In Afghanistan, our communities face a fractured economy because of three decades of political unrest following the Russian invasion. The civil war in Afghanistan that began in 1978 continues to this day, and Afghanistan has not had a stable government for several years. In 2001, the United States, with the United Kingdom, launched a war in the country in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. These are some of the reasons for poor literacy levels in Afghanistan and the compromised status of women in this traditional society.
Neighboring Pakistan is home to a large number of refugees who have fled war-torn Afghanistan, which has created a burden on a country ill-equipped to support so many people. Also, in Pakistan, female education is given a low priority and many families are prepared to have their daughters married around the time they reach puberty. These girls grow into women deprived of an education who attempt to do the same with their daughters. The only way to break this vicious cycle is to intercede early and encourage families to send their children to school, giving them new economic opportunities for the future and new perspectives on the role of men and women in society.
India struggles with crippling poverty. Many families are forced to live without the basics of food and shelter. As a result, they often choose send their children to work for additional income rather than sending them to school. But, this practice keeps a family tethered to poverty because the lack of education makes successive generations ineligible to participate in the competitive Indian job market, where salaries with private companies are considerably higher than in the public sector.
By opening schools in these regions, Barakat aims to reach out to the country’s youth, particularly girls and women, who we believe are powerful agents of change in their families and communities. Barakat strives to create a thinking populace that will participate in their country’s democratic process and adopt leadership roles. This will spark change that can transcend generations and allow Barakat to fulfill its purpose of helping communities shape their own future through education.
- Provide merit-based scholarships for higher education for school and university education
- Open school libraries and computer labs
- Two parent-teacher meetings during the year, one for women and one for men. During the PTA sessions, women will be provided a free health check-up as an incentive to promote participation
- Expand school campus and increase infrastructure
- Provide regular teacher training and refresher courses, with an emphasis on creative and interactive teaching techniques
- Add one grade level each year until schools reach their capacity
- Increase student enrollment and hire new teachers accordingly
- Increase female enrollment by creating an all-girls section in each grade or operating two shifts during the school day
- Increasing subjects offered in each grade until capacity
- Providing classes after school and during the summer to students who need extra help with schoolwork