Over the many decades I've been giving to charities, I've learned a lot through both positive and negative experiences. Consequently, I've become pretty good at ferreting out the better charities to give to. Every year I insist on speaking with the highest ranking executive of every charity I donate to, then I vet the information I receive over the net for veracity. I've been extremely pleased with BRAC and have doubled my annual donation and doubled that again. Susan Davis, is a big reason for those increases. As a business person, it is very important for me to know that a value priced executive is in charge. Susan provides that level of confidence, and is a very positive reflection of the entire BRAC team. TF
BRAC is, objectively, unparalleled in terms of its ability to achieve things on scale
BRAC is a fantastic organization! It is doing excellent work in and making significant contributions to the field of adolescent girls--we are closely watching its achievements to replicate learning into our context.
BRAC is passionate about its commitment to poverty eradication and social change. A success story of economic well being and social change particularly in Bangladesh
BRAC is an incredible organization doing amazing work in the developing world. I worked with them from 2013-2015 and have continued to stay connected--the BRAC family makes you never want to leave! Their approach is unique within development--for its focus on frugal innovation, achieving scale and unrelenting search for impact.
I had the opportunity to intern at BRAC USA this summer and it has been a wonderful experience. It is enthralling to see how many people BRAC has been able to reach out to and make a difference in their lives. BRAC has been able to come with innovative solutions to eradicate ultra poverty, empower women and adolescents, provide education and healthcare and so much more. More importantly, these solutions are scale-able, sustainable and effective.
Additionally, BRAC USA is a tight-knit community with friendly, extremely talented people with an inspiring and charismatic leader to match.
I am currently interning with BRAC USA and just as many others have echoed, BRAC has a clear vision of what key problems they plan to address in the world. BRAC is innovative and collaborative. They seem to have found a problem in society with a solution that has spread like wildfire in hopes of eradicating ultra poverty as well as empowering women and girls, providing education and so much more.
thanks very much for sharing this information with me.I would like to comment BRAC for this wonderful work done.I went to Bangladesh to understudy the brac TUP/SUP program in September 2010 and i got to know the good work brac has done to bring people out of ultra poverty.
The Innovation for poverty action and the Presbyterian Agricultural service-Northern Ghana is implementing this program called Graduating from ultra poverty (GUP). we are currently conducting baseline survey on the clients selected to participate in the program.
finally i will want to commend brac for this great achievements and hope that many countries including Ghana could benefit from this health program.
I worked as a summer intern in summer of 09' for MANOSHI- MNCH maternal and neonatal health project in urban slums of Dhaka.My ‘light-bulb’ moment in public health came inside a small hut in a crowded Bangladeshi slum as I watched a group of women-all undereducated slum dwellers- help a woman give birth to a healthy baby girl. All they used for what I once thought as a complicated surgical procedure was a sterile scalpel, piece of thread, some gauze, a plastic sheet and incessant religious chants. This moment brought into stark reality the positive impact this community-based approach have and will continue to have in reducing high maternal and neonatal mortality rates in Bangladesh. During my in-depth interviews, regional meetings and personal encounters with Bangladeshi health workers and slum inhabitants, I learned how community-based health can pave a path not only to upgrade living standards but also to safeguard human rights and gender equality. BRAC has done a highly commendable job in reaching and serving these underpriviledged women and thier families and creating a healthier generation amidst extraordinary levels of poverty. At MANOSHI what is saw was women's empowerment I have read in books and policy reports, put into action. I wish BRAC-Bangladesh and its staff more and more strength to carry out thier wonderful work in eliminating poverty, safeguarding human rights and empowering women and younger generations in Bangladesh!
I became a volunteer through BRAC USA after four years of experience in Investment Banking and Private Equity investing. This experience in providing financial, strategic and management support to middle market and entrepreneurial businesses helped lay the ground work for my interest in the support and development of social enterprises, particularly in the developing world. BRAC represents a pioneer in the field and stands as the world’s’ most successful and diversified social enterprise development organization as demonstrated by the range of program support enterprises and commercial projects it has established over the last 30 years. Each enterprise is aimed at providing its beneficiaries with high quality inputs and market access at fair prices. Additionally, any profit that is generated through commercial ventures such as BRAC Dairy and Aarong retail stores is reinvested into the organization to support programs in education, health, social development and disaster relief. Over a three month period I volunteered to work in Bangladesh. As a volunteer I visited many of BRAC’s social enterprises and met with the talented and dedicated management teams to gain a better understanding of the operations, future initiatives and track record of social development. I feel very fortunate to have been provided this opportunity by BRAC as it was a unique experience to learn more about BRAC’s pioneering social business model. It is a model that demonstrates the efficiency, growth and scale of high performing social enterprises and helps define the true potential of corporate social impact. As BRAC’s Managing Director of Enterprises and former commercial banking executive, Mr. Rumee Ali told me on my first day, the commercial world has a lot to learn about the true meaning of “corporate responsibility,” an often used but vaguely defined and applied buzzword that I gained more appreciation and admiration for with each day at BRAC.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to intern with BRAC USA in the summer of 2010. As an individual who is passionate about poverty alleviation, I feel inspired by BRAC’s mission and achievements. The multifaceted approach towards poverty alleviation has proven both scalable and sustainable across Africa and Asia. BRAC inspires because the organizations seeks to better the lives of the impoverished and underprivileged through the economic ad social empowerment of local communities. Furthermore, the flexibility with which BRAC approaches each of its projects is one of the organization’s greatest strengths. The creation of BRAC USA in 2007 is an integral step in raising awareness of the global issues faced today. I look forward to seeing the impact BRAC USA has on the international development landscape.
