BRAC, the largest non-government development organisation in the world, has celebrated its 50th founding anniversary recently.
For the last 50 years, the organisation has stood by the people, the marginal communities in particular, and will continue to do so in the future. The organisation vowed to continue its missions following the development philosophy set by its Founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.
Members of the senior management of BRAC outlined the organisation's future path on the occasion of anniversary at a press briefing at the BRAC Centre of Mohakhali in the capital on Monday.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, chairperson, BRAC Bangladesh Governing Body, Irene Khan, chair, BRAC International Supervisory Board, Asif Saleh, executive director, BRAC Bangladesh, Tamara Hasan Abed, managing director, Enterprises, BRAC, and Shameran Abed, executive director, BRAC International, were present at the programme.
Moutushi Kabir, director, Communications, Learning and Leadership Development, BRAC, moderated the media event.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, said, "Our founder is no longer with us physically, but his ideology and philosophy are guiding us in all that we do. We believe, as he himself believed, that development is strengthened through empowerment covering all the aspects of financial, social, knowledge and skills. In the coming years, we aspire to play an effectively catalytic role at an even greater level, in the international periphery, aimed at building stronger relations between the state and social entities."
Describing BRAC as "an entity combining ideas and risks," Irene Khan said, "The world is facing a number of crises in the last several years. A hundred million people slipped down to extreme poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ukraine war will create a food crisis. Furthermore, there is the wide impact of climate change. This is a situation where BRAC will have to continue its work in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world by combining ideas and risk factors."
Tamara Hasan Abed said, "It's not financial profits, but the empowerment of the poor is what BRAC business enterprises aim to achieve. Our social enterprises create direct employment opportunities for the poor communities on one hand, while on the other we channel the surplus from these businesses to our social development programmes."
Shameran Abed said, "BRAC International (BI) started its operation in 2002 through its interventions in Afghanistan. In the last 20 years, BI ran programmes in 13 countries altogether, and currently has direct operations in nine countries.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed founded BRAC in 1972 in Sulla, a remote upazila of Sunamganj, to assist the repatriating refugees in rebuilding their life. BRAC has since been expanding its programmes, services and ventures to form a unique brand ecosystem.
Apart from being the world's largest development organisation, the brand in Bangladesh now includes a bank, a university and social enterprises, among others. BRAC now operates in 10 countries altogether in Asia and Africa.