“One of the best 501(c)(3) charities to donate to because girls’ education empowers communities to build a peaceful and prosperous future.”

–Sally W. CAI supporter

The Path to Lasting Peace Begins with Education

Education creates empowerment, encourages growth and opportunity, and combats ignorance and fear. We strive to increase access to education in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan – countries where education is most desperately needed.

For more than 20 years we’ve worked where many NGOs haven’t ventured, where there are often no roads, no schools, and no hope. We start at the end of the road with the communities most in need of help. Our methods leave convention behind in favor of real world solutions that make the most difference.

Create Programs that fit the need

Each community faces different obstacles to education, and a one size fits all approach just won’t work. Over the years we’ve developed a variety of programs to meet the needs that traditional programs may not cover. These include construction of schools, vocational trainings for older women, literacy, scholarships, health and clean water access, and more. As communities grow, their needs change and we are ready to help them.

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She is the Key

While CAI programs educate both girls and boys, we’ve found that focusing on girls creates the biggest impact. Girls and women with education are more likely to share this knowledge with their children, families, and communities. Unfortunately, these women and girls may have a more difficult time accessing education than their male counterparts.

A girl who is educated is less likely to become a child bride or die in childbirth, and her family will be healthier. She can help raise her family out of poverty by bringing home more money with every year of schooling she completes. When women are educated, it improves the wellbeing of the whole society.

International Partner Organizations Lead the Way

It is the guidance, knowledge, and hard work of Central Asia Institute’s international partner organizations that make accomplishing our mission possible. These organizations are comprised of local professionals in each region who manage our projects, distribute materials, and ensure that operations run smoothly. They create the personal connections with communities that are vital to the success of these programs and determine the need for new programs and growth to ensure we are serving the people in the best way possible.


Central Asia Institute has three partners in Afghanistan that manage programs from the northern regions of Badakhshan and the Wakhan, to the capital city of Kabul, as well as areas closer to the Pakistan border. These organizations are key to our relationships in these areas and our ability to work in places many other NGOs are not able to.

Star of Knowledge
Director: Muhammad Nadir Hanifi
Locations supported: Badakshan, Baghlan, Ghazni, Kabul, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangrahar, Paktia, Panjshir, Parwan, Urozgan, Wardak

Marcopolo Social Services and Reconstruction Organization
Director: Janagha Jaheed
Locations supported: Badakhshan, Tarkhar

SSEOA (Shining Star Educational Organization of Afghanistan)
Interim Director: Abdul Subhan Misbah
Locations supported: Kabul, Badakhshan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kapisa


CAI began in Pakistan, in one of the most rural and poor villages. Many of our greatest accomplishments and innovative ideas began in this country with the help of the dedicated and talented people who run our partner organizations in Pakistan. Without the knowledge and commitment of these partners, many of these schools and programs may not have come to fruition.

Central Asia Educational Trust
Director: Akhtar Rasul
Locations supported: Islamabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Baltistan, Punjab

Central Asia Institute Gilgit
Director: Saidullah Baig
Locations supported: Gilgit, Hunza, Ghizer


Tajikistan is the most recent addition to the countries where we work. It’s the poorest of the former Soviet bloc countries. CAI works closely with our partner in Tajikistan to address the conditions under which students learn. They help identify crumbling infrastructure in need of repair and updating Soviet era learning methodologies to help the struggling country to meet its education objectives.

Central Asia Institute Tajikistan
Director: Mahbuba Qurbonalieva
Locations supported: Gorno-Badakshan-Autonomous-Oblast (GBAO)