Friday January 27, 2023

30 years of DAFI scholarships celebrated

By Our Correspondent
November 16, 2022

Islamabad : The UN refugee agency and Inspire Pakistan on Tuesday celebrated 30 years of a German scholarship programme for Afghan nationals.

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Pakistan Noriko Yoshida, the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative (DAFI) scholarship programme has transformed the lives of over 2,800 refugee students across Pakistan since 1992, and over 21,500 learners around the world. It provides scholarship opportunities for third-level undergraduate students, majoring in fields including medicine, engineering, social and behaviour sciences, business administration, mathematics and computer sciences.

"The DAFI scholarship programme contributes to the promotion of self-reliance of refugees by equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge and professional qualifications for future employment. The programme is aimed at the development of highly qualified and skilled human resources that can play a vital role not only in Pakistan but also in the reconstruction of their country of origin." Noriko Yoshida said investment in education would contribute to the economy of the refugees' host country and support their communities once they returned to rebuild their lives.

“By enabling refugees to fulfil their potential, the scholarship programme has a transformative effect and changes their lives forever.” “Education does more than teach academic skills – it provides students with a safe place to grow and learn life skills, such as cooperation, responsibility, and respect,” noted Qaiser M. Siddiqui, CEO of Inspire Pakistan, which is implementing the DAFI programme.

He said the scholarships were awarded on a competitive basis with regard to merit, excellence and financial need. "The programme grants scholarships to deserving young refugees enrolled in recognised universities, colleges and polytechnics in Pakistan. In 2022, half of the 175 scholarships were awarded to women, compared to a quarter previously.