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Remembering Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG with profound sadness
2019.12.23

The Yidan Prize Foundation is deeply saddened to receive news that Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG, Founder of BRAC passed away on 20 December 2019.

BRAC is a most impressive organisation founded in 1972 with Sir Fazle’s belief that dignity and value of every human being should be cherished.

“Change is also possible through human acts of compassion, courage and conviction. I have spent my life watching optimism triumph over despair when the light of self-belief is sparked in people. As a team, I want us to keep lighting these sparks.” – Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG

The Yidan Prize Foundation presented Sir Fazle as the Laureate of the 2019 Yidan Prize for Education Development in September 2019, through rigorous selection by our Judging Committee, in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments and admirable work, transforming hundreds of millions of lives in eleven countries in Africa and Asia.  His innovative, low-cost solutions have been proven effective to empower even the poorest and most vulnerable communities to live happy, productive lives, and to allow young, marginalised children to find joy in their learning through BRAC’s now over 650 Play Labs across Bangladesh, Uganda and Tanzania.

We believe that great educationists like Sir Fazle make this world a better place, and he will continue to be a source of inspiration for all of us.  During a visit to Sir Fazle in October this year, we learned directly from this iconic figure in international development his visionary approach and pivotal role in changing the course of education in Bangladesh.

Whether it be strategic design of BRAC projects; focus on partnerships for scale; rigorous monitoring and evaluation of work; community-led social investment models or strong organisational governance, the aggregated outcome is that affordable access was made possible for millions of children in low- and middle-income countries to quality education.  This is a significant achievement in life and his spirit to drive significant social changes will live on.

The Yidan Prize Foundation will continue with our scheduled visit to Bangladesh in January 2020 for the awards presentation and to work closely with BRAC to further impactful educational programmes in Asia, Africa and beyond.  We are in this journey together to create a better world through education, and we will always remember Sir Fazle as the spark of hope, especially for communities whose lives are now enriched by new possibilities.

The loving memory of Sir Fazle’s tremendous legacy will pull all of us together to build a brighter, more equitable future for everyone.