Give Scholarships to Afghan Refugees in Pakistan
You can help provide high school education to self-motivated and financially needy boys and girls who have graduated from Barakat Pakistan schools. Each sponsorship will open new opportunities in terms of income-generation and will help to break the cycle of poverty for the student and future generations. First preference will be given to Afghan refugee girls in Pakistan because of the unique challenges and cultural opposition they face in getting an education. Once the demand for girlsí scholarships has been met, Barakat will offer the opportunity to refugee boys.
The Afghan people, whether in their native country or residing as refugees in Pakistan, need a helping hand every step of the way in order to continue their education. The cultural and social structures that restrict access to education are threaded into the day-to-day customs and time-honored traditions of society. Changing these takes considerable time, creative programming and sustained momentum, and this is what Barakat provides through its educational programs.
The Afghan refugees that Barakat works with in Pakistan are mainly constituted of the Turkmen and Uzbek ethnicities, as well as some Pashtoons, Hazaras, and Parsiwans. Among the ethnicities that dominate Barakatís target population, education has traditionally been given a subservient position vis-ŗ-vis their traditional source of livelihood - carpet weaving. Carpet weaving was an activity that customarily fell entirely under the domain of the female members of the family. However, the move to Pakistan, and the need for each family to earn money in the face of their changed status as refugees, prompted a move towards carpet weaving for men and boys as well.
Women and girls are valued as income-earners (through their skills as carpet weavers), as well as in their roles as wives and mothers. Education is not valued for females. There is a greater acceptance of the need for education for boys, and a stronger push for securing high school education for boys, than for their female counterparts. In the face of these challenging situations, Barakat has been working to create greater awareness and access to education for both boys and girls, while putting special emphasis and tailoring our programs with particular care for the girls.
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, educated human resources among these communities. The students who can continue their high school education among the Afghan refugees are pioneers in their community and will be able to explore ground beyond the borders of their traditional sources of livelihood that have been limited to manual labor in one form or another. Furthermore, educated refugees are better able to advocate for their own rights in their host country; as well as assimilate better into their native country should they choose to return.
Partner since September, 2008
Barakat exists to strengthen the fundamental human rights to education in South and Central Asia by providing exemplary basic education, increasing access to higher education and advancing literacy, particularly for women and children. Barakat works towards this mission through its implementing partner NGOs in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. One such area of focus is education in Afghanistan. Many people miss out on education because they live too far from schools and programs, or don’t have enough money to pay for the classes or the materials they need to attend those classes. In Afghanistan, there are strict cultural codes that put tight restrictions on the interactions between boys and girls, and therefore girls are forbidden from being educated, because the programs are not separated by gender. Barakat works to overcome such obstacles and ensure that everyone who wants an education can get one.