16 January 2007, Dhaka. On January 15th, the NoVo Foundation hosted a reception for BRAC USA's board members, advisory council members, staff, and friends. Since supporting the launch of BRAC USA in 2007, NoVo has been a deeply committed partner and this event was the latest instance of their invaluable support.
Guests began arriving at 6:30 PM and were greeted with drinks, hors d'oeuvres, panoramic views of midtown Manhattan, and an exhibit of photographs representing BRAC programmes.
After a first round of introductions, Jennifer Buffet gave a characteristically gracious welcome describing NoVo's engagement with BRAC and the reasons for their support.
"BRAC listens to what is living inside of people. They realize that the answers are on the ground with the people who live in a place - and this must be understood, empowered, harnessed and leveraged. BRAC works through and with the grassroots - with ordinary and extraordinary local people and talent."
Susan Davis, BRAC USA's President and CEO, thanked Jennifer and Peter for their commitment to BRAC and told the story of two BRAC women. The first was Jhonuka, a Bangladeshi girl and BRAC member whose photo was selected for the cover of Ian Smilie's book about BRAC, Freedom From Want, which will be published in April. We hope you will pre-order a copy from Amazon or directly from the publisher. Susan then spoke about Veronica, the first Ugandan to be hired at BRAC Uganda, who has been twice promoted and appointed as head trainer for the microfinance programme.
Lincoln Chen, Chair of the Board, then spoke about the late Alan Rosenfield, BRAC USA's former Chairperson, and his considerable contribution to BRAC.
The occasion marked the first meeting of board and advisory council members; hence there was an enthusiastic exchange of BRAC stories. Everyone was in high spirits and there was a special sense of great, like-minded people, connecting on issues they feel passionately about.