Shabana’s classroom in Afghanistan

Watching Shabana Shine


As the sun rises over Parwan District in Afghanistan, 8-year-old Shabana wakes and joins her parents and eight siblings for breakfast. The day will be busy as usual, as Shabana helps her mother and prepares herself for school. But Shabana relishes it.

As a young girl, she didn’t know if she would ever get the opportunity to attend school because there were simply no options nearby. Instead, Shabana spent her days helping with chores and tending the family’s cattle. But when Central Asia Institute opened a classroom in her community, it was her father who made sure Shabana got registered.

Families play an important role in education

Shabana’s father, a shopkeeper who travels frequently for work, has been an enthusiastic supporter of her education. He knows how critical education is for ensuring a bright future for his children. And the efforts are already bearing fruit. Shabana’s teacher praises her work ethic and excitement for learning. Her reading comprehension is growing daily, and she is mastering new skills in writing and math.

For Central Asia Institute, family and community involvement is a key part of a holistic education. Our partners in Afghanistan have worked hard to create, train, and support community councils that give parents and families the opportunity to be closely involved with their children’s schools. The strong parent-teacher relationship means that children can transition smoothly from home to school, and teachers can more easily understand and support challenges that arise in a child’s life.

Students in a CAI supported school

Students in a CAI supported school.

It takes a (global) village to move the needle on education

 When Shabana and her classmates depart at the end of their school day, they take home their artwork and worksheets to share with their families. Being enrolled in CAI’s school has become a point of pride for the students and their families, and the demand is high for more classrooms in the community. With the generosity and dedication of CAI supporters, we are working hard to meet this demand and continue our lasting investment in these rural communities. Thank you!

Students in a CAI supported school

Students in a CAI supported school

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