The story of BRIF began in November 1984, when its founder and Executive Director, Shah Ahsan Habib
, was only 15 years old and had just completed his Secondary School Certificate Examination. He was approached by a poor neighbor, Mr. Azgar Ali
, who requested money to help him get through some difficult times. The request made Habib think about how local people were plagued by the same problems every year, particularly during the "lean period" (In Bangla Monga)
when no agricultural work was available in northern rural areas, and he began to question how these problems could be solved.
He discussed the issues with others who were also concerned about the poverty of the local community, and by the end of the year they had formed an organization called “Akata Shongho” (United Organization)
. Their idea was that instead of simply giving money to people for their immediate needs, they would establish a savings group of poor people in the local community, who would work together to invest the money in a sustainable solution. They saved a little amount of money weekly and they used their saved money in their lean period. Initially, they began working with a savings group of seven members, but gradually the membership and number of savings groups grew, and the organization began to find other ways to assist the development of poor, disadvantaged and marginalized people. In 1992
the organization was renamed as “Bangladesh Rural Improvement Foundation (BRIF)”. The following timeline summarizes how BRIF evolved:1988:
the organization receives registration from the Social Welfare Department and builds an office.1989:
an education programmed for illiterate people begins, with the help of the Bangladesh Government Education Department.1991:
registration is received from the Bangladesh Government Health & Family Planning Department.1992:
the organization is renamed to become the Bangladesh Rural Improvement Foundation (BRIF). The Village and Farm Forestry Project begins (running till date 2008 as LEAF Project) to assist local people with establishing nurseries, enabling future work in diversified agriculture, marketing options, service providers interaction and forestry. It was technical supported by Swiss Development Agency for Cooperation (SDC).1993:
with support from CARE-Bangladesh/ USAID, BRIF begins a family planning project for three-year.1994:
a new partnership with Palli Karmo Shayak Foundation (PKSF) enables BRIF to considerably expand its Rural Micro Credit Program. In 1994
, Plan-Bangladesh starts supporting adult and child education with BRIF.1995:
BRIF obtains NGO Bureau registration (Prim Minister Office, Bangladesh Government).1995:
the first international volunteers arrive, working alongside local volunteers already supporting BRIF.1997:
BRIF begins its nursery and agricultural activities through village and farming projects, with assistance from the Swiss Development Agency for Cooperation. It also commences its Safe Water and Sanitation Program with the assistance of NGO Forum.1998:
A new two-year nutrition education and homestead vegetable project is established, with the assistance from Helen Keller International, Bangladesh/ NOVIB/ USAID. During this year, BRIF also expands its activities into nine districts in Bangladesh, commences the ongoing Participatory Agro Extension Recharges Project with Mennonites Central Committee, and the ongoing disability rehabilitation program with support of CDD/ DFID and the Government of Bangladesh.1999:
BRIF starts to provide legal aid to children and deprived women with the assistance from Bachte Shekha/ The Asia Foundation/ USAID, and begins vegetable cultivation activities with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and CARE-Bangladesh.2000:
with Plan-Bangladesh, the Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) is established.2003:
the project to assist and rehabilitate the minority Bihari people is improved and expanded. In addition, BRIF's first International Work camp sanitation free eye camp is organized 1995, along with relief distribution, vaccinations and legal aid with assistance from the Technical Department of the Bangladesh Government.2004:
with Plan-Bangladesh, the Participatory and Interactive Learning Project (PILP) is established, to improve schools and education and to support new mothers. BRIF also establishes the Livelihood Empowerment and Agro-Forestry programme with SDC/ Inter Cooperation.2005 to 2007:
with Plan-Bangladesh, Participatory Agri Product Diversification Project (PADP), with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)/ CFGB the Monga Mitigation Program (MMP), with the Eco Social Development Organization (ESDO)/ Manusher Jonno Foundation, Hazardous Child Labor Reduction Movement (HCLRM), with CARE-Bangladesh/ EC the Promoting Rights of the Disadvantaged by Preventing Violence (PROTIRODH) project, with the CARE- Bangladesh/ USAID the Strengthening Households Ability to Respond to Development Opportunity (SHOUHARDO Program) 2012:
BRIF starts a school to expand the talent, intellect and self creativity of children completely and to make the enlightened ideal citizen of twenty first century. This school name is BRIF Creative School and it is located at Goaldihi village, Khansama Upazila in Dinajpur which is working to ensuring inclusion. 2013:
Healthy Village Community Health Center's goal is to provide general health care services to the community. It is running by the community and BRIF are involved with technical part. Vision:
Peace, prosperity and just society where all people live with full dignity. Mission:
Establish human rights, equal dignity and quality of life and livelihoods of all segments of people especially for the poor vulnerable through introducing and implementing innovative and community consultative multi dimensional approaches, community based institution building, making congenial society and affordable capacity for poor vulnerable by means of providing pragmatic and procedural assistance, networking, allies and over sighting. Legal Status:
BRIF is registered with:
a). Directorate of Social Welfare. Registration No: 395/88.
b). NGO Affairs Bureau. Registration No: 907/95.
c). EC PADOR Registration No: BD-2010-AVF-2303277511. Management style:
BRIF has three tiers of management led by the Executive Director from the part of Executive Committee implementing the bottom up decision making process. Principles of BRIF:
•Service to mankind and prioritize to the poor vulnerable.
•Capacity building of community based institutions.
•Addressing innovative ideas. Norms and values:
•Gender friendly and advancing women and men.
•Solidarity for greater interest of poorer class and respect to freedom fights. •Participatory and integrated approach of development.
•Good governance in practice.
•Equal dignity to all. Slogan:
Working for People, Peace and Prosperity. Governance of BRIF:
17 members of General Committee govern BRIF as premier authority and Executive Committee comprised of 07 members represented by the Executive Director in favor of General Committee leads the organization. Financial Management System:
BRIF maintains transparent financial system in compliance with Partners/ donor’s requirements. BRIF practices both the accrual and cash basis double entry accounting system. Reporting system:
Bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, semi annual and annual reporting systems are in build in the reporting mechanism. BRIF practices to produce and provide report to the Partners/ donor as per their requirements. Analytical and human story based report including situational report are regular practices in BRIF. Audit and Monitoring:
BRIF has a separate monitoring team working under the guidance and patronization of Executive Director to ensure quality of work in its every programmatic step.