About Yalda Hakim Foundation
The Yalda Hakim Foundation (YHF) was established in 2018 by acclaimed international journalist Yalda Hakim to support the education, human capital development, and professional advancement of exceptionally talented young women from Afghanistan — in particular those from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds — through scholarships, internships, and mentoring. Its inaugural initiative in 2019—a full four-year scholarship program at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), then Afghanistan’s premier institution of higher learning—attracted several hundred applicants from across the country, of whom three women were selected through a rigorous competition.
What We Do
In response to the closure of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), the Yalda Hakim Foundation worked with multiple governments to organize the successful evacuation of over 110 American University of Afghanistan students from Kabul, the majority of whom are now safely continuing their studies at the American University of Iraq Suleimani (AUIS) in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. In addition, the Yalda Hakim Foundation led the evacuation of over 100 other at-risk Afghans, including prominent media figures and women leaders, to a temporary site in Albania, where YHF, in cooperation with leading NGOs and the Government of Albania, has been coordinating critical support services for the Afghan community, including primary education and healthcare.
Since the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021 and the subsequent humanitarian and education crisis that has gripped Afghanistan, the work of the Yalda Hakim Foundation has evolved—and grown even more urgent.
Beyond the emergency evacuation effort, the Yalda Hakim Foundation remains focused on helping the most promising young Afghans—whether in Afghanistan or refugees in third countries—to achieve their dreams of higher education. To this end, in October 2021, the Yalda Hakim Foundation launched the “New Afghan Scholars Initiative,” which will identify approximately a dozen talented young Afghans for scholarships to leading universities in the United States and in the region, including Georgetown University Qatar. In addition, the Yalda Hakim Foundation has partnered with Oriel College at the University of Oxford to establish a first-of-its-kind one-fellow graduate fellowship, which will commence in 2022.
While the challenges facing Afghans, and especially Afghan young women, have never been greater, the mission of the Yalda Hakim Foundation—as the leading non-profit (organization), dedicated exclusively to creating education opportunities for young Afghans—has never been more important.
One of the goals of The Yalda Hakim Foundation is to identify, promote and invest in the work of local and international advocates and educators.
Through our scholarship program which includes mentorships and internships, we are harnessing the power of technology so that the next generation of Afghan women are in a position to not only reach their full potential but also be equipped with the skills they need to gain employment, both in Afghanistan and internationally.