New Country Director for Barakat Afghanistan

Barakat is excited to welcome Aaq Mohammad as the new Country Director in Afghanistan.  Since graduating from high school in 1999, Mohammad has worked as a teacher and principal at several schools, including Barakat’s Mullah Kareem Nazar School in Faryab Province.

As Country Director, Mohammad will continue to work hard to improve and develop Barakat’s programs in Afghanistan.  His goal is to help more women and children become literate.

“I really hope that Barakat Afghanistan can provide a circumstance in which the poor people of Afghanistan, especially women, can study, learn, and continue their lives in prosperous conditions,” said Mohammad.

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And So We Ring in the New Year

As one of the most ancient holidays, the start of the New Year is a time for people to come together with family and friends, reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. While most cultures ring in the New Year on January 1, many people in South and Central Asia celebrate this special occasion at other times during the year.

In Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of South Asia, the New Year is known as Nowruz, which means “New Day” in Persian. Nowruz celebrations, once banned under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, start on the first day of spring and continue for two weeks.

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Malaria Net Distribution Happens in India!

On November 15th, the highly anticipated malaria nets were distributed in Bhadohi, India. As we described last month, malaria continues to be a huge problem for families, especially in places with heavy rainy seasons like India. In an effort to combat this problem, Barakat, in association with the Care and Fair School in Bhadohi, fundraised and organized a distribution of bed-nets for students. Last week, this distribution happened to the delight of everyone there. As a result of everyone’s hard work, three hundred nets were distributed, along with textbooks which use pictures to describe transmission and dangers of malaria to students and their parents.

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Livelihood Generation Project Begins in Pakistan

Recently in Pakistan, hundreds of women streamed into Attock without ears or mouths. These women were not disfigured in the literal sense, but as a result of being forced from their homes by the disastrous August floods, they have been stripped of their communicative abilities. They are illiterate, unable to speak Urdu, the dominant language in Attock, and had to flee their homes empty-handed, all their possessions having been lost in the waters. 75 families came to Attock when their own villages were decimated in the flood: across Pakistan the number of refugees becomes exponentially bigger. Now these women and their families have settled in Attock and are trying their best to adjust to their new community

Barakat Pakistan has been on tirelessly working towards settling the refugee families, distributing cash stipends for housing and placing their children in school. Since the immediate problems of settling the refugees have been taken care of, Barakat is trying to find jobs for refugee parents so that they can continue to rebuild their lives. Thanks to a grant of $25,000 from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Barakat has been able to assemble a Livelihood Generation Program for refugees in Attock. This program designates a Livelihood Coordinator to oversee job placement for refugees and see that they continue to have work to support their families.

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