This project will provide scholarships to at-risk youth, particularly girls, for Afghanistan's most impoverished and historically marginalized Hazara community. Through partnership with reputable grassroots K-12 organizations in Afghanistan, the Foundation has designed a low-cost merit and need-based scholarship program to provide quality education. Our K-12 partners, Marefat and Baba, located in Kabul and Bamyan, offer progressive education with emphasis on critical thinking.
Hazaras are the poorest and most historically marginalized group in Afghanistan. Ethnically distinct due to their Asiatic features coupled with Shi'a faith sets them apart from other Afghans, including the predominant Pashtoons. Despite the Hazaras being peaceful, they have benefitted very little from the international development assistance in the past 17 years. Early education has suffered due to this neglect and keeping the next generation in such circumstances will have dire consequences.
We have designed a low-cost scholarship program in partnership with reliable grassroots community-organized and community-sustained K-12s that have demonstrated a sound track-record of service and low overhead, 4%. Through this partnership, we provide merit and need-based scholarships to youth, particularly girls, from the poorest and long discriminated Hazara communities. To date we have provided 66 Scholarships. The education will open new gateways and alter the trajectory of the their lives.
This project has the potential of educating 100s of at-risk youth, particularly girls, in multiple schools in several provinces in Afghanistan. This can become a scholarship corridor between Bamyan Foundation in the US and grassroots partner organizations across Afghanistan. The system we've built is one that's scalable with almost no marginal increase in investment of time and resources. Now that it's up and running, if we exceed our funding goals, we can easily increase the number of students.