Barakat’s mission is to improve the well-being of marginalized groups in South and Central Asia by increasing access to quality education and a healthy environment.
Well-being is the sense that one's life is good. It is a personal concept that is different for every person. While everyone has his or her own sense of what a good life is, we all work very hard to make life better for our families and ourselves. Barakat exists to help people make their lives better, however they may define that.
Vast inequities persist in the world in which we live today. Some groups have a great deal of wealth and influence, while other groups have virtually none. They may be abused or simply ignored-- in any case, they are not getting a fair chance at a good life. These are the people Barakat works for.
South and Central Asia
Barakat was founded by Habibullah Karimi and Chris Walter in response to the abhorrent conditions they saw in carpet-weaving communities, with whom they have worked for over 25 years. Barakat’s connections to communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India enable us to be particularly effective in establishing, seeking out and supporting local innovative organizations in those countries.
What good is a school to someone who can’t go? Many people miss out on education because they live too far from schools and programs, or don’t have enough money to pay for the classes or the materials they need to attend those classes. In many places where we work, there are strict cultural codes that put tight restrictions on the interactions between boys and girls. Therefore girls are forbidden from being educated because the programs are not separated by gender. Barakat works to overcome such obstacles and ensure that everyone who wants an education can get one.
Education is more than memorizing facts. A valuable education is one that a person can use to make her life better. Quality education enables people to create jobs where there are none, to understand how to maintain their health, and to become productive members of their communities. Barakat works to ensure that all those we help receive the most out of their education.
People rely on the environment-- it provides us with food and with water. It gives us fuel to cook our meals with. It gives us a place to build our homes, and materials to build them with. It gives us mountains to hike, animals to watch, scenery to enjoy, and fresh air to breathe. If we want our lives and our children’s lives to be good into the future, we must keep the environment healthy. Through education and various grants, Barakat helps to maintain the environment in the US and aboard.