As the rest of Boston hunkers down to brave frigid February temperatures, Barakat Program Director Arti Pandey and Barakat co-founder Chris Walter are hitting the road. Arti and Chris will visit our programs in Afghanistan next month to meet with our students and staff and will begin a needs assessment for a new project in India.
One of the greatest strengths of Barakat's model is that we work with current community leaders to develop future community leaders. Our Afghan staff know the community because it's their home. As a result, our programs and curricula are fueled not by
an outsider's understanding of Afghanistan's strengths and challenges but by Afghan educators who experience them daily. During February's visit, Arti will meet with Afghan staff to discuss the obstacles and review the successes in our schools, strategizing ways to create practical solutions and strengthening our programs.
In India, Arti will work with our new Program Manager to further our impact in literacy among Indian women. From the beginning, Barakat has emphasized the importance of literacy as a skill that can make a huge difference in how a person interacts with her environment. But literacy is only useful when it's applied, and in many of the communities in which we work, access to reading materials outside the classroom can be difficult to find. In response, Barakat will begin a needs assessment for a mobile library, bringing reading materials to remote communities to help new readers, particularly women, maintain their literacy skills.
You can follow Arti's travels on Barakat's blog! Leave comments, ask questions and hear more stories about how Barakat is working to deliver quality education to South and Central Asia.