Category Archives: Events

Over $1 Million Dollars Awarded to Groups Supporting Young Women



With and For Girls Collective, an international organization that supports educating adolescent girls through development projects, decided to donate over $1 million dollars in grants to twenty organizations around the world that value women’s rights and education. Each organization was awarded up to $50,000 dollars from With and For Girls Collective, and are allowed to spend the money however they feel necessary in order to support the organization’s values.

According to Muna Wehbe, CEO of the Stars Foundation, the World Bank  estimates that two cents out of every $1 dollar donated through international aid is used for female adolescent education. This means that although women play a vital and necessary role in the continuing of the human race, their education seems to be valued the least.

Organizations that were able to receive the award include Aware Girls, a Pakistan based organization that teaches leadership and educating women on HIV and AIDS and the Shorqu Organization, which works with refugees from both Palestine and Bethlehem, as well as eighteen other organizations out of the 125 nominated for the grants.

These awards indicate new beginnings and goals throughout the world with the hope that donations for women’s education will continue to flourish, ultimately allowing women to become more knowledgeable in subjects they enjoy while learning in safe environments.

To read the full story, visit The Guardian.

To continue to support educating women in places such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, visit to find more information or make a donation.



Linda Bond and One to One Partners bring handmade bags from Afghanistan to our Walk for Literacy



A beautiful, crisp Fall day was the setting for our 8th Annual Walk for Literacy in Harvard Square this year. We had so many great volunteers and participants that were just as excited to walk as we were, but this year’s event featured a unique twist.

Displayed on a large rock right next to our registration tent were several hand-painted bags, created by young women in Afghanistan, that featured a photo of each woman who designed the specific bag inside. The bags were brought to the walk by artist Linda Bond, through her One to One Partners art exhibit, that directly works with women in Afghanistan who are currently enrolled in Literacy Programs. We are so appreciative of Ms. Bond and the women who created these special bags.

Barakat would also like to thank the rest of our volunteers and participants who came to our 8th annual Walk for Literacy. We are so fortunate to have such great supporters.

Photos from our Walk for Literacy can be viewed here and more information on Linda Bond’s exhibit can be viewed on her Website.

Sixth Annual “5 Under 40” Awards Give Back


Congratulations to the five winners of the Sixth Annual “5 Under 40” residential design awards! This artistically based program recognizes designers from all over New England who produce and design architecture, interior, speciality, and landscape pieces that can be found throughout the East Coast.

This year, each of the five winners will design a custom rug that will be hand woven in Nepal-based workshops through Landry & Arcari Rugs and Carpeting and auctioned off tomorrow night, September 10, 2015 at the “5 Under 40” event starting at 6:30pm. We are lucky enough to be the recipient of the proceeds from these speciality rugs and we could not be more grateful for the support. Thank you to everyone involved in this amazing contest, as we are excited to promote this special event.

Tickets for the Awards and Cocktail Party can be purchased here.

MAPS and ESUC Host Annual Barakat Fundraiser


On Saturday, April 18th, women from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) and East Shore Unitarian Universalist (ESUC) Women’s Perspective hosted their annual benefit fundraiser for Barakat. These benefits serve us at Barakat not only by bringing donations, but by engaging a distant community with our mission, and promoting the values we stand by. MAPS and ESUC have joined together for five years to host an educational and entertaining program for those interested in learning how to help women and children acquire the literacy skills they need and deserve. These fundraisers began after members of MAPS and ESUC read Half the Sky, a book which highlights the oppression and suffering faced by women, and the importance of granting women control of their lives and futures. Half the Sky asserts that our modern moral dilemma is primarily the oppression of women, and compels its readers to take on the challenge head-first. Touched by what they read, both organizations decided to join the movement and participate in supporting, educating, and empowering women and children.

