Kimberly Muellers ’12 in India.
Kimberly Muellers ’12, communications director for the nonprofit Brighter Dawns, spent part of her post-graduation summer in Bangladesh, helping provide a village with access to clean water.
The Boston Globe highlighted the work of Massachusetts native Muellers in a recent article titled “Westwood Woman Helping in Bangladesh.”
“There are so many preventable diseases that can be solved so easily just by having clean water and good hygiene,” Muellers told The Globe. “Our main focus is on sanitation issues.”
Muellers was joined this summer in Bangladesh by Tasmiha Khan ’12, Brighter Dawns CEO, as well as Fahim Zaman, Brighter Dawns director of media and strategy, and a Harvard graduate. They were there to assess a pilot project and work with a local partner, the World Peace and Cultural Foundation. Brighter Dawns has chapters at Wesleyan and Harvard universities and Trinity College.
Muellers stresses the importance of involving young people in international development projects like Brighter Dawns, which provide lifesaving services. Additionally, the youth from the more privileged culture receive an important lesson in empowerment, as they use their energy to effect real and positive change in the world.
Are you a Wesleyan alumnus? For more alumni stories, photo albums, videos, features and more, visit Wesconnect, the website for Wesleyan alumni.
Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of Brighter Dawns, a charitable organization committed to improving health in the slums of Bangladesh, was invited to the White House to participate in a forum to discuss the important role that faith-based social innovators play in expanding opportunity and addressing social issues. Khan, who was selected by DoSomething.org as one of 11 Young Women To Look Out For, founded Brighter Dawns in the fall of 2010 after working on a health and hygiene project in Bangladesh with the World Peace & Cultural Foundation that summer. Back on campus, she convinced other students to join her in addressing the concerns she’d observed.
The White House event, arranged by the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, in coordination with the Office of Public Engagement, brought together leading faith-based social innovators from around the country.
The afternoon offered briefings, panels, and small-and-large group discussions to explore the ways that these faith-based organizations are creating entrepreneurial ventures. They offer innovative models to create positive change in our economy, and they frequently serve at-risk communities.
“I was able to meet with senior officials such as Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt [executive director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation] and Mr. Joshua DuBois [executive director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships] and had an exclusive opportunity to present our work,” Khan says. “Of course, Wesleyan was mentioned—how could it not? It was a phenomenal event.”
Khan and members of the Brighter Dawns team are planning to return to Bangladesh later this summer.
Brighter Dawns on News 8.
The Wesleyan Chapter of Brighter Dawns, a non-profit organization founded by Tasmiha Khan ’12, was featured on News 8 WTNH on May 11. Brighter Dawns raises funds to build latrines and wells in Bangladesh.
According to the report, Brighter Dawns started when Tasmiha Khan went to a slum in Bangladesh with her family and visited a young woman living in poverty. “Her name was Usma. She was about 15 years old. Had three children. Was forced into poverty at that time,” she said.
Khan started doing a few things to help that family, and when she came back to the U.S. she kept helping, forming the local chapter.
Brighter Dawns is currently trying to win the Dell Social Innovation Competition.
For information on the group and their mission visit http://brighterdawns.org/.
In Bangladesh, more than 100,000 children die every year of intestinal diseases. About 31 million people are without access to safe drinking water and 99.9 million people lack proper sanitation. About 80 percent of the wells in more than 8,000 villages are contaminated.
Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of the Wesleyan chapter of Brighter Dawns, has spent the past four years determined to help sanitary and living conditions in a slum in Khalishpur, Khulna. Through fund-raising, partnering with NGOs and grant applications, the Wesleyan chapter has teamed up with other Brighter Dawns chapters in the country to distribute more than 1,000 sanitary kits, teach lessons on proper hygiene and install 15 tube wells and 20 latrines in the slum.
Brighter Dawns also trained local women and provided them with stipends to help maintain the infrastructure and conduct seminars in conjunction with health officials and physicians.
As a newly-awarded 2012 Movement One to One Fellow (Movement 121), Khan will have the opportunity to participate in a six-month online, collaborative experience to enhance Brighter Dawns’ success from Feb. 1 to Aug. 1. Movement 121 enables fellows to discover their true strengths,
Read more →
Tasmiha Khan ’12 and her group, Brighter Dawns, were featured in the Oct. 24 edition of The Middletown Press. In the article, Khan explains how she became interested in helping poor families – and her own family – in Bangladesh.
