Sakena Yacoobi, who received the 2009 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership for her efforts to educate women and children in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and elsewhere, has become the latest in a series of Kravis Prize recipients to be awarded the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) prize.
Yacoobi accepted the award, which includes a $500,000 cash prize, during a WISE conference held earlier this month in Doha, Qatar. The conference also featured remarks by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who is the mother of Qatar’s emir (pictured, above, with Yacoobi, center).
“It is particularly meaningful because this is such a crucial time in Afghanistan,” Yacoobi said of the award, expressing her wish to dedicate the prize to “the AIL and all of the women, men and children we are educating.” AIL refers to the Afghan Institute of Learning, which Yacoobi founded in 1995.
According to the Saudi Gazette, the $500,000 prize from WISE, which was established by the Qatar Foundation, honors individuals and teams that are bringing real educational change to communities around the world.
Now in its fifth year, the WISE prize has recognized five laureates, four of which are past Kravis Prize recipients:
2011: 1st WISE prize recipient in 2011 – Sir Fazle Abed of BRAC, 2007 Kravis Prize recipient
2012: 2nd WISE recipient – Dr. Madhav Chavan, 2010 KP recipient
2013: 3rd WISE recipient – Vicky Colbert, 2011 KP recipient
2015: 5th WISE recipient – Yacoobi
(The 2014 recipient of the WISE prize was Ann Cotton of Camfed)
During her 25-minute speech in the Qatar National Convention Centre, First Lady Obama told delegates “[i]f we truly want to get girls into our classrooms then we need to have an honest conversation about how we view and treat women in our societies and this conversation needs to happen in every country on this planet, including my own.”