2011 WISE Prize Laureate


The World’s First WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC

“I am guided by an ideal of a world free from all forms of exploitation 
and discrimination. Education is the answer to this quest.” Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, awarded the first WISE Prize for Education to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC, on November 1, 2011 during the third WISE Summit.

In his citation of the Laureate, WISE Chairman H.E. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Ph.D. said: “Fazle Hasan Abed’s life and career embody the values of WISE. He recognized that education is a passport to social inclusion and opportunity. He discovered a successful formula, and he adapted and expanded it – first in Bangladesh and then in other countries. As a direct consequence, millions of people around the world lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. The Jury saw him as an ideal WISE Prize Laureate.”

Strong Foundations and Sustained Growth

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed founded BRAC in 1972 to address the humanitarian crisis which followed his country’s struggle for independence from Pakistan. Over the next four decades, he built the world's largest NGO based on the principle of empowering people to grow as individuals, manage the welfare of their families and contribute to their societies. 

BRAC is also one of the largest non-government providers of education in the world, contributing directly to the pre-primary, primary and secondary education of more than 10 million young people. It concentrates on bringing education to those who are not reached by the traditional education system.

BRAC's diverse programs have reached almost 140 million individuals in 10 countries in Asia, Africa and Central America. Under Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s guidance those beneficiaries have acquired the tools to improve their lives by, for example, setting up their own micro-businesses, becoming health workers, or teaching generations of children.

Read the full biography of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed here.

> The 2011 WISE Prize Jury
> The 2011 WISE Prize Committee

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