Tajikistan landscape

In a mountain village in Tajikistan, a new preschool brings hope and promise

By Sonja Bahr

In the pocket-sized mountain town of Barushan—like everywhere in the world—young children love to play, explore, and let their imaginations soar. It’s all part of the process of brain development that, under the right circumstances, can benefit a child throughout their life. But to fully capture the enormous advantages that early childhood education provides, the children of Barushan must have a school.

Girl on playground slide

Preschool #2, the only preschool in the village, was built in 1962 with inadequate materials and over the years, fell into disrepair. The walls and ceilings were sagging, mold was growing in the corners, coal-burning stoves used to heat the rooms belched smoke, and small children were forced to use the dilapidated wooden outhouses with no running water. Despite the awful conditions at the school, there was a waitlist to get in. When CAI staff visited Preschool #2 in 2019, it was clear that the building was unsafe and unhealthy, and that the community was in dire need of a new school. 

Building construction

Spring / Summer 2021:
Crews begin construction

Fall 2021:
Construction halts for winter

That’s when CAI’s generous donors stepped in. Thanks to their generosity, construction crews broke ground on a new preschool in the spring of 2021. Once completed, the two-story building will accommodate even more young preschoolers aged 3 to 5—125 children total—from the surrounding area. In addition to five classrooms, a kitchen, a nurse’s office, and art and music rooms, the new school will have central heating, indoor latrines, piped water supply, and electric power. The end result? A safe, healthy, child-friendly school where these young children can thrive and parents will feel it is safe to leave their little ones.

Following a pause in construction during Tajikistan’s brutal winter months, crews resumed their work in spring of 2022 with the goal of completing the second floor before winter sets in. The final touches, including playground equipment, furniture, and more, will be added next summer. The doors will be opened for a new class of preschoolers in fall 2023.

Construction in Tajikistan

Spring 2022:
Construction on the second
floor begins

School building under construction in Tajikistan

Summer 2022:
Construction on the second
floor continues

There is still time for you to get involved in this exciting project! Your support today will ensure a brighter future for generations of children to come.

And for those wishing to make a more significant investment in the school, please consider joining the bricklayer’s society by making a gift of $1,000 or the builder’s society by making a gift of $5,000. There is even an opportunity to sponsor a whole classroom. To all of you who already supported Preschool #2, thank you for bringing hope and promise to the families of Barushan!

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