Thursday, September 17, 2015

Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi awarded with 2015 Nansen Refugee Award by UNHCR:

Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi,
who has dedicated her life to bringing
education to refugee girls in Pakistan,
has won the 2015 UNHCR Nansen
Refugee Award. Aqeela Asifi, 49, is
being recognised for her brave and
tireless dedication to education for
Afghan refugee girls in the Kot
Chandana refugee village in Mianwali,
Pakistan – while herself overcoming the
struggles of life in exile. Despite minimal
resources and significant cultural
challenges, Asifi has guided a thousand
refugee girls through their primary
Asifi is a former teacher who fled from
Kabul with her family in 1992, finding
safety in the remote refugee settlement
of Kot Chandana. Asifi was dismayed by
the lack of schooling for girls there.
Before she arrived, strict cultural
traditions kept most girls at home. But
she was determined to give these girls a
chance to learn.
UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award
honours extraordinary service to the
forcibly displaced, and names Eleanor
Roosevelt, Graça Machel and Luciano
Pavarotti among its laureates. The 2015
ceremony will be held on 5 October in
Geneva, Switzerland. he award includes
a commemorative medal and a US$
100,000 monetary prize. In close
consultation with UNHCR, the laureate
uses the monetary prize to fund a
project that complements their existing
The United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), was established on
December 14, 1950 by the United
Nations General Assembly. The
UNHCR has won twoNobel Peace
Prizes, once in 1954 and again in
Its headquarters are in Geneva,
Switzerland and is a member of the
United Nations Development Group.