Sponsoring medical students

Help change a young woman’s life by sponsoring her through medical school.

There is a shortage of female doctors in Afghanistan but a lot of women who want to study medicine. Our scholarships programme for medical students is growing and we have so far funded tuition fees for more than 40 women studying to become doctors. We also sponsor 15 midwifery and nursing students. But we want to support many more.

Selecting students

Throughout our selection process, we aim to select the brightest candidates from the poorest backgrounds, who would not be able to continue their education without financial help.

Many have had difficult lives, with significant family illnesses untreated due to poverty, family killed in fighting or bombings, overcrowding with no private space, and hunger. They show great commitment and resilience to keep studying in such circumstances.

First doctor

In 2020, Shahriwar became the first of our sponsored students to qualify as a doctor, a milestone for her and the Foundation. She is now working as a doctor at a hospital in her home province of Badakhshan – see her story below.

Another six women have completed their academic studies although their hospital-based practical training has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

After six years, our programme is starting to make a real difference, thanks to our supporters.

Sponsor a medical student

If you are interested in sponsoring a young woman to become a doctor (£1,400 a year) or a midwife or nurse (£200-£425 a year), please get in touch.

By sponsoring a medical student, you will make a lasting difference to an individual woman’s life and to the future of Afghanistan.

Read the stories of some of the medical students below.

Shahriwar’s story

“My life changed when I got this opportunity from your organisation.”

Shahriwar wrote of the struggles she had persuading her father not to give up on her education in our 2014 newsletter.

Shahriwar’s family lives in Badakhshan province, which borders China and Pakistan in the extreme northeast of Afghanistan. At that time, her father was unemployed and could no longer support her, and so wanted her to marry. Eventually, he relented and she enrolled at Zawul university to study medicine. She intended to work her way through university but was unable to find a job. She was just about to give up and return home when she saw an advert for a Linda Norgrove Foundation scholarship.

In 2020, Shahriwar graduated, completed her 18 months of practical training in hospitals, and is now a doctor in a new hospital in her home province.

Bahania’s story

Bahina’s father was a doctor, who was brutally killed during the civil while she was still a young child. Since then her family has been supported by her uncle with 14 people living on £150 a month.

She attended one of the top high schools in rural Badakhshan province and was an outstanding student, regularly coming top of her year. In her final year she obtained 100% in all 16 exams but that wasn’t enough to secure a government scholarship. Thanks to your donations she now has guaranteed support from the Linda Norgrove Foundation until she completes her studies.

Nasiba’s story

Nasiba is 22 and from a remote area of Ghazni prov­ince. She did well at school and was accepted to study accounting at university but her family wouldn’t allow her to go.

Her father is paralysed following a car crash, her uncle was killed in conflict and his family lives with them, making a total of 12 in the household. They have a piece of land where the main crop is potatoes.

Her scholarship to study midwifery in Ghazni city is her chance to make her own way in the world.

Tabasum’s story

“Your scholarship will help me to achieve my goals and dreams.”

Tabasum comes from a rural area of remote Takhar province in the north of Afghanistan. Her father supports a household of 14 on an income of £138 a month. He moved his family to the provincial capital so that the children could attend better schools.

Tabasum was the top student of her year but was unable to gain a government scholarship to study medicine. Determined to pursue a medical career, she started sewing bags and teaching neighbours’ children to try and save enough to attend a private university. This proved impossible, but a Linda Norgrove Foundation scholarship is now helping her to achieve her ambitions.

She says: “You will have made a great contribution in my future success, and I am sure I will make you proud.”

Kamila’s story

There are seven in Kamila’s family and they’ve had a tough time since her father died. Because of their financial circumstances, she is the only member of the family to learn to read and write.

Kamila decided that she wanted to be a doctor after an incident when one of her sisters nearly died from malaria. The family and neighbours had to carry her miles to the nearest hospital and only just got there in time to save her life. Kamila says, “I thanked Allah and decided to be a doctor to help myself, my family and my community.”

With your donations, she can.

Khatera’s story

Khatera is from Jawzjan province on the north­ern border with Turkmenistan, which has been a battleground between the Taliban and government forces.

When her mother became ill a few years ago, there was no treatment available locally. Her father, a policeman, sold their house and took her to hospital in Pakistan. Khatera’s mother has recovered but now the family of 11 has to rent.

Khatera was top of her school year but, despite outstanding grades, was not selected to go to the government university because of a quota system. Without a Linda Norgrove Foundation scholarship, Khatera had no chance of becoming a doctor. Now she does.