Scholarship Programme for Afghan Scholars and Students at Risk
The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan uprooted large parts of Afghan society, placing hundreds of thousands of individuals at risk because of their political views, activism, previous work and affiliation with international organisations and NGOs. Many human rights defenders, journalists, students and scholars are unable to continue their important work towards securing a free and democratic country where human rights are protected. Thousands of individuals have already left the country, many are still desperately awaiting evacuation opportunities.
From this crisis, the GC stepped into action on several levels. As an immediate response, the GC supported evacuation efforts and mobilised its wide alumni network for volunteer support to processing paperwork for evacuations and visa. At the same time, we reached out to our member universities to ask them for their availability to host Afghan scholars and students, and were encouraged by the strong willingness expressed by many Rectors and Professors in our network to join the project, providing threatened individuals a safe haven in very uncertain times. After having secured financial support from the European Union and Right Livelihood, and with additional contributions from Kahane Foundation and Fondazione Venezia, we created the Scholarship Programme for Afghan Scholars and Students at Risk.
Within the framework of this project, we are placing scholars and students at our GC member universities to continue their work and studies for the 2021/22 academic year and beyond, especially those who are under threat because of their research and activism, or at particular risk of exclusion from academia because of their gender or ethnicity. Recipients receive a living allowance, along with the safety to continue to study and thrive in an academic environment.
With this programme, we hope to provide a small contribution to empowering the Afghan human rights community now in exile, to offer young Afghan changemakers a perspective to continue their work and activism abroad, and to draw on the strength of our global human rights network. It’s a drop in the ocean but a meaningful one.
As of January 2021, we have 2 recipients firmly placed – at the Universities of Bucharest and Ljubljana – with numerous others with confirmed placements for early 2022. Please continue to check back to this website for updates on the project.
We are continuing to receive requests and are working to place recipients within our network. For more information or to nominate a candidate, please contact the project office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the GC cannot assist with evacuations from within Afghanistan, and for the time being, we are only accepting applications by nomination only.