BRAC's Development ActivitiesFor over thirty-five years, BRAC, an NGO founded by Fazle Hasan Abed, has been pursuing a gradually expanding mission of alleviating poverty, first in Bangladesh and, more recently in other Asian countries (e.g., Afghanistan) and Africa (e.g., Tanzania). (Originally, "BRAC" was an acronym for "Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee," but now the name BRAC stands on its own.)
The video below is Abed's own summary (in January 2008) of BRAC's history and mission. Note the importance he attaches to developing programs that can be effectively scaled up.
In the video below, produced by the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, you can get an idea of BRAC's approach to alleviating poverty, which involves an array of programs notably, in microfinance, education, health, disaster management, environmental protection, social development, human rights, and legal services aimed at promoting long-term development in a systematic fashion.
For more on the story of BRAC, you can turn to Ian Smillie's recently published book, Freedom From Want: The Remarkable Success Story of BRAC, the Global Grassroots Organization That's Winning the Fight Against Poverty. Smillie discusses BRAC in the brief video below.
A shorter article about BRAC was published in the May/June 2009 issue of Saudi Aramco World.1
1 As a sidenote, I'd mention that the virtual walking tours of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul; and the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem offered at the Saudi Aramco World website are not to be missed. I am grateful to my friend Diana Wolfe Larkin for calling these virtual tours to my attention.