21 August 2009, Dhaka. -- “BRAC is making an impressive contribution to the development of Bangladesh. I was very impressed with the BRAC programs I observed in Gazipur district.”, reported the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, James F. Moriarty, following a recent BRAC visit. The Ambassador, along with Mrs. Lauren Moriarty, Mr. Carey Gordon, Deputy Mission Director, USAID, and other Embassy staff, visited BRAC programmes in Gazipur district on August 18 to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of BRAC.
US Ambassador Observing Activities of a BRAC Village Organisation Meeting at Dhanua village of Sreepur upazila
Ambassador Moriarty’s visit began with the observation of a microfinance group meeting in Dhanua village of Sreepur upazila. He had lively exchanges with the group members about loan sizes, use of the loans by the women, means of repayment and their economic condition after becoming a BRAC borrower.
The US Embassy team observed several activities of the BRAC Health Programme. They learnt about the GoB-BRAC partnership programme for controlling tuberculosis (TB), including the first hand role played by BRAC Shasthya Shebikas (health volunteers) who administer the Directly Observed Therapy Shortcourse (DOTS) to TB patients. They met with several members of the community who are undergoing treatment and then visited a GoB Community Clinic where the TB smears are processed in a mobile laboratory. Ambassador Moriarty also spent some time talking with a pregnant woman as well as a young mother and her newborn, who are receiving support from BRAC’s Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health programme.
Later, the Ambassador and the team observed a human rights and legal education class for women in Faridpur village and engaged in discussions with the BRAC para-legal volunteer and members of the class. In reply to Ambassador Moriarty’s query about the most common legal problems faced by the community, the women cited land issues.
During his visit the Ambassador also met with the staff of BRAC’s Sreepur Area Office and the Gazipur Civil Surgeon.