During the summer and monsoon seasons, Bangladesh is prone to nor’westers, floods, tidal surges, cyclones, and tornados. These can be extremely destructive and therefore preparedness is crucial for risk reduction. Understanding this, BRAC has been addressing disaster preparedness in several ways within its programmes. Here’s how.
“I had never seen such a large-scale calamity before," said Puja Gloria Rodrigues, psychosocial counsellor from BRAC University’s Institute of Educational Development (IED). Three days after the Rana Plaza collapse, she arrived at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics Rehabilitation (NITOR) in Dhaka along with a group of counsellors.
Right after the Rana Plaza collapse, a special committee from the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office decided that BRAC would assist in the rehabilitation of amputation survivors. Specialising in upper limb prosthetics support, BRAC’s limb and brace centre (BLBC) has been providing these services, frequently working with the government and other NGOs to reach those who have lost limbs through accidents and diseases.
This winter, BRAC reached out to distribute over 100,000 blankets and warm clothes all over Bangladesh. Lives are lost every year in the country due to the cold spell that affects the poor and homeless who cannot afford warm clothing and appropriate housing. The Give Warmth This Winter campaign was launched in December 2014 with the aim to effectively ensure that warmth reaches those who are in need.
“Since the collapse, I am too afraid to go back inside a garments factory,” said Ankhi, who used to work in Rana Plaza along with her husband. Although she survived, her husband’s body was never found. Left to provide for their daughter on her own, she had to find another means to survive.
Did you know that last year 80 people died in northern Bangladesh from the cold? It is unacceptable that people are dying from the cold when in some cases warmer clothes and blankets could make the difference between life and death.
As a young child in Sylhet, Bangladesh, I remember my daily life being attached to the land. Thrills came from chasing my cousins barefoot down hot, dirt roads; from sneaking out to watch older kids play soccer in the neighboring green fields; from helping my grandmother water her crops. When it would rain, as it frequently does in Sylhet, I would anxiously wonder when it would stop.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post on 26 January 2013.
The world has made impressive progress in health over the past few decades, leading to untold lives being saved. This has been possible due to deliberate efforts in providing prevention and healthcare, and improving the various social determinants of health. Yet, nearly ten million children die before reaching their ﬁfth birthday and half a million women die each year in child birth.
Change is inevitable; rather it is a much needed process for the benefit and progress of any organization. With such intentions of change Dr. Jaap M. De Heer, VU University Amsterdam, presented his study on the various aspects of an organization which, when integrated together, initiate a wholesome change process.
Access to capital for the poor is absolutely critical if we want to eradicate poverty. It’s why at Whole Planet Foundation, this is what we focus on – raising funds to distribute to microfinance institutions (MFIs) who lend the money out to the poor.
A few weeks ago the UNDP launched its 2011 Human Development Report titled "Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All", and as a part of the research team, I was proud to see my name on it. The report had long been in preparation and I had almost forgotten about it, as since September I have been contributing to another major development organization, BRAC. My involvement with these two organizations has been similar, in that they share a common mission and have many overlapping goals. But my exposure to both worlds has made me recognize how greatly their approaches to identifying solutions to poverty differ, even when they have independently identified the same problems.
Today the State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2011, which reviews the reach and impact of microfinance, came out.In light of the difficulties microfinance institutions have faced this past year - from natural disasters to government crackdowns to the collapse of the market in Andhra Pradesh, India - the report stresses the importance of listening to the clients. And from Bangladesh to Uganda, clients of BRAC and many other microfinance institutions have said they want the same three things: Enough food to feed their family, A secure and protective shelter, and Access to education for their children.