When COVID-19 hit Central Asia in early April, the situation quickly escalated into a crisis. CAI responded quickly. We were in touch with our overseas partners daily to identify the most pressing needs of families and communities we’ve long served. Recognizing their vulnerability to the pandemic’s impacts, we moved fast to put together emergency programs to address food insecurity, the lack of PPE, and financial support for teachers who were suddenly without a salary when schools closed. We also worked to develop distance learning programs for children stuck at home with no access to books, computers, or the internet. New […]
Traveling to the field makes all the difference
If you’ve read Three Cups of Tea, you’re aware that Central Asia Institute was founded on the belief that sitting down with people and drinking tea together is the essential first step to accomplishing great things. Without those face-to-face exchanges, change is nearly impossible in that part of the world. Relationships of trust must be built before plans can be drawn for a new school, a teacher receives training, or a child walks into a classroom to begin her education.
In the spirit of our founding philosophy, Robert (Bob) Thelen, Central Asia Institute’s new […]
Your past support has changed the lives of hundreds of children enrolled at Kindergarten #5!
Earlier this year, the kindergarten’s principal, Zolfiya Nekpaeva, spoke with Mahbuba Qurbonalieva, the director of Central Asia Institute Tajikistan. She wanted to express her gratitude for the lifechanging renovations made to the 30-year-old kindergarten she oversees.
An Old School Transformed
In 1989, Kindergarten #5 was a brand-new building situated in the center of Khorog, a sleepy little mountain town nestled in the Pamir Mountains. Back then, Kindergarten #5 was a state-of-the-art facility, especially for such a small community, and recognized by the locals as […]
World Refugee Day Takes on a Different Meaning For Afghan Children
June 20th is World Refugee Day, marked by the United Nations to commemorate the crises and hardships experienced by the 68.5 million displaced people around the world, more than half of whom are children.
For millions of Afghan children, displacement is a way of life. It is deeply woven into their country’s fabric by decades of war, recurrent disasters like droughts and floods, and now by shifting political winds that have led some countries to no longer welcome them.
At present, Afghanistan has among the highest number of […]
In the spring, we asked for your help to build a new primary school in Pish, Tajikistan. The existing school was built years ago without any input from engineers or professional builders. As a result, the structure was falling apart. It didn’t have a proper roof or floor, which made it usable only in the summertime (and the summertime in remote Tajikistan is very short). Even then, the condition of the building made attending class dangerous.
With your help, we were able to raise the necessary funds to start construction in May 2018 and the new school was finished that winter. […]
We want the education by which character is formed, the strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.
– Swami Vivekananda
At first glance, Afghanistan’s education system is struggling. The country has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, with current estimates of less than one-third of adults able to read and write. For women, the numbers are even bleaker: an average of just 17% of women are literate, compared to 45% of men.
On paper, gender equality in Afghanistan is moot; legally, Afghan women […]
The plight of uneducated women in developing countries has thousands of faces. But with so many people in need, those unique stories are often overwhelmed by reports and statistics. In countries with war-torn histories, economic instabilities, widespread poverty, geographical remoteness, and lack of infrastructure, it’s all too common for the struggles of daily life to overshadow the importance of education. Central Asia Institute believes that shifting the course of a nation’s future begins with changing the individual lives of the girls and women who call it home. Such change has the greatest impact in the form of education.
“Women share this […]
Pakistan has one of the lowest literacy rates and the second-largest out-of-school population worldwide. The greatest impacts of those missed educational opportunities are felt by Pakistan’s girls and women — especially in outlying, mountainous areas of the country. Widespread poverty, early marriage norms, and a lack of safe or accessible school infrastructure create stark inequalities in girls’ access to education; in rural Balochistan, for example, the female literacy rate is a shocking 2%.
Instabilities in Pakistan’s social and political landscapes pull limited government resources away from areas like education. Over the past decade and a half, […]
The spirit of giving is grounded in gratitude. Throughout the holiday season, we take stock of our lives and our world—the good, the difficult, the beautiful and the hard. And inspired by the good, in spite of the difficult, we give. It truly takes a grateful heart to give generously. When we appreciate what we have, we understand the importance of sharing it.
This Giving Tuesday, in the spirit of generosity, Central Asia Institute invites you to change the world through the education of girls and women. Communities near and far are suffering division, violence, loss, and fear, but there is […]