"I wish one day people will remember Afghanistan not for war but for its standards of education"
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."
Few humanitarian honours possess the rich legacy of UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award. Established in 1954, the Nansen Refugee Award is named after Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations. The award is bestowed to a person or group for outstanding work on behalf of the forcibly displaced. The Nansen Refugee Award, through its laureates, aims to showcase the values of perseverance and conviction in the face of adversity.