BENEFITING: Central Asia Institute
Central Asia Institute (CAI) operates primarily in the rural areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and southern Tajikistan. For a decade, CAI focused on providing girls with fundamental schooling, following the logic of scholars who report substantial changes in the areas of health, civic engagement, and financial wellbeing if students receive at least a fifth-grade education. But the organization’s mission evolved and expanded in early 2000s, when the need and the passion for higher education could not be ignored any longer.
What began as a small side project to help parents afford school fees and supplies, morphed into a full-blown scholarship program. Today, CAI supports 259 students, most of them girls, with scholarships.
Some of these young women are desperately poor, possessing the will, but not the means to pursue their education; others are role models, rising to the top of their classes and consistently scoring well on their exams; a few dream of breaking into professions historically dominated by men. Whether it’s courage, need, or merit that earns them a scholarship, all these young women have one thing in common – potential.