Ersari Rug

A Chance to WIN a Beautiful Ersari Rug!


Ersari_RugAfghanistan’s centuries-old carpet industry has some of the most highly skilled weavers in the world. Hand-knotted rugs are Afghanistan’s largest legal export, with one million Afghans working directly or indirectly in the industry. Afghan weavers have maintained their traditional method of creating entirely handmade carpets, from carding to spinning to weaving.

The featured rug is woven in the village of Aqcha, Jowzjan province, in Northern Afghanistan. It is a traditional Ersari Turkmen rug, having a Pardah design. Pardah means ‘covering’ or ‘hanging’ – and is applied to rugs used by the tribes to cover the doorways of their felt yurts. This beautiful rug was woven with all-vegetable dyes, and hand-spun, hard-carded wool.

The size of the rug is 6.2 x 8.10, valued at $3,000, and is donated to Barakat by Yayla Tribal Rugs, located in Cambridge.

Barakat has been instrumental in changing lives through education and literacy in Northern Afghanistan – with a particular focus on the communities that rely on rug weaving as their livelihood. We have two schools and 14 literacy programs for children and women in Jowzjan and Faryab provinces, in Northern Afghanistan.     

2015 Walk for Literacy

2016 Walk for Literacy

Make a General Donation
  • To donate to support an individual walker, please put in their name in the “Add special instructions to the seller” field in Pay Pal.
  • To donate to support a team, please put in the name of the walker you want to sponsor AND the Name of the Team  in the “Add special instructions to the seller” field in Pay Pal.
  • To make a general donation, just click the Donate button below.


2015 Walk for Literacy

2015 Walk for Literacy

Join us for the 8th Annual Walk for Literacy on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Barakat’s Walk for Literacy is an annual event that raises both awareness and funds for our important mission of educating and empowering children and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Barakat is dedicated to providing exemplary basic education in Afghanistan and Pakistan: we advance literacy and increase access to secondary education, particularly for girls and women.The scenic walk through Cambridge is a fun and unique event, where a diverse community of walkers come together to support a worthy cause – educating thousands of women and children without access to quality basic education! In 2013 – 2014, more than 2,500 children (over 40 percent of them girls) graduated from Barakat’s five schools. An additional 544 girls and women attended our lower-level and higher-level literacy programs in Afghanistan.

Since its inception in 2008, the Walk has grown to attract almost 1,200 walkers and has raised over $120,000.
Walk Registration starts at 9 am, and the Walk begins at 10 am from Winthrop Park in Harvard Square. All walkers will receive breakfast, lunch and a *FREE T-Shirt.

Why We Need Your Support

Barakat’s goal this year is to have 300 walkers and raise $35,000. With YOUR help, we know we can DO IT!
Every step counts and so does every dollar! Your participation as a walker, or as a donor to support the Walk, will help us educate and empower more women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan! Your support makes the following programs possible:
•   $60 sends 1 girl to 1 year of a literacy program.
•   $250 helps 1 girl to 1 year of high school.
•   $750 sends 8 students to 1 year of elementary school.
•   $1,500 will send 6 girls to 1 year of high school (tuition, uniform & school supplies).

Pre–registration is $30. Registration at the door is $40. Once you register, set a fundraising goal for yourself or for a team of friends, family, classmates, or colleagues.

Thank you and see you at the Walk!
*Barakat will order T-shirts only after 200 walkers have registered.

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What’s New

From time to time, this page is updated with information about our schools and programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For a list of events in and around Cambridge generated by Barakat and our supporters please refer to our Upcoming Events page.

Check out our new video about us from Engaging Video Solutions!

Updates from Pakistan

June 1, 2016

All schools have closed early for the summer due to a request from the Pakistani government. Administrators will be continuing to work through out the summer to prepare for the next school year.

May 13, 2016

The school year is just starting to wrap up for all of our schools in Pakistan. Similar to the U.S. students will have their summer break from June to August. Recent events in Pakistan has brought many ups and downs for our students but Barakat has launched a project to make our schools safer for our students. We remain committed to educating girls and boys in the city of Attock despite the challenges that may be thrown our way.

Updates from Afghanistan

July 11, 2016

Every year Barakat sends a doctor to perform regular check ups on students and help treat medical conditions that would otherwise keep the student from going to school. This past spring during a doctor visit at Mullah Krim Nazar School it was discovered that a student named, Melad has a heart defect that requires surgery to treat. Another organization is covering the expense of the surgery, but Barakat is helping his parents raise the necessary $2,000 to send one of them with him. More information can be found here.

July 6, 2016

Pakistan schools may be close for the summer but in Faryab Province our lower literacy program is in session with 258 women and girls in attendance. These students have a winter break as opposed to a summer break since it’s easier for them to get to class during the summer than in the winter. Students graduating from the program will be graduating in November.


June 1, 2016

Barakat was pleased to award 30 more young women graduation certificates from Khancharbag High School in the Faryab province. In total we have 180 girls graduating from our four high schools!





Photo of a young woman graduating from our high school program
May 16,  2016

Barakat was pleased to award 30 young women graduation certificates from our Mirsayed Baraka girls high school program. Barakat’s programs are open to both girls and boys at the elementary level but we only sponsor girls to go on to high school since they are likely the ones who wouldn’t attend otherwise. In total we’ve had 180 girls graduate from our high school program this year. Please join us in congratulating them!






May 13, 2016

April thru June is the one time of year that all of our programs in Afghanistan overlap. Schools and literacy programs in tropical areas are coming to a close for the summer while schools and literacy programs to the North are beginning their sessions. Barakat Afghanistan has staggered schedules due to the different climates that are students are in, since tropical areas can get very hot during the summer those students attend during the winter, while students to the North have rain and other weather that hinder classes during the winter so they attend during the summer.


Transform Lives. Support Barakat.

In this short video, created by C-Squared, a creative media and event company, Barakat’s board members, interns and staff talk about our work and the profound affect your engagement, time and support can make in the lives of children and women we educate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please take a few minutes to watch this video, spread the word, and transform lives.