.
With the progress we are making in development, one would think that violence against women would by now be a thing of the past. On the contrary, it is proving to be an epidemic. One in three women will experience violence during her life simply because she’s female – that amounts to one billion women in the world. One Billion Rising is a global campaign, created by American playwright and feminist Eve Ensler, to call for an end to violence against women and girls.
It is an inherent advantage when joining an organisation for the first time, to be able to consider its work with fresh eyes. I’ve spent the first weeks in my new role at BRAC’s disaster management and climate change programme (DMCC) absorbing a wealth of information filled with a combination of climate change warnings and interesting programme results.
In the village of Waterloo, two hours outside of central Freetown, Sierra Leone, I recently met with poultry rearers, participating in BRAC’s backyard poultry and kitchen garden project in partnership with the UK aid organization, DFID.
Across the murky waters of Banani Lake from BRAC's headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh, lies Korail, one of the country's largest slums, jam-packed with over 40,000 people. I have always seen the slum from a distance, but knew very little about what goes on inside. Typically, slums are illegal land settlements littered with crime, invariable health-hazards and acute poverty. But what I saw recently on my first visit was beyond my expectations.
Yesterday, November 19, 2013, BRAC USA President Susan Davis attended the World Toilet Day events at the United Nations headquarters along with the head of BRAC’s Disaster, Environment, and Climate program, Tanzeba Ambereen Huq. Ms. Huq delivered remarks regarding BRAC’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program (WASH).