German-funded DAFI scholarships open up a world of opportunity for Afghan refugees in Pakistan Reviewed by Momizat on . Press Release 25 years of higher education for refugees German-funded DAFI scholarships open up a world of opportunity for Afghan refugees in Pakistan ISLAMABAD Press Release 25 years of higher education for refugees German-funded DAFI scholarships open up a world of opportunity for Afghan refugees in Pakistan ISLAMABAD Rating: 0
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German-funded DAFI scholarships open up a world of opportunity for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Press Release

25 years of higher education for refugees

German-funded DAFI scholarships open up a world of opportunity for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Government of Germany today marked 25  years of  the  German-funded  Albert  Einstein  Academic  Refugee Initiative  (DAFI), that  provides  means  for  refugees  to  pursue  a higher  education.

Since 1992, the programme has provided financial support scholarships to refugees to study at universities and colleges in the countries where they have sought refuge. DAFI is the only global programme helping refugees access higher education.

Riaz Darmal, a DAFI Alumnae speaking during the DAFI event. (c)UNHCR/A.Shahzad

Riaz Darmal, a DAFI Alumnae speaking during the DAFI event. (c)UNHCR/A.Shahzad

In Pakistan, some 1,200 Afghan refugee students have benefited from the scholarship. There are currently some 115 DAFI scholarship holders studying at different universities across Pakistan. These students are enrolled in courses covering agriculture and forestry, social and behavioural sciences, commercial and business administration, computer science, medical science and healthcare, natural sciences, engineering, law and mass communication. Enrolment process for the 2017 scholarships programme begins in August.

The DAFI scholarships have made a substantial contribution to the education and development  of  many  young,  talented  refugees,  enabling  them  to  expand  their  horizons  and  explore their full potential.

Riaz Darmal, Director of Water Supply, Sewerage and Environmental Affairs in Kabul, Afghanistan, a former DAFI student says: “As a refugee it is always challenging to pursue higher education, DAFI eased my tension in carrying out higher studies smoothly.”

Sadruddin, Agriculture Specialist at Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) in Kabul, Afghanistan was also a DAFI scholar in Pakistan. “The socio-economic vulnerabilities caused by continuous conflict in Afghanistan were such that without a scholarship I would not have been able to pursue higher education.” Sadruddin added: “The academic achievements in life have subsequently paved the way for me in getting a position with reputable organisations. I owe my success to DAFI scholarship that I had received.”

Tamanna, a current DAFI student who studies dentistry in Peshawar says: “I borrowed money to continue studies as we couldn’t pay for college fees. But now I don’t have to worry about fees as this scholarship will cover my expenses for four years.”

To commemorate the 25 years of DAFI, UNHCR organised an event in Islamabad attended by former and current DAFI scholarship holders; German Ambassador to Pakistan, Ina Lepel; Arshad Mirza, Secretary for States and Frontier Regions; Chief Commissioner Afghan Refugees, Dr. Imran Zeb Khan; United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Neil Buhne; UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk; UNHCR Country Representative, Indrika Ratwatte and representatives from embassies, civil society and educational institutes.

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