A Lifetime Dedicated to Education: The Story of Kegdai Mobile School's Owner and Director

Maryam Amarkhil: Pioneering Education for Nomadic Girls

Maryam Amarkhil’s story is a testament to perseverance and dedication in the face of adversity. Born in 1996 in the Peshawar Zakhilo camp, she became the first nomadic girl to pursue higher education beyond a master’s degree.

Despite facing numerous challenges, Maryam remained steadfast in her pursuit of education, becoming an inspiration for countless other girls and women facing similar obstacles.

Maryam began her primary education at a school for Afghan refugees in the Zakhilo area of Peshawar. Since then, she has gone on to educate hundreds of other girls and women, empowering them to reach their full potential.

Today, Maryam Amarkhil is a prominent figure in the education sector, recognized for her pioneering efforts in advancing education for nomadic girls and promoting gender equality in Afghanistan.

Maryam Amarkhil’s journey began at the age of seven when she moved to a war-torn village in Maidan Wardag province. Despite facing numerous challenges, Maryam was determined to make a difference in the lives of the rural girls in her community. She encouraged them to pursue education and helped children in the province who were denied access to education due to conflicts and destruction of schools. Her efforts led to the construction of a girls’ primary school, which now educates over 200 students.


Maryam’s passion for education led her to pursue higher studies, and she graduated with distinction from Kabul University with a master’s degree in Pashto literature. Alongside her studies, she also worked part-time for her family and helped other women.


In 2016, Maryam launched the “Education Brings Peace” campaign, which aimed to promote girls’ education in remote areas of Afghanistan. She conducted door-to-door campaigns and held meetings with scholars and ordinary people to encourage families and elders to support girls’ education. The campaign has been a success, with hundreds of girls now campaigning in their areas.


Maryam’s commitment to women’s empowerment led her to establish a company called Zartar, which provides employment opportunities for 800 women in handicrafts, tailoring, and carpet weaving. The administrative team is entirely composed of women volunteers who run the program without any salary or privilege.


Maryam Amarkhil also opened two schools for nomadic children, known as Kegdai Mobile Schools. Most of these students are girls, and they represent the first generation of nomads with access to education. Today, Kegdai has active branches across the country, providing education to children who would otherwise be deprived of it.


Maryam Amarkhil’s journey is an inspiration for countless girls and women in Afghanistan and around the world. Her tireless efforts in promoting education and women’s empowerment have made a significant impact in her community and beyond.