This year’s potluck fundraiser was held in Redmond, Washington at MAPS. The event included several speakers, an auction, and interactive booths with various activities. Attendees at these booths reported that everyone had a great time practicing their calligraphy, experiencing the beauty of henna, and learning about Hijab Art. Kids and adults alike enjoyed a tremendous sharing of stories, culture, and art as they raised over  $2,700.00! Community participants were able to take home a newfound appreciation for the power of global education, deep cultural connections, and lasting memories. Ties between our Barakat schools’ communities and the Redmond, Washington community were formed, thanks to the efforts of MAPS and ESUC. Barakat is always delighted to see long-lasting connections form despite geographic and cultural barriers. Without these connections, a global standard of education could not be reached.

Barakat is proud to share with you the efforts of our dedicated and hard-working donors and volunteers who commit themselves, like us, to providing exemplary basic education in Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly for women and girls. It is the hard work of organizations such as MAPS and ESUC that allow our students in Pakistan and Afghanistan to shine!

For those interested in supporting Barakat through events and volunteering, please visit our website here.

Investing in Girls


Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.”  Barakat operates schools and literacy courses for women and girls in South Asia, believing that equal access to education is crucial to reducing poverty in the region.

In many parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, girls are less likely than boys to attend school, be vaccinated, or see a doctor.  A recent TIME essay discussed the importance of investing in girls in the global fight against poverty.  “Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world,” wrote Larry Summers while serving as chief economist at the World Bank.

Girls who attend school for at least seven years typically earn higher wages, marry later, and have fewer children than those with less education.  Fewer dependents per worker leads to greater economic growth. Women are also more likely than men to reinvest their income in their families, buying things like books, medicine, and malaria nets.

Development experts say part of the solution involves providing girls with access to schools and health clinics with programs designed specifically for them.  Helping girls realize their potential will require the support of entire communities, including mothers, fathers, teachers, and religious leaders.

Barakat has witnessed the vital role of supportive family members in our initiatives such as the Girls Scholarship Program in Pakistan.  Scholarship recipient Surayya has four siblings.  Her father is a carpet weaver and her mother is a tailor.  She says, “My father wishes that all of his children get an education, but due to lack of funds he cannot afford our studies.”  Surayya is fortunate to have parents that support her education rather than sending her to work, and with a Barakat scholarship she can continue her studies.  “Education is not necessary for males only,” says Surayya.  “I want to be a well-aware Afghan girl who is able to understand her rights.”

American girls are also getting involved in this cause.  High school girls in the Boston area have held fundraisers for Barakat’s Girls Scholarship Program to support students like Surayya.  The United Nations Foundation has started a campaign called Girl Up, which encourages American girls between the ages of 10 and 19 to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by donating $5 to provide school supplies, health check-ups, and more.  Actions like these display how the next generation of leaders is already making progress to improve the lives of girls around the world.

Top 5 Reasons to do Barakat’s 3rd Annual Walk for Literacy!


Our 3rd Annual Walk for Literacy is this Saturday, October 16 – there’s still time to sign up! Need some more encouragement? Check out the reasons below!

1. The Organization: Barakat is one of many non-profit organizations trying to make a difference in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and our close contact with our on-the-ground staff gives us great understanding about the problems facing these countries right now. We are diligently working on small-scale problem solving in a widely misunderstood region and hope that by raising awareness about our cause, we can reach more women and children in these countries and give them the tools they need to empower themselves.

2. The Community: Participating in Barakat’s Walk for Literacy gives you a chance to meet people in the Boston and Cambridge community who are equally committed to the cause of literacy in South and Central Asia.  Even if you’re doing the Walk alone, you can find someone new and interesting to chat with and learn something from. Cambridge Mayor David Maher and journalist-turned human rights activist, Liz Walker will both be giving speeches to commemorate the event.

3. Making a Difference: Problems in South and Central Asia can seem like a world away, but they aren’t. Barakat’s mission is to enable thousands of women and children in this region to access their fundamental right to basic education so that they may empower themselves. It’s no secret that investing in education is a key strategy in alleviating poverty and inequality in developing countries. You can help by Walking on October 16th.

