Outreach and awareness raising efforts are vital to Barakat’s mission. During the month of June, students at Prospect Hill Academy, a charter high school in Cambridge, have stepped up to this challenge by raising money for Barakat and spreading the word about the importance of supporting girls’ education in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The students spent several weeks brainstorming and communicating with Barakat directly in order to identify creative and strategic ways in which to support the organization. Eventually the students sold wristbands, scarves, ice cream, and popsicles at events both within and outside of their school. The students also supplied donation boxes to local businesses such as Bird by Bird, a children’s clothing boutique in Inman Square and Gather Here and Make Something, a fabric and sewing boutique in mid-Cambridge.
Awareness efforts complemented sales, as students handed out pamphlets and booklets on Barakat’s work. The students also put together an impressive video about Barakat to show at a final presentation to their peers, teachers, and Barakat representatives. To date, the students have raised over $1000 dollars through their efforts.
Working with Barakat was part of the students’ Enrichment Term project at Prospect Hill Academy. The three-week term in June is designed to give sophomore, junior and senior students a rewarding service experience with an organization that allows them to apply academic skills to the real world.
The goal of this laudable program is clearly being met, as the students have all found it incredibly invaluable to their academic experience at Prospect Hill. “I feel that Barakat is an excellent organization that taught me a lot about responsibilities and education,” commented Alejandra Brito, one of the students enrolled in Enrichment Term.
One of her peers, Ylana Jenkins, echoed those sentiments. “Barakat taught me how to work with my peers better, be responsible about money, and also be more productive to reach a goal in a certain period of time.”
Beyond acquiring fund raising and communication skills, the students at Prospect Hill learned about the deep complexities surrounding the issue of education in South and Central Asia, especially pertaining to females. In their presentation they focused heavily on the significance of their project. “Not everyone has the same kind of access to education and having an education dramatically affects the quality of your life.”
The experience has also made the students such as Dimitri Jean value what they have.
“I enjoyed working with Barakat because it helped me understand more about education and about girls in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India and how much they appreciate education. It also showed me how to appreciate my education because I know that I am lucky for what I have,“ he reflected.