Known as ‘Mother of Education’ in Afghanistan, Sakina Yaqoobi was awarded the prize for taking education to marginalized communities.
“It is particularly meaningful because this is such a crucial time in Afghanistan,” she said, while receiving the prize in Doha, capital of Qatar.
She founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in 1995, providing schooling and healthcare in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan as well as setting up the secret home schools, which closed down when Taliban rule ended in 2001.
“I dedicate the prize to the AIL and all of the women, men and children we are educating,” Yaqoobi added.
After she moved back to homeland when Taliban were ousted, she expanded her work, helping 12 million people, many of them girls, in rural and marginalized parts of Afghanistan, according to WISE.
Set up by the Qatar Foundation, the $500,000 education prize awarded by WISE recognizes individuals or teams who successfully address global educational.
Among her significant activities for promoting education, she has also opened private schools under her own name, set up a radio station, and plans to establish a university for women as well as a television network.