Haji Bibi is a True Fighter, For Herself and Her Country

As high as her expectations are for herself, they’re even higher for her country. Haji Bibi, the director of Barakat’s literacy programs, has spent her life fighting for what she believes in. She has broken away from social norms, after years of being stifled by them. She succeeded as a child in struggling to obtain, despite the early loss of her father. She now heads a major program for Barakat, despite her husband’s wishes that she stay at home.

Haji Bibi, a Pashtun, was born in 1956 in the Andkhoy province, in a village called Charamgar Khana. She began her schooling at seven, the same year that her father passed away, leaving her brothers as her caretakers.

Read more…

Against All Odds, Saleema Rehman Will Not Give Up Hope

Saleema Rehman has worked hard throughout the years with one goal in mind: to fulfill her and her parents’ dream of becoming a doctor. When Saleema was born, her parents pledged to do everything in their power to educate their daughter so that she could one day become a doctor. Finding a doctor for Saleema’s mother during her illness had proved so difficult that making Saleema a doctor became their greatest goal. Circumstances, however, were not on their side. Saleema’s family fled their home in 1984 and lived as refugees in Pakistan. As a refugee and a Turkmen, one of Afghanistan’s minorities, Saleema had much to overcome. Being a girl only added to the challenges she faced.

Read more…

Barakat Says Goodbye to Damon

On March 15, 2010, Damon Luloff stepped down as the Director of Barakat, a post he has held for the past two-and-a-half years. Barakat’s Board of Directors has established a transition committee composed of board members and staff to administer the organization until a new Director has been named.

Regarding Luloff’s departure, Ed Scribner, Chairman of the Board, said, “We deeply appreciate the accomplishments that Damon has achieved in the short time that he served as Executive Director. In less than three years, he significantly transformed the organization by assisting the Board to clarify Barakat’s mission, by creating an effective organizational structure, by attracting talented staff and volunteers to work in a greatly expanded office, and by developing a state of the art website.”

Read more…

Afghan School Receives Winter Coats

Attempting to endure the harsh winter months, students in Faryab Province, Afghanistan often do not have sufficient clothing to keep them warm. Tolerating below freezing temperatures, young children often walk to and from school without a coat. With wind chills near zero, bearing these types of conditions can keep students home, greatly distract them from learning and cause illnesses that keep them in bed. For 607 students at Barakat’s Mullah Kareem Nazar School, however, this is no longer the case.

Read more…