Education prize awarded

Local | Staff reporter 24 Jan 2020

The Yidan Prize Award for education development was presented to the family of the man who founded the world’s largest non-governmental organization in Bangladesh.

The 82-year-old laureate Sir Fazle Hasan Abed died due to a disease on December 20 last year, and the prize’s founder, Charles Chen Yidan, flew to Dhaka, Bangladesh, to present the prize to Fazle’s son and daughter yesterday.

He established the charitable organization BRAC in 1972, which has slowly developed into the largest NGO working on economic development, education, public health and disaster relief in 14 Asian and African countries serving more than 126 million people.

Chen presented the award carrying HK$30 million -- half of which is a cash prize and half a project fund -- at BRAC’s headquarters.

Fazle's son, Shameran Abed, read out a speech on behalf of the laureate, who drafted it after knowing he had won the prize last September.

"I would like to express my gratitude for the recognition bestowed upon both BRAC and myself. The very generous Yidan Prize funding will allow us to expand our education activities further," his son read.

"I envision a world where even the poorest among us have the opportunity to lead lives of purpose and dignity. I humbly request everyone to play their part in making this vision a reality."

Fazle changed millions of people’s live with education with over 650 branches of BRAC in countries such as Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda. Close to 40,000 children aged one to five were admitted to more than 1,400 play-based early childhood development centers of BRAC in the world.

About HK$15.5 million of the prize will go to BRAC’s research.

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