I have been involved with BRAC since 2007, first as a volunteer and then as a member of their Advisory Council. BRAC is an amazing institution and one that I believe truly represents the future of development. They touch nearly all aspects of development. From healthcare to agriculture to microfinance to education to women's issues, BRAC does it all and they do it well. As I think about BRAC in the context of other organizations, I think, "what if the World Bank merged with Berkshire Hathaway", famed investor, Warren Buffet's, company. A Goliath utterly devoted to alleviating poverty, but managed like the best of the global multinationals. I have personally visited BRAC’s operations in Uganda, Bangladesh and Liberia. I have seen their mega dairy and chic fashion stores in Dhaka (providing market linkages for the poor in general and microfinance clients in particular), poultry vaccination and model farm programs in Liberia and adolescent development programs in Uganda, among others. Seeing a woman proudly display the hair dryer for her salon business in Uganda that a BRAC loan enabled her to buy, watching families gather on poultry vaccination day in Liberia, touring the gleaming dairy in Dhaka that effectively creates the market linkages for BRAC borrowers, seeing a women proudly showing her rice plot which demonstrated the in-line planting method for rice all gave me a clearer picture of the good work BRAC does. The scale and breadth of their programs is truly stunning. They start small, think big and scale up. They fix what doesn't work and stop what can't work. Though BRAC's main activity is microfinance, it would be a mistake to classify them as such. Their expertise in education is so deep, governments often invite them in to help build school systems. Their experience in health is such that they are considered as partners for the largest healthcare NGOs. Indeed they were early pioneers in such critical interventions as Directly Observed Treatment or DOT for TB treatment as well as oral rehydration therapy, so critical for combatting water born diseases in children. When I think about BRAC's secret sauce, I can't help but think that a key ingredient is the Bangladeshis. How many western NGOs would be able to field experts with 20 years of experience, in disciplines as diverse as education, healthcare and agriculture and convince them to move to such tough neighborhoods as Sudan, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Liberia for months and years at a clip. No family, no gleaming white SUVs, no security detail, no fancy hotels. Just the passion to help leave the world a little better than they found it.
BRAC is one of the very few 501(c)3 organizations that has a wise and clear mission backed by the enormous ability of the leadership team to execute its defined strategy in a flawless manner. The impact of BRAC is creating an awakening amongst the women with respect to the value they can add in making their communities more "just" and less disadvantageous in economic terms. If only it was possible to clone BRAC our world would be a much better place for humankind.
As other reviews have attested, BRAC is an immense organization and a key player in the global fight against poverty. The numbers and the narratives speak for themselves. I'll focus this review on the period from 2008-2010, when I had the privilege of working at BRAC USA. Much energy during that time was being directed towards creating broader awareness of BRAC's work. For too long BRAC was regarded as the "best kept secret in development". That notion limits efforts to mobilize the type of resources required for BRAC to extend its reach and unique expertise to more communities in need. The demand for BRAC is huge, with heads of state often asking founder F.H. Abed when the organization will start working in their country. But funding and partnerships are critical to meeting BRAC's own ambitions, much less the demand. The process of introducing BRAC to the potential donors, partners, and the uninitiated was an eye opener. There was something in the BRAC universe for everyone and I never came across anyone who wasn't in some way moved by the work. This was a great source of pride. I hope the reader of this review will take steps to learn more about this phenomenal organization. In a way I envy you for that prospect of discovering something so wonderful.
One of the things I most admire about BRAC is its holistic approach to poverty development (microfinance, public health, education, and empowerment). I have had the opportunity to visit some BRAC projects in Bangladesh and see them in action and they are truly doing transformational work. Additionally, BRAC's innovative social enterprise model allows for a very successful mode to empower the needy while raising funds to sustain BRAC programs that support communities around the world. BRAC's ability to deploy their unique holistic development models around the world makes them an innovative leader in the social sector. Lastly, BRAC's capacity in terms of employing over 125,000 is absolutly impressive and speaks volume about its reach and success.
I had the opportunity to intern with BRAC USA in the summer of 2008 through the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. I had read about BRAC's work in undergraduate classes, but interning with the organization made me so passionate about getting even more people involved. BRAC's holistic strategy to poverty alleviation and innovative value chains make it a remarkable non-profit leader.
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.
