28 09, 2018

PART II: Crippling Drought Grips War-Torn Afghanistan

2018-09-30T14:00:44+00:00September 28th, 2018|Afghanistan|0 Comments

Last week, Alice Thomas spoke with us about the ongoing drought that has taken hold of Afghanistan. In part two of the conversation, she explains the direct impact of drought on education and migration. Hannah White (HW): What do our readers need to know about drought and education?

Alice Thomas (AT): It’s challenging enough for girls to get to school in rural Afghanistan, but in times of drought it becomes harder for them. And it becomes so much more important to have more robust funding for education to help cover families’ out-of-pocket costs in […]

23 09, 2018

Part I: Crippling Drought Grips War-Torn Afghanistan

2018-09-27T14:50:20+00:00September 23rd, 2018|Afghanistan|1 Comment

Afghanistan is in crisis. Already plagued by seemingly endless war, more than two-thirds of the country is now experiencing the effects of a crippling drought.  Some sources are calling it “the worst drought in decades”[1] and UNICEF estimates 500,000 children are affected by the disaster[2].

Alice Thomas is an expert on situations like this. In 2010, Alice joined Refugees International to launch the Climate Displacement Program, bringing with her over a decade of experience in international development and environmental law and policy. The goal of the program is to advocate for solutions to address the increasing impact […]

12 06, 2018

ISIS Attack on CAI-Supported Schools

2018-06-12T11:43:09+00:00June 12th, 2018|Afghanistan|3 Comments

We are deeply saddened to report that earlier this month ISIS militants in Afghanistan attacked two schools supported by Central Asia Institute. Fortunately, neither students nor staff were hurt in the attack, however, the main gate and adjoining portions of the boundary wall were destroyed when a bomb was detonated. CAI’s implementing partner in the region, Star of Knowledge (SKO), has made the decision for the safety of everyone involved, to temporarily suspend program activities at those locations. SKO and the community will continue to evaluate the situation and determine next steps at a later date.

Our hearts go out to […]

1 05, 2018

Photo Update: New Construction to Keep Children Safe

2018-05-07T12:02:45+00:00May 1st, 2018|Afghanistan, Pakistan, Programs, Tajikistan|5 Comments

For many in Central Asia, education takes place outdoors. Without classrooms or school buildings, students sit in chairs or on a carpet. If there is enough money, the school can buy a tent to keep rain and wind from stopping a lesson.

With little else to distinguish where a school property begins or ends, strangers can wander right onto the property or lurk at its borders. If that sounds concerning to you, it is as well for parents. Too often, that danger results in children kept at home, away from a threat of kidnapping or abuse. In conservative communities, where many […]

27 04, 2018

In Wake Of Recent Attacks On Schools, Boundary Walls Are Essential

2018-04-30T16:24:07+00:00April 27th, 2018|Afghanistan, Field Notes|7 Comments

For the last 10 years, attacks on schools by Taliban insurgents have been almost unheard of. According to a recent New York Times article, Taliban school attacks “proved so unpopular with communities that the insurgents announced that they would not be continued, even claiming to support girls’ education.”

Things changed on April 11 when insurgents struck a girls’ high school in Logar Province and set it on fire. A separate assault was conducted on a school in Nangarhar Province the following Saturday. Labs and archives were reportedly set ablaze.

Although both operations occurred at night and no students were harmed, the […]

13 12, 2017

Afghan Food Celebrates Culture and Tradition

2018-07-03T09:44:09+00:00December 13th, 2017|Afghanistan, Afghanistan Culture, Journey Of Hope|5 Comments

During this festive time of the year the sweet smell of seasonal treats and the taste of traditional holiday foods connect us with familiar memories of family and culture. Hanukkah has just begun and many people are sharing potato latkes and sufganiyot(jelly donuts) or sitting down to meals of savory Brisket. People who celebrate Christmas are enjoying traditions from many cultures including specialty cookies, cakes, and puddings that hail as much from ancestral regions as they do family tradition. In many of the countries where CAI works, food plays an important cultural role during holidays, and nowhere is this more apparent than Afghanistan.  Afghan food plays a central role in culture, gatherings, and holidays.

4 12, 2017

Computer Skills Training in Northern Afghanistan is Revitalizing Schools

2018-03-28T08:10:29+00:00December 4th, 2017|Afghanistan, Impact, Journey Of Hope, Programs|2 Comments

In northern Afghanistan most schools don’t have computers. Teachers and administrators must keep track of grades, attendance, and lessons by hand. It’s not always lack of access to computers that’s holding these teachers back, but a lack of computer skills training and understanding of this new technology that keeps them isolated.

14 11, 2017

A Woman’s Place

2018-03-28T08:12:33+00:00November 14th, 2017|Afghanistan, Impact, Journey Of Hope|2 Comments

There is a saying in Afghanistan, “Women should stay home or in the grave.” This sentiment is a remnant of the Taliban-era, when women could be whipped in public for baring their ankles, lose a finger for painting their nails, or be thrown down a flight of stairs for hosting an informal school in their homes.

30 10, 2017

What About the Boys? Educating Boys is Still Important in Developing Countries

2018-03-28T08:19:58+00:00October 30th, 2017|Afghanistan, General, Pakistan|5 Comments

Educating girls in developing countries has been the focal point of NGOs and charity organizations for many years. The UN highlighted girls’ education in both the 2000 Millennium Development Goals and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.  While these goals include educating boys too, they call out the disparity in gender specifically. CAI also singles out girls’ education as an important focus in our mission, noting that girls face higher social and economic barriers to education than boys in the countries where we work.

20 10, 2017

Afghan Kuchi Tribes Thrive With Community Education

2018-03-28T08:19:53+00:00October 20th, 2017|Afghanistan, Impact, School Building, Maintenance, Equipment and Supplies, Spring Campaign|6 Comments

In the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, where agriculture is still the main source of income, semi-nomadic Kuchi tribes still move with the seasons, following ancient cultural traditions. In the past these tribes roamed across the region in search of grazing grounds for their herds of sheep and camels, but government borders, private land, and changing climate have drastically reduced the number of people who still travel, and the places they can go.