4.The Season: Everyone loves autumn in New England! The Barakat Walk for Literacy gives you a chance to enjoy the lingering days of fall while coming together for a great cause! Take advantage of this great opportunity to get outside and see 5 miles of fall foliage in the crisp October weather.

5.  The Activities: The fun doesn’t end at the Walk – we have fun activities after the Walk to celebrate everyone’s participation and hard work. This year, we will have henna tattoos, a kite-making workshop, and lots of delicious food from local establishments!

6.  The Exercise! The option between a 2.5 mile or 5 mile route around Cambridge allow Walkers to get as much exercise as they want! As the weather starts to cool down and the holidays approach, October becomes one of the last months when you can get outside and get active. Why not bring your friends and walk for a good cause?

Not in the Boston area, but want to help our cause? You can donate to Barakat here! Proceeds from this event will support our programs in Afghanistan Pakistan and India! Find more information on the Walk here.

Pierce Elementary Students Respond to the Need for Female Education


Pierce School Students at the Literacy Walk

The presence of Pierce School’s 6th grade students and their families, wearing Barakat’s bold orange T- shirts and carrying banners as they walk full of spirit, was an exciting sight at Barakat’s Walk for Literacy this past October.  The students were happy to be part of the event as they knew it was for a purpose which was dear to them–helping those who are truly in need with the knowledge that their support can bring a change.

These committed students have played a vital role in the success of the Barakat’s Literacy Walk in 2008 and 2009.  Not only did a large number of students participate with their parents and teachers, but the group also raised more than $8000 dollars!

It’s easy to wonder why 6th grade students from Brookline, MA would choose to raise money for women and children on the other side of the globe.  What does the Walk for Literacy mean for these students?  How do they believe they are helping education around the world?  Read the students’ answers below to learn why they took up the cause with such passion.

What is Barakat’s Role?

Arthur, a 6th grade student, defines Barakat’s mission as “a non-profit organization which is helping to educate women and girls in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Every cent that is donated to Barakat, goes to help and to build schools for girls”.

Why Walk for Literacy?

Isabelle shared her opinion on what inspires her to work for the literacy walk: “One day a lady from the Barakat organization named Arti came to our school to speak about Barakat and girls and women in Afghanistan. We were all inspired by what she said and we were horrified by some of the facts she told us. We decided to split into three groups to help Barakat raise money. They include fundraising,  advertising, and understanding Afghanistan. Together we are trying to get people to go to our walk, the walk for literacy.”

How to Help Walk for Literacy?

Thea of class 6L shared her views: “I know I’m doing it for a good cause. I know there are many people who aren’t as privileged as me. It feels good to be helping others. I feel very lucky to have the education after learning about the girls in Afghanistan. So I decided to do the walk. My goal is $100, I’m walking 5 miles. I hope my money goes a long way. If I am able to raise $100 I will be able to send 2 girls to school for a year.

Abby, a fellow student, says, “I think it is really good idea to do the walk to help people in Afghanistan get education. My goal is to raise $50 over the registration fee of $25. I also want to get a couple of people to sponsor me, so I can raise as much as possible. I hope a lot of people go and help raise money for the girls in Afghanistan.”

Jason tells us “I’m excited as I’ve done these kind of walks before to raise money and help the cause. My goal is $100. I think others should also come do the walk.  It will be fun and a lot of Pierce students and teachers will be there.”

On the Walk Day – The View from 5 Miles: By Cierra

“The crowd was getting larger as more people were coming. After everybody settled down with their food and coffee the founder of Barakat started making speech. The first people he thanked were the parents, teachers and students of the Pierce School. While he was talking it seemed that everybody’s eyes wandered over to the Pierce School banner which our school had designed to represent who we are. After the speeches we headed on our walk. About 1/5 through the walk it started raining but the people were determined to finish. Soon in the distance I could see the Barakat sign hanging on arched entrance. I was happy that I competed the 5 mile walk, but my feet were KILLING ME! When we arrived, we were greeted and congratulated by the other walkers.”