AusAID’s Strategic Partnership Arrangement with BRAC and the UK Government, which commenced in 2012, includes support to BRAC’s education programs so that more children have the opportunity to advance to higher education.
Afsana Akhter has been studying medicine for the past two years. While she may seem like countless other students across the world, her humble beginnings make her stand out. She was able to rise from extreme poverty to become a scholarship recipient, which gave her the opportunity to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.
Afsana has three elder sisters and a younger brother. Growing up, she did not have much hope for a better future because her family lived in poverty, and opportunities were few and far between, especially for girls. Even though she and her sisters all attended BRAC primary schools, her sisters were married off before they were even given the chance to complete their secondary school.
In high school Afsana joined BRAC’s adolescent girls’ clubs (Kishori Kendros) which give girls the chance to socialise, play indoor games, sing, dance, exchange views, and experience all the activities that were frowned upon in their homes. The lessons Afsana learned in the club have remained with her to this day.
When Afsana scored high marks in her board examinations, BRAC University selected her for a scholarship, bearing the full cost of her post-secondary studies. After completing one semester in BRAC University, BRAC’s Centre for Language helped her get a scholarship in China. She has learned Chinese and is doing well in her studies.
Afsana has a dream to return to her villagers and provide them with medical assistance and access to proper health care. She believes that education is the key to unlocking a girl’s true potential. Without the assistance and support from BRAC, Afsana fears she would not have been able to achieve her childhood dream.
‘My family and I are thankful to BRAC for giving me the incredible opportunity to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. I never thought it would be possible to achieve one’s dreams, especially one that is so ambitious, but BRAC’s support and their belief in me has had a tremendous effect on me.’
Australia’s Strategic Partnership Arrangement with BRAC is helping to strengthen education systems so that more children complete the early years of schooling and can go on to complete secondary schooling and university.
(Reprinted with kind permission of BRAC)
Reference:Education unlocking girls’ potential