“There’s a stark dynamic between the rich and the poor,” Khan says in the article. “I wanted to see how these people live, but I really had to push my family. They were scared of me getting raped or even murdered. There was no running water. Seven to eight people of extended family, living under one roof. Words aren’t enough to justify the conditions.”
In the past year, Brighter Dawns was able to secure funding of about $15,000 from the Dell Social Innovation Fellowship and a $10,000 from a Projects for Peace grant. With this funding, they were able to build 15 wells, 20 latrines, and three bathrooms and provide sanitation supplies and educational seminars on hygiene for 1,000 households in Bangladesh.
On Nov. 19, Brighter Dawns will be partnering with Brew Bakers, a local coffee house bakery in Middletown, to hold an all-day community event. A student/community band will perform and the group will be running several concessions selling T-shirts, purses and tote bags from Bangladesh.
Brighter Dawns development director Jason Youngbin Lee ’12, project manager Matthew Donahue ’14, and Marissa Napolitano ’13 also are mentioned in the Middletown Press story, online here.
Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of the student organization Brighter Dawns, is a recipient of the Dell Social Innovation Competition Semi-Finalist Fellowship. Brighter Dawns applied for the Dell Social Innovation Award in January. Their project is titled “Brighter Dawns: Clean Water for Humanity.”
“Tasmiha was selected from a very strong applicant pool to join 14 other innovative fellows that represent and work with communities around the world,” says Betsy Loucks, director of the DSIC Semi-Finalist Fellowship. “The Semi-Finalist Fellowship is a cohort of students from around the world who have some of the most exciting and innovative ideas for social and environmental change.”
Developed to leverage the power of the group, the fellowship program provides students with mentorship, training and a small financial award to advance the development of their social innovation. The fellowship provides students with the skills, networks and experience needed to realize the potential of their social venture.
At the core of the DSIC Fellowship is the practice of peer critique. The peer critique is a forum for student entrepreneurs to seek feedback from other students, faculty, alumni and experienced professionals/entrepreneurs. Meeting around a common table, the participants generously and respectfully share their questions, advice, networks and encouragement in a spirit of collegial collaboration.
In addition to the fellowship, the DSIC also provides a travel stipend to Rhode Island for the Summer Institute on Social Entrepreneurship, Aug. 15-19.
Brighter Dawns also received a Davis United World College Project for Peace grant worth $10,000.
Pictured are participants of the 5K for Brighter Dawns.
The student-run organization Brighter Dawns raised more than $1,150 during the 5K for Brighter Dawns on April 16.
The group is raising funds to build 30 latrines and 10 wells in Khalispur, Bangladesh. They also hope to provide sanitary kits to local households and hire three community health officers to educate the community in sanitary practices.
Brighter Dawns Development Director Jason Youngbin Lee '12 and Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano.
Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and Wesleyan President Michael Roth attended the event.
Participants paid $10 to walked or run the 3.1 mile course, which was located on the Wes Fuhrman ’05 Trail near Long Lane. Brighter Dawns also raised funds by selling t-shirts at the event. Prizes were awarded to the top three finishers.
Brighter Dawns members, from left, Karla Therese Sy ’13, Rashedul Haydar ’14 and Shirley Deng ’14 attended the United for Sight conference.
Members of the student-run group, Brighter Dawns, participated in the Unite for Sight Global Health and Innovation 2011 Conference April 16-17 at Yale University. The conference welcomed leaders, changemakers, and participants from all fields of global health, international development and social entrepreneurship.
Tasmiha Khan ’12, founder of Brighter Dawns, spoke about her organization during a session on “Water and Clinic Social Enterprise Pitches – Ideas in Development.” Brighter Dawns is raising funds to improve access to safe sanitation in Bangladesh.
More than 2,220 professionals and students from all 50 states attended the conference.
Wesleyan’s student organization Brighter Dawns received a Davis United World College Project for Peace grant worth $10,000. The funds will support Brighter Dawns’ “Water Sanitation Project” in Khalishpur, Bangladesh for eight weeks this summer.
Tasmiha Khan ’12 and possibly Rajeeta Iyer ’12 will oversee the project, which will include building tube wells, latrines and providing health seminars and jobs for women in one of the poorest slums in Khalishpur.