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In a world with 793 million illiterate people—2/3 of whom are women and girls—the time to act is now. Barakat has been working to change lives through education for over 20 years.

More than 80 percent of Barakat students come from families making less than $2 a day! But no matter the poverty, no matter the marginalization of the given population we serve in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, there is always an intense demand for education.

For over 20 years, Barakat has been working exclusively with local staff in our five schools, empowering people to reinvest in their community. Barakat is unique in that it identifies needs and works toward solutions that are both feasible and respectful of local customs and attitudes. Because of this, we have been able to quietly launch programs that would otherwise be controversial: education for girls and women; schools for members of ethnic or social groups traditionally denied opportunities (such as the forgotten population of Afghan refugees in Pakistan), and providing health services to students in our schools.


One of our successful enterprises is Literacy Programs for girls and women in a northern province of Afghanistan, home to ethnic Turkmen and Uzbek populations. In conservative communities, many families don’t allow their daughters to attend school because girls and women are not supposed to be seen by men outside of their families. Barakat’s Literacy Programs, when they first began in 2003, offered an acceptable alternative: they were conducted in the homes of neighboring women and taught by local women who had achieved some level of education themselves. Since then, while the lower level literacy program courses are still offered in local homes, the higher level literacy programs have moved to more institutional settings (Afghan Gov’t and Barakat schools in the area), because the program is more rigorous in nature and six years in duration, covering grades 4 through 9th. Also, qualified and trained Barakat teachers, all women, teach the literacy program courses.

The girls and women being educated through our literacy programs are of all ages, most of whom are illiterate and coming to school for the first time, and many of them are the first in their families to receive any education.

For millions of girls in countries where we work, education can mean the difference between life or death.

Take a pledge with us today to change their lives for better. For as little as $60 a year, you can make a difference. Donate Today!