In their efforts to tackle some of the world’s most challenging social issues, Kravis Prize winners always go one step further. BRAC works to alleviate poverty in Bangladesh by offering support services in the areas of human rights and social empowerment, education and health, economic empowerment and enterprise development, livelihood training, environmental sustainability and disaster preparedness. In fact, when cyclone Aila hit Bangladesh’s southwestern coastal region three years ago, BRAC supported the villagers financially and helped build cyclone-resistant homes.

According to the Guardian, BRAC University consulted the villagers and designed 43 cyclone-resistant structures at Adarsha Gram. BRAC also imported two desalination plants from China to provide drinking water for the village! Today, BRAC is promoting alternative economic activities for the villagers, since their livelihoods from shrimp farming were wiped out after Aila. These include teaching villagers to grow salt-tolerant rice and maize, as well as crab-fattening. Until June 2011, BRAC has covered almost 50,000 households in the region with different agro-based interventions.

Jossi Rani from Deyara village, 23 kilometers from Adarsh Gram, shared how BRAC has impacted her life: “I’m earning good money. Crabs are more profitable than shrimp.”

It’s plain to see that BRAC really goes the extra mile in their initiatives!

Bangladesh villagers still struggling after Cyclone Aila’s devastation” [The Guardian, March 5, 2012]