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Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi awarded with 2015 Nansen Refugee Award by UNHCR

Sep 17, 2015 11:05 IST

Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi was on 15 September 2015 awarded with the 2015 Nansen Refugee Award by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Asifi dedicated her life to bring education to refugee girls in Pakistan.

Aqeela Asifi was awarded for her brave and tireless dedication to education for Afghan refugee girls in the Kot Chandana refugee village in Mianwali, Pakistan. Despite minimal resources and significant cultural challenges, Asifi guided a thousand refugee girls through their primary education.

Asifi is a former teacher who fled from Kabul with her family in 1992, finding safety in the remote refugee settlement of Kot Chandana. She was dismayed by the lack of schooling for girls in the village. But she was determined to give these girls a chance to learn and with time she convinced the community and began teaching just a handful of pupils in a makeshift school tent.

About UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award
• UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award recognizes extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.
• The award includes a commemorative medal and a 100000 US dollars monetary prize. This prize money is further used by  the laureate to fund a project that complements their existing work in consultation with UNHCR.

About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
• The UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly.
• It safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees and stateless people. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives.
• UNHCR is on the front lines of the world's major humanitarian crises including Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and countless other emergencies.

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