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 […]
By Sa’adia Khan
Before leaving for a photojournalism assignment I write a letter to my children. The hope is that I will return to dispose of the letter myself, but there is a real chance that I will not. As a photojournalist, working in developing countries, I fully appreciate the imminent dangers of certain regions; travel to these areas can be riddled with challenges such as landslides, flooding, and landmines. In one of my first assignments I was commissioned to travel to FATA [Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area], when my then 13-year-old son, asked me if it was safe to go […]
With more than 60 percent of its population currently under the age of 25, Afghanistan is on the verge of a crisis. Millions of young people are preparing to enter the workforce in the next decade. Yet, training opportunities that would prepare them for this important transition are almost nonexistent. The question is, will they be ready when the time comes? The United Nations and development organizations around the world want to make sure that they are.
Today is International Day of the Girl Child and this year’s theme is A Skilled GirlForce. Championed by the United Nations, the day marks […]
Gaining the Power of Choice in Central Asia
We don’t usually spend time considering the impacts of human choice unless our power to choose for ourselves is taken away. But for many young women living in Central Asia, the right to choose how their lives unfold was never an option. Whether dictated by culture, circumstance, family, or poverty, their paths are often already set. These young women may never make their own decisions about their career, their spouse, or even how they spend their days.
It’s all too common for women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan to surrender their chance for […]