19 08, 2019

Today is Afghanistan’s Independence Day: 100 Years of Freedom, 40 of Them at War

2019-09-03T09:08:31-06:00August 19th, 2019|Afghanistan, General|0 Comments

Today celebrates 100 years since Afghanistan gained its independence. December will mark 40 years of violent conflict. And, if the most optimistic projections are believed, 2019 could be the first year of peace since then.

The eighth and possibly final round of talks between the United States and Taliban concluded earlier this month, with U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad tweeting, “if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on.” The agreement will open negotiations between Afghan parties over the country’s political future, providing a […]

17 06, 2019

World Refugee Day

2019-06-18T10:48:36-06:00June 17th, 2019|Programs|0 Comments

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 […]

28 05, 2019

In Wake of Taliban Peace Talks, Afghan Women Hope Basic Human Rights Still Theirs

2019-05-28T18:01:39-06:00May 28th, 2019|Afghanistan|4 Comments

Earlier this year the United States commenced peace negotiations with the Taliban in the hope of ending its 18-year military engagement in Afghanistan. While peace is on the table, other pressing issues are also at stake, namely the future of Afghanistan’s women.

Of utmost concern among the Afghan people is the possibility that the Taliban might regain influence in their country. Memories of life under Taliban rule are painful and, with no women invited to the negotiating table, women’s rights are especially vulnerable. The notion that Afghanistan could return to the repressive regime of the Taliban puts fear into the hearts […]

11 05, 2019

Mother’s Day: Honoring Our First Teacher

2019-05-11T10:18:52-06:00May 11th, 2019|General|0 Comments

Take a moment to honor your mom

What’s the first thing you remember? Is your mother in the memory? Is she teaching you something? Before you started kindergarten, before you went to preschool or had your first play date, your mother was in the picture. Maybe your grandmothers were, too. Mothers shape our lives. They teach us things. Some of those things stay with us throughout our life. We pass the teachings onto our own children and, years later, we give what we’ve learned to our grandchildren. Across generations, the teachings survive.

We reached out to two CAI donors and two overseas […]

8 05, 2019

Meet CAI’s New Executive Director, Alice Thomas

2019-05-13T10:50:14-06:00May 8th, 2019|General|6 Comments

It is our great pleasure to introduce Central Asia Institute’s new executive director, Alice Thomas!

Earlier this week, Alice also sat down with CAI Communications Director, Hannah Denys, to talk about her vision for Central Asia Institute and why she’ll be a powerful advocate for CAI’s beneficiaries and supporters. Here’s what Alice had to say:

Hannah: Alice, your name might sound familiar to friends of CAI…

Alice: Yes, many of you may already know me from my time on CAI’s board of directors. I joined the board in 2017 and served as the chair of the development committee and as a member of […]

19 03, 2019

Nowruz: Celebration of Good Fortune and Springtime

2019-04-26T12:02:18-06:00March 19th, 2019|Afghanistan Culture|0 Comments

As winter begins to loosen its grip, millions of people around the world will welcome the warmer weather by celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowruz.

Nowruz was originally a Zoroastrian tradition, but it has become a part of many different cultures. Countries, like Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, even observe it as a national holiday.

Nowruz – meaning “New Day” in Persian – coincides with the vernal equinox and the onset of spring. Harvest festivals, outdoor games and dancing, and presentations of nature’s bounty are all ways that the New Year is celebrated.

Want to have […]

12 03, 2019

The role of education in childhood development

2019-03-12T12:38:20-06:00March 12th, 2019|Tajikistan|0 Comments

Within the child lies the fate of the future. – Maria Montessori

The beginning of each human life is a time of unlimited potential. Every second, a baby forms more than a million new neural connections, linking curious mind to body. But the external circumstances of our early years determine a great deal of how much that potential we can harness.

Over the years, the importance of early childhood has become more clear. Early childhood development (ECD) is now considered a time which lays the foundation for an individual’s future overall health, happiness, success, and social behavior. The years of zero to […]

11 03, 2019

Advantages of Education for Kids in the Developing Country of Afghanistan

2019-03-11T10:58:33-06:00March 11th, 2019|Afghanistan|1 Comment

The education of children and women in Afghanistan is an emotional cause, with humanitarian urgency. But if you follow the numbers, it’s easy to see a ripple effect that impacts the entire nation – educating kids has advantages for the whole country.

Beginning at birth: Afghan children live longer when girls receive an education

The highest infant mortality rate in the world: for years, Afghanistan held that tragic distinction. The prevalence of conflict, widespread poverty, limited access to health services, and a lack of access to the schooling and cultural rights over decades compounded, resulting in devastating infant mortality statistics. In the […]

11 02, 2019

See the School You Built

2019-02-14T11:33:21-06:00February 11th, 2019|Programs|15 Comments

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. […]

20 12, 2018

Gender Equality in Afghan Education: Building a new start for a nation in turmoil

2019-01-07T13:02:02-06:00December 20th, 2018|Programs|1 Comment

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 […]