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May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

I believe strongly in the BRAC model of holistic provision of services (financial, health, education) as well as their emphasis on social enterprise. I see social enterprise as offering the best opportunity to address the intractable problems affecting our people and our planet today. I believe the use of business principles (effective leveraging of resources, focus on consumer needs) combined with a social mission offers a sustainable and scaleable approach - the best of both worlds. An example I particularly like is the BRAC Village Organization project. Women who invest their loans in cows can take advantage of an 'ecosystem' of support around their business - high producing hybrid cows, education on care and maintenance of the animals, an organization to provide a market for the milk. This approach reduces risk for the new business and improves the opportunity for sustainable return.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am a donor and supporter of BRAC USA.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

Greetings. Many folks have asked me about my work and experiences with BRAC. Through the vimeo link below, you can experience first-hand my most recently concluded trip to BRAC/Bangladesh. Founded by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, BRAC educates 4.1 million children, creates livelihoods for 8.5 million people, has lifted 3 million people out of abject poverty -- with 65,000 employees, 86,000 health care volunteers and 40,000 teachers working in 38,000 primary schools -- BRAC is truly an extraordinary accomplishment for humanity. In addition to its work in Bangladesh, BRAC operates in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia Sierra Leone, and will soon be up and running in Haiti. I am privileged and humbled to call the folks at BRAC colleagues and friends. This was my third trip to South Asia in the last nine months. I am also incredibly grateful to Pam and Pierre Omidyar who enable us to try to do good in this world. Through the vimeo link below (cut and paste into your browser the address below if the link is not working) you can see a 15 minutes highlight video culled from more than 90 minutes of footage. Look for more such links in the future via twitter. (ONSal). Here's the vimeo link: http://vimeo.com/10270727 Enjoy this video of BRAC's truly amazing, humbling and grace-filled work. Enjoy! Cheers, Sal Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to her. Will she gain anything by it? Will it restore her to a control over her own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj (self reliance) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away. - Mahatma Gandhi

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personally beholding the impact that BRAC's work has had in employing women, empowering women's legal rights, educating young girls, providing access to health care.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage BRAC to continue to think big, be bold and "massify" (that's a BRAC word) -- when BRAC thinks of tackling issues -- they think about the massification of their efforts. Bravo.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Witnessing the humility of the leadership team -- true, Level 5 Leadership.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Simply amazing -- one experiences the goodness and the best in humanity when spending time with BRAC staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Empower more women, educate thousands, employ thousands, touch - literally -- millions of more lives...generate hope for all of us.

Ways to make it better...

If I could have spent more time in Bangladesh -- next trip -- I plan to visit Chittagong.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The daunting challenge that climate change poses to Bangladesh -- much of the tremendous progress achieved over the past thirty years could be undone by rising tides, saline contamination and fierce weather systems.

One thing I'd also say is that...

BRAC is the most effective NGO ever created. (Southern Hemisphere) Southern-based, Southern founded, Southern led -- a true gift to humanity. Thank you!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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