March 26, 2021
By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
BRAC Sierra Leone, together with other offices around the world yesterday celebrated its 49th years of existence.
The celebration in Sierra Leone took place at their head office, Wilkinson Road in Freetown
BRAC was at first established as Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, then as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, and later as Building Resources Across Communities.
The microfinance institution was initiated on 21st Mach, 1972, by Sir Fazlé Hasan Abed at Shallah Upazillah in the district of Sunamganj as a small-scale relief and rehabilitation programme.
Sir Fazlé Hasan Abed at Shallah Upazillah-the founder of BRAC -later transformed it to another level, thus extending it to ten countries across Africa and other parts of the world.
The Executive Director of BRAC International, Dr. Muhammad Musa, in his speech read by Country Director, Idrissa Bernard Kamara, he said the institution was established as a small relief and rehabilitation initiative in the north-Eastern Bangladesh, aiming at addressing the immediate needs of people living in humanitarian crisis.
He said that initiative, which was meant to address issues in the small Bangladeshian district, has now been transformed into the highest rated Non-Governmental Organisation that acts as a catalyst to help people across the world, to realize their potential.
He said their founder was a visionary and pragmatic leader, whose passion was to work with people living in poverty and social inequality, and to see them with the right resources and opportunities.
“BRAC Day is a special day for the BRAC family and a wonderful time to reminisce on the outstanding work we have accomplished together. Through our collaboration with local communities, strong partnerships and rigorous testing and measurement, we have achieved a lot. We are now able to develop and implement some of the most innovative poverty alleviation programmes in the world. Our research-driven programmes have touched the lives of more than 125 million people, and we are now positioning ourselves to reach at least 250 million people by 2030,” he reads
On behalf of BRAC International, he thanked all the hard working staff and recognised all those who worked with the founder to build BRAC from grassroots social change to a catalyst for the global movement to eradicate poverty and social inequality.
Rafiqul Islam, Managing Director of BRAC Sierra Leone, in his address, said BRAC has turned into one of the largest development organizations of the world, operating in 10 other countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and touching the lives of almost 125 million people worldwide.
He said it was an opportunity for him to work with the founder for over 35 years, noting that they have been in Sierra Leone for the past 12 years now.
He added that they came to Sierra Leone in 2008 as an NGO and later transformed into a Mirco finance company, and that they now have offices in thirteen provincial district headquarter towns, with over 57 thousand people benefiting from BRAC.
He disclosed that they are spending over 2.9 million Leones in giving out loan to people across the country, expressing hope that by the end of the year they will be all over the 17 districts in Sierra Leone.