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1 Year Scholar Cost Just £1,750

The Farkhunda Trust

The Farkhunda Trust was set up in response to the many attacks on girls and young women seeking an education across Afghanistan. Our mission is to provide scholarships to women from disadvantaged backgrounds to enable them to pursue higher education and, ultimately, to contribute to shaping a progressive Afghan society.

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How many scholars the Farkhunda Trust have supported?

The Farkhunda Trust (FT) have been providing scholarships and mentorships to 19 disadvantaged girls in Kandahar, Kabul and Ghazni who come from Wardak, Ghour, Bamyan, Kapisa, Ghazni Kabul, Kandahar and Herat provinces. Five FT scholars have graduated, and four of them are working as managers and teachers in the government and private sector. One of the graduated scholars is on maternity leave. 14 FT scholars are currently studying in Kabul and Kandahar. Both graduated and current scholars of the FT have mentees at university for coaching and helping to raise awareness at the community for women. 95% of the FT scholars achieved marks between 70-98% on average.


How many scholars the Farkhunda Trust Will be supporting in March 2021?

The Farkhunda Trust (FT) is going to support a minimum of 10 scholars in Kandahar, Kabul and Helmand based on the availability of resources. Announcements that the application period for scholarships has opened will be posted on 5th October on university and FT websites, and will be shared with different departments around the universities, women’s centres, and Afghan women’s networks. The application will close on 5th Dec 2020. No applications will be accepted after 5th December.Farkhunda Trust Scholarship Selection Criteria The intention and rationale for focusing on women is due to the prolonged lack of access to education and professional opportunities, reinforced and justified by religion, culture, poverty and insecurity. The scholarships will enable some women to participate more fully in the development of Afghanistan, more specifically ensuring equitable representation of marginalized and vulnerable groups through increasing their access to education.

To be eligible for application to the FT the candidate should meet the following criteria:
• Is female and living in Afghanistan, between the ages of 16 and 30 years old. The age range has been stipulated due to the reason that the retirement age in Afghanistan is 60-65. This will enable opportunities to be available for those just accessing higher education as part of their career path, but also opens up opportunities to older women. These are women who have had to abandon their studies for various reasons and enables them to apply for senior level
government jobs and develop their capacity in management through leadership training;
• Has proven eligibility for entry to higher education but have been unable to take up a place due to economic reasons and other pressures;
• Is recommended by a partner institution or by another Institution such as an NGO;
• Has a degree (70-100% graduating grade) from high school;
• Financially disadvantaged, lacking financial resources to continue education;
• Has a passion for education, and exceptional academic ambition and promise;
• Has solidarity with other women, a desire to combat discrimination, and is prepared to support other female students; and
• Provides a complete application (details below). Priority will be given to female students from rural areas, and to ensuring that scholars represent the diversity of Afghanistan, in terms of ethnicity and regional background. Applications will not be accepted from relatives of anyone involved in any
part of the process of submission or selection for scholars. Applications from women with disabilities or from marginalized ethnic or religious groups are
particularly welcome. Process for Applications The shortlisting of applicants for the FT will be undertaken by the Oversight Committee in Afghanistan made up of representatives from: Universities/Academia, Women’s NGOs, educational charities/bodies.

There are 3 stages for the selection of the applicants:

Stage One: In this long listing stage, university academia committee members including the FT coordinator will exclude non-eligible applicants.
Stage Two: Screening the long list will take place by the full committee and relevant FT Coordinator. FT coordinator will visit the highest scoring candidates, at home. Where applicants live in distant provinces crosschecking will take place through cooperation with civil society organizations. A shortlist will be generated.
Stage Three: In this final stage the Trustees and Director of the trust will assess all the shortlisted applicants to ensure the FT criteria and its partner university’s policies have been considered. The final selection and announcement will then be undertaken. The selected candidates, the parents of the scholars and associated community leaders will sign a joint letter of commitment.

Social development: Expertise and funding.


“It is education and knowledge that enhance innovation and inventors in the world.” – Rahela Sidiqi, Director of the Farkhunda Trust.

Afghanistan has the legal framework to protect women’s rights through its Constitution, labour laws, civil laws. Civil Servant Law and Elimination of Violence Against Women have been signed and ratified and are underpinned by CEDAW and UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

But there are challenges and barriers that block women from progress.

In addition, political leadership positions are given to women and they are doing their best to do the job effectively.  For example, we have 27% female MPs in the lower house and 21% in the upper house, 240 judges, 2 ministers, 3 independent chairs, 12 deputy ministers, 3 ambassadors and many diplomats. There are 3,126 women in the police, 1,179 in the Army, 3,755 doctors, 85,177 female civil servants and 800 businesswomen; $77m, through 1,700 private sector areas, is invested for women’s economic empowerment. Afghanistan’s first lady Rula Ghani is proactive in the manner of queen Soraya Tarzi, therefore connecting the women rights activists is more closely to the palace then ever before.[1]

According to  Human Rights Watch (HRW) Afghanistan is still one of the worst places for women to live and honour killing is still common practice.[2]  Just last week, it became known that a woman in Faryab had been beaten continually by her husband and father-in-law, for five years. This took place because she was exchanged with her brother’s wife at an early age, under the badal system. She is just 17 years old and her body is marked with burns from boiling water and knife cuts.[3]

– 87% of Afghan women face violence.
– 70-80% of Afghan women marry before the age of 16.
– 80% of all Afghan suicides are women.[4]

Most unemployment issues in Afghanistan are related to lack of education, knowledge and skills[5]. 80% of the group who are suffering are women. In rural areas, stoning, abuse and beating inside the home is still common.  In the workplace, harassment of women is not adequately addressed.

There is a huge need for female doctors. For example, there is just one (female) physician per 5,000 women.