I had a very rewarding and valuable experience working with BRAC. I found the professionals working for the organization both in headquarters in Dhaka and around Bangladesh to be hard-working, talented, and committed to improving living conditions in their country. Despite being such a large organization, BRAC still seemed able to connect to its beneficiaries, primarily through its large network of field offices providing education, health, microfinance, and other development assistance to Bangladeshis around the country. I found that the organization met its commitment to supporting the needs of women, the poor, and other marginalized groups in the country through the the focus given to such groups by BRAC staff both in proposals for funding and in practice in offices around the country.
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
During the six months that I worked in BRAC USA, I had the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh to visit BRAC. Although I had been immersed in BRAC material for months, none of what I’d studied compared to what I saw on the ground. BRAC’s efficiency, effectiveness, and scale are more real than I ever imagined it could be. Their approach to development is unique in that they don’t just offer loans, but also provide access to health, education, and legal and social justice. On my return home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that the programs I had seen in one or two villages have been implemented throughout all of Bangladesh, and more recently in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. How is BRAC so effective on such a large scale? I know there are many ways of answering this question because I’ve heard, read, and studied them. But what struck me the most on my visit was the seamless integration of each of the pieces that make up the BRAC development story. Because BRAC has built its programs within tight-knit communities, they’ve empowered women and transformed the fundamental nature of society. Clearly these women have not changed overnight – but the transformation is certainly real. I was shocked by the openness with which women shared their stories with me and each other. At the schools that I visited, energy radiated. The environment was nourishing, safe, and joyful. The children were extremely happy and proud to be learning, and the girls were vibrant and uninhibited, taking on leadership roles without restraint. BRAC has created an effective microfinance program that provides loans to individuals at every level of the credit ladder. Beyond this, I truly believe the village organization (VO), on which the microfinance program is based, is the fundamental driver of BRAC’s holistic approach. The structure of the VO and the concept of building within the community have allowed BRAC to achieve real results in its health, legal justice, and education programs, and has organized people in a way that makes its work scalable.
I’m a US businessman who contributes time, money, and effort to BRAC because I believe it is the most effective Non-Government Organization operating in the developing world. In the past three years I have been a BRAC volunteer in Uganda, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. BRAC builds business from the ground up, hiring mostly local women. For many of these women, a position with BRAC is the best, if not only, salaried job they have ever had. What I like most about BRAC is standardization. BRAC doesn’t accept local limitations or excuses for inactivity. Their poverty reduction programs in micro-finance, health, agriculture, and education have been honed in Bangladesh for decades. When BRAC enters a new country it applies proven templates with little variation. Inexperienced women are hired, trained to execute the BRAC program, carefully supervised, and held accountable for results. The outcomes are truly astounding and encouraging, particularly given the poor track record of other NGO’s and government programs in the developing world. BRAC entered Afghanistan shortly after the fall of the Taliban in 2002 and now operates in virtually every province. With programs in Health, Education, Micro-finance, National Solidarity, and Training, BRAC is currently the pre-eminent NGO in Afghanistan. BRAC came to Sri Lanka to provide emergency aid and economic relief to the victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami of December 2004. Today BRAC is one of the leading micro-finance lenders to women in the country, operating with a local staff of 100% female managers. In Uganda, the results have been remarkable. When the first BRAC employee arrived from Bangladesh in 2006 there were over 100 Micro-Finance Institutions active in the country. Today, BRAC is among the top five MFI’s in Uganda, employing thousands of local women as credit officers, branch managers, and regional managers making un-collateralized micro-loans to poor women. BRAC Uganda has reinvested proceeds from micro-lending to expand into health, education, agriculture, and female adolescent programs. After setting up shop in Uganda, BRAC expanded across Africa to Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and possibly other countries. BRAC moves so fast, it’s hard for me to keep up. Although I volunteer for BRAC because I believe they leverage my effort more effectively than any other NGO, the real reason I keep coming back is the women I meet as a BRAC volunteer. Honest, hard working women like Regina in Uganda (http://drewkinder.blogspot.com/2008/01/regina.html), Shaimais in Afghanistan (http://drewkinderasia.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/shaimais-in-afghanistan), and Champika in Sri Lanka (http://drewkinderasia.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/its-all-about-progress) prove to me that there is hope for poverty alleviation in the most difficult locations. It all begins with BRAC and the noble women they empower to make a real difference.
"There were times when I didn’t even have enough rice to cook one full meal a day. Now that I am a part of BRAC, I can cook three meals or more a day for me and my nine children. That is why I am happy now.” - Robia Khatun “Wherever I go now, people pay attention to me and take what I have to say seriously.” -Anita Rani Dash “BRAC people came to us and everyone in our village to see what we’d lost and what we needed. They gave us rice and other food. If they hadn’t, we might have died from hunger.” - Fatema, Cyclone Sidr survivor “I did not have a job before joining BRAC. Now I am a Health Worker with BRAC in Sahiwal. I joined BRAC to give service to humanity.” – Nasreen