Messages from dignitaries
Read the stories
BRAC begins relief and rehabilitation operations in 1972. In 1974, Long-term development commences alongside relief operations with focus on women as the managers of development. Research and evaluation division is established in 1975. In 1978, Aarong is launched to create livelihood opportunities for women in rural areas through craft.
BRAC’s first nationwide door-to-door campaign on oral therapy to tackle diarrhoea begins in 1980. Poultry vaccination programme initiated in 1983. BRAC’s work in education begins in 1985 through non-formal primary education programme. Rural development programme formed in this decade to merge awareness building with economic activities. Human rights and legal services programme is introduced. Work on infant and maternal mortality begins in 1986, resulting in child-focused initiatives such as mass-scale immunisation, family planning and delivery centres.
Adolescent reading centres open and a range of initiatives taken to empower adolescents including skills training and social development. Pre-primary schools open to prepare children to enter the mainstream schooling system. Adult literacy centres open, focusing on reproductive health, skills, basic education and rights. In 1997, the first limb and brace fitting centre opens. The dairy and food project is launched in 1998, and operations move beyond rural to urban areas.
BRAC starts development operations in Afghanistan in 2002. BRAC University and BRAC Bank Limited is established. Programme supporting people in ultra poverty is launched. In 2004, BRAC responds to the Asian Tsunami, marking its first international humanitarian response. From 2006 to 2008, BRAC's development work expands to Tanzania, Uganda, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Liberia. BRAC UK, BRAC USA and Stichting BRAC International is established to mobilise resources.
Global Journal ranks BRAC the #1 NGO in the world in 2013. Play Labs begin in 2015, marking an important milestone in BRAC’s work in early childhood development. BRAC becomes one of the leading responders to the Rohingya crisis in Cox’s Bazar, launching humanitarian support at scale during the Rohingya crisis in 2017. Operations start in the Philippines and Rwanda. In 2019, BRAC Uganda Bank Limited is established.
BRAC becomes one of the leading responders in the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.
“My dream of becoming a doctor evaporated when I was married at 13. A mother of two by the time I was 19, I unexpectedly got a second chance in life when I saw an opportunity to train as a community health worker. A patriarchal society and an abusive husband stood in my way, but I decided to pursue my dream anyway. Today, I look after the health needs of 300 households in Gazipur, Bangladesh.”
Nilufar YasminCommunity health worker, BRAC Bangladesh
“I was starved, beaten and held captive in a deep jungle in Malaysia. I was a migrant worker from Bangladesh, and my dream of a better life turned into a nightmare. But that's not how my story ends. I turned my scars into my strength. Standing beside migrant workers is now my life’s mission.”
Al-Amin NoyonStaff, Migration Programme, BRAC Bangladesh
“My first injuries were from playing cricket. I was five years old. My parents wanted me to be a doctor - but that changed the day I stood on the turf wearing my first jersey. I promised my coach I would one day play for the national women’s cricket team. I became the captain of the team within two years.”
Nigar SultanaParticipant, Adolescent Development Club, BRAC BangladeshCaptain, Bangladesh Women’s Cricket Team
“I was orphaned at 13 after both my parents died from AIDS, and became a single mother of two by 17. I never gave up on education though. I’m now back at school for the third time, with my two daughters.”
Jenifer ManasaStudent, Community Based Education Programme, BRAC South Sudan
He walked for three hours to get to work on his first day, expecting to reach an elegant office. Instead he found a boarding house. The work later became his life’s purpose. Referred to as BRAC’s Field Marshall, he worked alongside Abed bhai for 35 years, leaving behind a rich legacy of pragmatism and courage - always finding a way to turn Abed bhai’s visions into reality.
Aminul AlamFormer Executive Director, BRAC International
“I spent 34 years stuck in an abusive marriage. Famine and malnutrition killed my children. Poverty starved us, just like the 46 children I met, who lived day to day on the streets. I was determined to give them a safe home, nutritious food, and a brighter future, so I started my own organisation. I now have a bigger, happier family.”
Nkwaya IkindaParticipant, Women Entrepreneurship through the Solar Value Chain for Economic Development, BRAC Tanzania
Bill Clinton42nd President of the United StatesFounder, Clinton Foundation
Gordon BrownUnited Nations Special Envoy for Global EducationFormer Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Henrietta ForeFormer executive director of UNICEF
Reeta RoyCEO of the Mastercard Foundation
George SorosFounder and chair of the Open Society Foundations
Nicholas KristofJournalist and former NY Times columnist
Peter LaugharnPresident and CEO of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Sherrie WestinPresident of Sesame Workshop
Wendy KoppCEO and co-founder of Teach For All and founder of Teach For America
Dr Charles Chen YidanFounder, Yidan PrizeCore Founder, Tencent
Sarah BouchieChief Impact Officer, The LEGO Foundation
Anne van LeeuwenAmbassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bangladesh
Johannes Van der KlaauwUNHCR Representative in Bangladesh
Sudipto MukerjeeUNDP Representative in Bangladesh
Hidenori IkegamiPresident, Kumon Institute of Education
BRAC’s origin story
Story of Abed bhai, Founder, BRAC
BRAC Turns 50: Igniting hope from Bangladesh to the world
From Bangladesh to the world, fifty and beyond.