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Our Story

 

        In 1998, I took one year off from West Point to conduct volunteer work in Bangladesh.  In a stroke of magic, I was assigned to  work at Bangladesh Rural Improvement Foundation~BRIF.  In 1984, Mr. Habib had started a community organization designed to ensure that donated dollars or investments met the needs of the poor, the community and, in particular, empowered human resources through business and education.  Due to the corruption in education he dreamed of starting  a school for the children in his community. We discussed that goal and the costs involved. Nearly 13 years later, all the ingredients came together, and he accomplished it.

 

      We sponsored the costs of start-up and partnered with parents on the cost of tuition.  Shortly, thereafter, PRECI’ International selected BRIF for a $50,ooo impact award that resulted in the building of an additional 4 classroom school.        As a result of that grant, BRIF Creative school went from 40 students to nearly 120. As our students excelled in school and told their friends, the demand grew. Many of Our families worked hard to meet the entire cost of tuition, while we maintained a supportive role for the working poor.  Just before the labor boom in 2016, our families were able to cover nearly 95% of the educational costs. Yet the labor market boomed as costs of production moved out of China. Teacher costs nearly doubled, yet we met the call to action and renewed our support with our personal savings.  Nearly 5 years of sponsoring high quality education, the families involved helped produce our goal of a fully market supported educational system in one of the poorest regions of the world.

     

    Given that we operate in one of the poorest regions of the world, this passion for education within the market is a significant achievement. The impetus for this program resides in the governmental corruption within the education system and a ruling class unresponsive to the needs of the poor. 

     The fact that our students have achieved the highest marks on regional exams means that our partnership with local families was far more than a great idea! We are proud to be the catalyst for the empowerment of children and local families. Yet our recent accomplishment as a business brings us just as much pride as the success our students. In 2018, we fulfilled the obligation of our loan agreement on a school bus which allowed us to increase enrollment from 145 to nearly 185 preschool through 8th grade students.

        You might say that providing a quality education is far more important than being a business. But unless you have accepted the full cost for the education of children, you have no understanding what it takes to provide a quality education in one of the poorest regions of the world.

       BRIF accepted full financial responsibility of the children living near Saidpur based on the belief that a partnership with local people could meet the costs of exceptional education. Had local families not met us half-way, we would have failed. At the same time, however, had we not provided a valuable education, local families would not have worked hard enough to meet the costs involved.         

       Our vision is to be a self-sustaining organization so that donors who chose to support poor regions in the world can rest assured that they are providing the same type of support that BRIF has created. Your support will not create an unending need. On the contrary, your support provides the catalyst for the passion of education that exists within all people.

     

     One small example of the impact that education can be summed up by my personal belief which drives my passion: Education can transform the history of families in one generation. The BRIF Education fund, regularly sponsors the education of highly capable students. In one example, this fund joined forces with a quality education and transformed the legacy of an entire family.

     Kamil Uddin was the son of a rickshaw driver or day laborer which means his family lived off of $2.50 per day. Kamil had a strong passion for education, and Kamil’s family saved additional money to provide tutoring services one hour per week. When Kamil came to BRIF, he demonstrated a strong passion for helping others using his skills in the medical field.  He was clearly capable of achieving his goals.

     As a result, BRIF agreed to sponsor his education. After nearly 8 years of sponsorship, Kamil completed his PhD in Medical Science. He moved back to our local district and provides medical services to the families in living in the Khanshama District. Furthermore, his financial situation has changed so much that he contributes nearly $100 per month to BRIF’s Education Fund. At the time of this writing, this contribution allows us to sponsor three Kamils rather than just one!

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Notice where the children sit.  They are not second-class citizens. They are the arrows into the future.