Nansen Refugee Award

Nansen Refugee Award

Aqeela Asifi
©UNHCR / S. Rich

The 2015 winner

Aqeela Asifi is an Afghan refugee living in Pakistan whose tireless efforts to help girl refugees access education have made her a true symbol of triumph over adversity. As well as offering displaced girls a pathway out of poverty, the school that Asifi created in Kot Chandana refugee village also gives pupils the opportunity to build a new future when they return to Afghanistan. "When you have educated mothers, you will almost certainly have educated future generations," Asifi says. "So if you educate girls, you educate generations."

Aqeela Asifi: 2015 Nansen Refugee Award winner

Breaking the Cycle: Education and the Future for Afghan Refugees

Report: "Breaking the Cycle: Education and the Future for Afghan Refugees"

A report commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council with support from UNHCR. (PDF format, 1.18 Mb)

Executive Summary: Conflict is one of the most powerful determinants of whether a child is out of school. Half of the world’s out of school children are in conflict zones. That’s a staggering 29 million young minds out of the classroom. Statistics show that when conflict disrupts a child’s education they are less likely to resume. The tragic irony is that those countries whose children are out of school are the very ones that are in the greatest need of educated citizens to help them rebuild. Afghanistan is a prime example of such a nation.