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.
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.
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.
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.
For 20 years CAI has focused our efforts on educating people, especially women, in the most remote areas of the world, knowing they will have the biggest impact. This journey is long and difficult, and we’ve learned that even the best-laid plans sometimes need to shift. This is the case with the Ray-e-Abisham primary school in Ishkashim, Afghanistan, one of the featured projects we’ve been writing about in our Spring Construction Campaign.
Two weeks ago we received an urgent request from Wakil Karimi, director of Star of Knowledge (SKO), one of our partners in Afghanistan. The country is facing one of the largest refugee crises in the world, and thousands of displaced refugee children may miss out on years of schooling if we don’t act fast.
In the late 1970s, Pakistan welcomed Afghan refugees with open arms, but attitudes towards the immigrants soured after 9/11.
Newton's third law states, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our reaction to terrorism and ignorance, is peace and education. So we are making a pledge.
The morning of August 25, a 10 hour assault on the American University of Afghanistan by unidentified militants came to an end. At least 13 people, including seven students, were killed and some 44 people were injured, none of them associated with CAI.
The children of Kamp-e Farm Hada are lucky to have Owsubila looking out for their education. In this village, parents see education as the only way out of poverty, even for their girls.