The campaign is over and we have raised more than $17,500 with a huge thank you to all of our contributors and to those of you who helped to share Maryam's story. For anyone who did not get a chance to donate before the campaign closed please feel free to donate directly to Maryam's education trust fund at TD Canada Trust (TD Bank Branch 3312, Account Number 6401626).
Maryam Sahar Naqibullah is an incredible young woman who worked as an interpreter for the Canadian reconstruction forces in Afghanistan. Even with significant risk to her own life and to her family, Maryam continued her dangerous work motivated by a strong sense of the importance of Canada’s mission and of supporting human rights in her country. Her story is eloquently captured in this recent article by Teresa Smith in the Ottawa Citizen:
Before she had turned eighteen, two of her best friends had been murdered by the Taliban for supporting the international forces and her eleven-year-old brother had been tortured to try to force him to reveal her identity.
Due to the increasing security risks that she faced in Afghanistan, Maryam came to Canada in October 2011 through the Afghan Interpreter Immigration Program. Because of her young age (she is only 19) and as the only female interpreter in the program she has faced some unique challenges. Most of the other interpreters in the program are older men who immigrated with their wives and children but as a teenager, Maryam was not eligible to bring her family with her to Canada. In addition, the very modest support that the program provided to her ran out in September of last year.
Maryam has been accepted to study international relations at Carleton University beginning this fall but is struggling to afford tuition and living expenses. To acknowledge Maryam's contribution to supporting human rights in Afghanistan and to help her build a successful future here in Canada we have launched this fundraiser to help her to pay her tuition.
The campaign set a minimum goal of $10,000, which we have met! This will cover Maryam’s tuition and books for at least her first year of university. We are now pushing hard to meet the final goal of the campaign - $30,000. This will cover Maryam’s full tuition for a 4 year degree, allowing her to take the weight of the world off her shoulders and focus all her energies on her studies.
Who We Are
The Brook Family is launching this campaign on Maryam’s behalf. All funds raised will be transferred directly into an education fund that has been set up for Maryam at TD Canada Trust (TD Bank Branch 3312, Account Number 6401626) to help pay for her tuition and other associated university costs. If folks are inspired to provide ongoing support once the campaign has finished this would also be a good vehicle to do so.
To Learn More
The following is a brief video that was filmed about Maryam in November 2011. Please note that although the video says that Maryam received a scholarship that information is not correct. She was admitted to Carleton University but she still needs to pay her own tuition which is why she needs your help!
You can also listen to a recent appearance by Maryam on CBC Radio's All in a Day at:
You can also listen to Pierre Bourque's interview with Teresa Smith on CFRA, through the following link (its the first interview on the August 27th podcast):