Project Description: Scholarship Program:
2016 was the first year of our scholarship program, and in 2016 and 2017, Bamyan Foundation provided 66 full and partial scholarships, the majority of them to girls. Our partner organizations are: Marefat High School in Kabul, Bamyan Baba School in the remote province of Bamyan, and the ROYA Mentorship Program, a US-based organization that supports education for Afghan children, with a special focus on education for child-laborers. The schools are located in the country’s most historically marginalized Hazara minority communities. The approximate average annual cost (fees increase as students advance through grades) at Marefat is $355 per student, $200 per student at Baba in Bamyan, and $250 per each student through ROYA. Our primary objective is to provide 30-40 new scholarships in 2018.
At the end of our fundraising campaign in February, we allocate funds for each partner organization based on the total incoming donations, and communicate to our partners the number of students we can support. Once we agree on the number of students and type of scholarship (full or partial), both parties sign a contract, and we transfer funds. The contract is a critical part of the Bamyan Foundation’s work, because it obligates the partner schools not just to meet our financial reporting and accountability standards, but also to provide us with progress reports about the students. They provide the students' report cards after both mid-year and final exams, so the Foundation is able to ensure that the scholarship recipients complete the academic year and advance to the next grade, or if they’re seniors, that they graduate.
There are always more deserving students in our partner schools than there is funding available, and part of working in this high need environment is accepting that not everyone can be helped. However, the system we’ve built is one that’s scalable with almost no marginal increase in investment of time and resources. Now that it’s up and running, if we exceed our funding goals, we can easily increase the number of students we sponsor without increasing the reporting burden.
As these efforts gain momentum, we envision a growing reach both in institutions Bamyan Foundation can partner with and the number of students who can pursue an education and thus dramatically alter the trajectory of their lives. As the success of these interventions is demonstrated in future years, we will continue to cultivate relationships with funders at the foundation and individual level, resulting in scholars who are affiliated with the organizations who support them.