Preschool #2 Update: A vision realized, brick by brick

Barushan is a small town nestled in the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) region. A poor and isolated province, GBAO grapples with neglected infrastructure and limited economic opportunity. Many of the schools in the region have not been renovated for decades, putting children and teachers at risk of building-related illness and injury. Despite the perilous conditions, families have remained steadfast in their commitment to education.

Preschool #2 Progress

A pillar of hope and opportunity

Since its establishment in 1962, Preschool #2 has been the only preschool in Barushan, serving the 3 to 5-year-olds of the community. Even with sagging ceilings, mold, and smoke-stained walls from coal-burning stoves used for heat, there was a waitlist to get in. That’s when you stepped in to help.

Fresh on the heels of constructing and opening a model school in Udit village in 2019, Central Asia Institute broke ground on Preschool #2. Although the work is now in its final stretch, the path has not been easy since construction began in 2021. Supply chain limitations of the Covid era exacerbated the existing challenges of high mountains, dangerous roads, and harsh winter weather. 

Construction progress of school in Tajikistan-man on scaffolding

The completed school will contain five classrooms, a kitchen, a nurse’s office, and art and music rooms. It will have central heating, indoor latrines, piped water, and electric power.

During 2021 and 2022, construction crews laid a strong foundation for the two-story building that will serve 125 3 to 5-year-olds. Spring of 2023 has seen progress on completion of the second story as well as interior plastering, heating, and eletrical work. Throughout the summer and early fall, the building will continue its transformation into a safe and high-quality educational environment for Barushan’s youngest learners.

The home stretch

The impact of Preschool #2 will be monumental for the 125 preschoolers, their families, and teachers—and it won’t stop with them. As a model school for the region, the school will be home to training workshops for teachers and administrators and serve as an example for future projects in the area. With a built-to-last design and materials, the school will serve these 125 preschoolers along with hundreds more in the years to come.

Support from the friends of Central Asia Institute has made this work possible—and there is still time to help this project get to the finish line. Please consider a gift to Preschool #2 today.

Girl on playground

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