1972: The organization then known as Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) begins relief and rehabilitation operations in Sulla, Sylhet in Bangladesh following the end of the country's Liberation War.
1972: BRAC founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed stands on a wooden raft while it crosses a river in Sunamganj.
1973: Activities transform from relief and rehabilitation to long term community development. BRAC renamed as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. In this photo, women workers are seen working in a paddy field.
1974: BRAC begins microfinance activities. The photo is the poultry expansion programme of BRAC.
1978: The Sericulture Programme is started to generate employment for poor women in Manikganj. The first outlet of Aarong launched to market the handicrafts.
1980: The Oral Therapy Extension Programme is launched to combat diarrhoea. Between 1980 and 1990, through its oral rehydration solution (ORS) campaign, BRAC trained women of over 10 million households in all the districts in Bangladesh except for the three districts in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, helping save countless lives. The photo shows an oral replacement worker (ORW) demonstrating how to prepare oral rehydration fluid (commonly known as oral saline) at home.
1985: BRAC launched Non-Formal Primary Education Programme
1998: Malaria Prevention and Control Programme piloted in different areas.
2001: BRAC University established and BRAC Bank Ltd launched. In the same year, Post Primary Basic Education (PBEn) programme was initiated. The photo is of beneficiaries of an adolescent development programme that was launched the same year.
2002: The Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction – Targeting the Ultra Poor, renamed as Ultra Poor Graduation Programme, is launched. In this photo, women hold a meeting with a member of the BRAC staff at a village in Bangladesh.
2002: BRAC began its international operations with Afghanistan. Apart from Bangladesh, it now implements development programmes in 10 countries in Asia and Africa. In this photo, students are seen practising lessons at a community- based school run by BRAC in Afghanistan.
2007: For its pioneering role in socio-economic development, the Government of Bangladesh awarded BRAC the highest national award, the "Swadhinota Puroshkar"(Independence Award).
2017: BRAC is one of the key stakeholders responding to the humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya refugees. BRAC is engaged in multiple sectoral interventions to build skills, resilience and knowledge, both in the camps and the host communities.
2019: To contain the spread of coronavirus, BRAC launched a nationwide hygiene awareness and behavioural change campaign with its network of over 100 thousand staff, volunteers, and health workers. It also provided financial support for low-income families in urban slums, semi-urban and hard to reach areas whose livelihood have been impacted due to the social distancing measures of COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo Courtesy: BRAC
As the nation counts down to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the great independence of Bangladesh, BRAC, one of its largest development partners, is also completing its 49th year of its establishment.
When the War of Liberation broke out Sir Fazle Hasan Abed left his senior executive’s job at Pakistan Shell Oil and went to Europe where he mobilized public opinion in support of the freedom fighters and refugees fleeing home in millions. He returned to Bangladesh in January when thousands of impoverished refugees were going back to their villages destroyed in the war. Sir Fazle along with his fellows and friends founded BRAC in March (1972), taking up relief and rehabilitation efforts in the far corner of Sunamganj district for the refugees returning to their torn homes.
For BRAC, the next five decades have been a journey of liaison with the government of Bangladesh and other partners to bring essential services and opportunities for self-development to the doors of the people who need them the most.