Barakat Says Goodbye to Damon

On March 15, 2010, Damon Luloff stepped down as the Director of Barakat, a post he has held for the past two-and-a-half years. Barakat’s Board of Directors has established a transition committee composed of board members and staff to administer the organization until a new Director has been named.

Regarding Luloff’s departure, Ed Scribner, Chairman of the Board, said, “We deeply appreciate the accomplishments that Damon has achieved in the short time that he served as Executive Director. In less than three years, he significantly transformed the organization by assisting the Board to clarify Barakat’s mission, by creating an effective organizational structure, by attracting talented staff and volunteers to work in a greatly expanded office, and by developing a state of the art website.”

During his tenure, Luloff saw Barakat reclassified from a private operating foundation to a public charity as a result of increased public support. He also established Barakat’s Walk for Literacy as an annual event which has raised more than $50,000 for Barakat’s programs in South and Central Asia.

Luloff said he does not consider his decision to leave as an end to his relationship with Barakat but as a transition that will open the organization to new ideas that will foster its goal of increased literacy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

“Although I have decided to leave the post of Barakat Director, this in no way changes my hopes for its future,” said Luloff. Education is a fundamental human right that can give people the tools they need to take control of their lives and shape their futures. Over the past ten years the number of people attending schools and literacy classes in South and Central Asia as a result of funding from Barakat has constantly increased.

“Of course, it would be wonderful if the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India were able to provide quality schooling for all of their citizens in the future. But until that time, there are too many people for whom learning to read, write, and do math is unattainable. That is not acceptable. When an individual grows up without an education-that changes what is possible in his or her life. When an entire generation of people grow up without an education-that changes what is possible for a society.”

As far as his own future is concerned, Luloff is becoming more involved in early childhood education in the United States. “I remain committed to helping break the cycle of poverty that leaves people powerless to take control of their own lives. Just as education is the key to empowering people in South and Central Asia, it is also the key to empowering poor and at-risk children in the United States. “