Seattle Fundraiser Unifies a Community for Girls’ Education

Barakat would not be so readily equipped to provide for the students in its schools and programs without support from partners around the country who are equally passionate about quality education. One such supporter is East Shore Church in Seattle, who just concluded a positive fundraiser to benefit Barakat’s schools and programs! Over the weekend, East Shore Women’s Perspective partnered with the neighboring Muslim Association of Puget Sound to hold a benefit potluck dinner. Guests had a chance to hear from speakers about education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Farida Hakim, who is an advisor to the Muslim Association of Puget Sound and teaches an ‘Islam: Myths & Facts’ course at Bellevue College, spoke about the historical perspective of women’s education in Pakistan. Zahra Arif spoke about the state of women’s education in Afghanistan. She currently works for the Boeing Company as a Manufacturing Manager. Having lived in the United States for 15 years after being raised in Pakistan to Afghani parents, she had a unique perspective to offer to the discussion.

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This Seattle-based event raised close to $4,000 to directly benefit Barakat’s literacy programs for girls and women in Afghanistan! We would like to say a huge thank you to the East Shore community in Seattle for putting together this spectacular event! Their support will be a significant help to continue empowering girls and providing quality education for the many students who attend Barakat’s literacy programs.


Barakat’s First “E3” Event a Success

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Early in the afternoon of April 2nd, Microsoft R & D Center in Cambridge was transformed into the colorful setting of our first ever “Engage. Educate. Empower.” event. We are happy to report that the evening came together as a huge success! Counting all guests, as well as our group of valued volunteers, we had a total of over 100 people come together to engage in an enjoyable evening of camaraderie around a shared mission and a silent auction. The event’s proceeds raised $7,000 for Barakat’s schools and literacy programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It was a pleasant opportunity to connect with Barakat supporters and new friends over wine and hors-d’oeuvres over the course of the evening. A delicious assortment of pan-Asian dishes catered by One World Cuisine, Thelonious Monkfish, and Moksa accompanied the evening festivities. We are also grateful for the donations of gift items, tickets, and baskets made to the silent auction by many local businesses. Some of the items included an inclusive weekend trip to New York City, an authentic Afghan rug, Pakistani scarves, and a coffee basket donated by Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company.  A line of guests lingered good-naturedly around bid sheets all the way up until the auction’s concluding last call.

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When guests needed a break from competing for silent auction items, they had the option of enjoying a beautiful view of the Charles River through the windows, meeting new people, or venturing to have their pictures taken at a handcrafted photo booth. Everyone in attendance embraced their inner silliness with the help of cutout props and cultural outfit pieces, with some truly outstanding photos as a result. To see all the photos from the event, click here.

We gathered to pause the activities at one point in the evening while Barakat’s Executive Director, Angha Childress, highlighted Barakat’s programs for educating girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We also had the pleasure of hearing from Microsoft representative, Terrell Cox, on the topic. Terrell is a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Council, a vibrant women’s technical community in the Cloud & Enterprise Business of Microsoft, and she spoke about how investing in girls’ education enriches us all.

After much preparation to make this event possible, we at Barakat are so grateful for everyone who came out to join us. We had a truly enjoyable time interacting with everyone who shares a common passion for education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. With the continued support from all of our friends, and a beautiful evening spent at the Microsoft NERD Center, Barakat is able to provide for over 4,000 students in its schools and literacy programs this year!


Barakat’s 7th Annual Walk for Literacy – Mark Your Calendar!

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Pencil in Saturday, September 27th for Barakat’s 7th Annual Walk for Literacy! Look for emails soon with more details such as park location and walk routes.  We are currently working with the City of Cambridge and DCR to create a new and exciting route for this year’s walk that will avoid construction planned for one of the parks and the streets normally used for Barakat’s previous Walks. With a revamped route and a broadened network of national participants, we are expecting the event this fall to be even better than ever!

You can sign up at www.barakatworld.org/walk now and start putting a team together! Connecting YOU to the students we support in Afghanistan and Pakistan encourages international ties and promotes Barakat’s mission of providing quality, basic education in the region.

All proceeds and donations from the Walk benefit schools and programs. Spread the word among your friends, as everyone is welcome to come walk for literacy with us this September 27th!


Engage. Educate. Empower.

SAVE THE DATE

For an event featuring and benefitting Barakat, on Wednesday, April 2nd, at Microsoft NERD Center in Kendall Square, Cambridge!

The last week of March marks the beginning of the Afghan New Year (Nowruz), and corresponds with the beginning of spring. A variety of traditions give color to this time of year, including The Red Flower Festival (Mela e Gul e Surkh), when people travel to the northern region of Afghanistan to enjoy the blooming fields of tulips and peacefully reflect on the coming year.

Because Nowruz also means the start of the new school year in Afghanistan, we at Barakat consider it a great opportunity to emphasize our mission for education, and to celebrate those who partner with us. So, coinciding with the holiday, Barakat is organizing an event titled “Engage. Educate. Empower”, in which the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge will provide the setting for an evening of networking, refreshments, and a silent auction; featuring items from local businesses, dance studios, high end restaurants, and more! These items, along with several drawings for hand woven scarves and bags, will help support the schools and literacy programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the spirit of Nowruz, all attendees are encouraged to wear red or other vibrant colors to celebrate spring.

Please join us on April 2nd, in the true spirit of friendship and shared values, for an elegant evening, while supporting the continued provision of basic education.

To more details and to RSVP, please go to: http://barakatworld.org/barakat-e3-2014/