Brishty Akhter, 18, is a skilled tailor who owns a business where she trains and employs other girls in southern Bangladesh. She started learning tailoring at 16 and then her parents used the money that they had saved for her marriage to buy her the business.
When people talk about BRAC, often the first person they'll mention is the founder, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, who sold his apartment in London in 1972 and used the money for relief in post-war Bangladesh. They'll talk about how the organization grew and grew, how it now reaches millions.
Over the past 40 years, BRAC has grown from a small relief organization into the world’s largest NGO. Yet despite this scale, BRAC is always looking for new ways to improve its programs for the 135 million people it serves around the world. One such way is to ensure that BRAC International’s country programs are filled with qualified and capable local individuals with first-hand knowledge of the community landscape and local culture.
Even after her father hacked at her mother’s foot with a kitchen knife in an alcohol fuelled rage, Merina, 16, did not want to abandon her father. “He wasn’t always like this,” she says. “His addiction turned him into a crazy person.”