It is no secret that Uganda’s infrastructure projects are extending beyond the capital city. However, it is a double-edged sword. There exists the ‘invisible’ effect, the dark side of these projects - especially for children and women.
Bangladesh, the birthplace of microfinance and many other successful pro-poor strategies has been acknowledged as the model of development for many years. Once again, the country is recognised to have found the most effective solution to one of the most complex problems of the world - extreme poverty.
Inside the packed National Theatre Carré in the heart of Amsterdam, the red carpet was rolled out for celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Rafael Nadal, along with leaders of some of the best known international charities. A unique event called the Goed Geld Gala (good money gala) was underway, involving 2.9 million lottery players who were making a different kind of bet - on organisations they thought could improve the world.
Traditional hospital-based services are not able to reach some of the world’s poorest and most remote villages. Over one billion people globally, including 400 million Africans, lack access to health services because they live too far from a health facility. Rural communities know that if a child becomes ill, the long walk for treatment could potentially turn a minor ailment into a serious health problem.
What comes to your mind when you think about innovation? Most of us relate innovation to places like Silicon Valley. However, there are incredible social innovations happening in the global South; starting from Sudanese villages to Afghan classrooms and in many other not-so-known places, where you least expect anything related to innovation.
Maria Joseph got pregnant when she was in class 7, and had to drop out of school. She stopped stepping out of home and spent her time helping with household chores. Not too long ago, she heard about BRAC’s study clubs from a friend. She soon became a member of a club in Kitunda district. “I had lost all hope. When I got pregnant, everybody told me I had ruined my life. I was shunned by my family and friends. Thanks to the study club, I now have hope for my future and my baby’s future. People will respect me now.”
BRAC understands the significance of cultural context as well as the dangers of imposing any foreign solutions disregarding local reality. Community organisation and mobilisation and understanding the local context has been central to BRAC’s development work. This hasn’t been an exception for BRAC's latest international undertaking in Myanmar. We now have two entities there, namely BRAC Myanmar and BRAC Myanmar Microfinance Company Limited, a for profit organisation. With three branch offices and over 1,000 microfinance borrowers, we are proud to celebrate one year of operating in Myanmar this October.
When you first meet Jackie, it is difficult not be to be taken by her charm. She sat opposite me in her calm, collected, yet casual poise, occasionally breaking out in laughter. But she still managed to exhibit a stern resolution as we discussed what it meant to part of BRAC’s first batch of international young professionals.
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.
My name is Tanvi Vattikuti and I am thrilled to join the BRAC USA team as an intern in the Summer 2010. As an individual who is deeply passionate about effecting social and economic change in impoverished and underprivileged populations, I find BRAC to be an inspiring organization.