Barakat’s Literacy Programs
Getting an education for an Afghan woman can be a chancy process, often dependent on luck and timing. Traditional schools are age-restricted, omitting tens of thousands of females. In rural areas, distance to a school can be prohibitive. And there is the ever-present threat of the Taliban.
In order to best work with and accommodate Afghan females, Barakat runs literacy programs at local homes with female teachers in a safe environment. Located in the Faryab, Jowzjan, and Sar-e-Pol provinces of Northern Afghanistan, the lower-level literacy program Sewad Amousi covers grades 1 through 3, while the higher-level literacy program Sewad Hayati covers grades 4 through 9.
Fasting 5K Run for Barakat
Originally started as a small venture spearheaded by a group of friends, the August 3 Fasting 5K Run for Barakat has grown into a nation-wide event that has raised over $14,000 to buy new computers for all five of Barakat’s schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The run’s huge success and the eager participation from cities across the United States—like Boston, Washington, D.C. and Houston—means that it has become Barakat’s newest annual fundraiser.
East Shore Women’s Perspective Potluck Dinner Benefits Barakat
On May 19, long time supporters of Barakat in Pacific Northwest hosted a benefit potluck dinner for Barakat. Over delicious food, prayers, discussion and song, Barakat’s Executive Director Angha Childress provided an insight into the inequality girls and women face in South and Central Asia. She also provided an overview of Barakat’s schools and programs and how the agency is addressing this inequality in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Scholarship Program for Afghan Refugee Students
Since 2010, Barakat has been providing financial help in the form of scholarships to self-motivated but financially needy girls and boys who have graduated from Barakat Pakistan schools and aspire to a high-school education. Each scholarship will open doors for hundreds of meritorious and needy students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend high-school. Because girls face unique challenges and cultural opposition in getting an education, our first priority is to provide scholarships to our female students. Once the demand for girls’ scholarship has been met, Barakat will offer the scholarships to boys.
Providing scholarships that allow Afghan refugees in Pakistan to continue with their high school education is an important step towards the development of a pool of much-needed skilled and educated human resources among these refugee communities. The students in these communities who continue their high school education are pioneers, who are able to better explore income-generation activities beyond their traditional sources of livelihood – manual labor and weaving rugs. Furthermore, educated refugees are better able to advocate for their own rights in their host country, as well as to assimilate better into their native country should they choose to return.