Education:
Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities

Where We Work

Where CAI works

The blue line indicates the area where we work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

For nearly 25 years, Central Asia Institute has been supporting education in some of the most remote, impoverished, and insecure pockets on Earth. Our vision is a world where all people – regardless of sex, age, income, ethnicity, or nationality – have access to education to help them achieve their aspirations and realize their full potential. With the dedicated support of our donors, we are making that vision come true, one child at a time.

Our programs seek to make a lasting difference in the lives of girls, boys, women, and men of all ages. We do so by developing platforms that holistically support the full spectrum of education — from students and teachers, to school infrastructure and career development. We focus on remote areas, often high in the mountains, where other organizations can’t or won’t go and where literacy rates are shockingly low.

A challenging environment for girls’ education:

In the regions of Central Asia where we work, poverty, domestic chores, and conservative cultural norms often place additional pressure on girls to forgo education. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that of the millions of children who are out of school, the majority are girls. When it comes to education, we believe that “she is the key.” Our programs place a special emphasis on increasing girls’ access to education – not only to level the playing field but also based on the unique contribution of girls’ and women’s education to healthier, more prosperous, and more peaceful societies.

Together we’re investing in education at all levels and for every age group:

In the countries where we work, significant numbers of children are not currently enrolled in school. In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, for example, upwards of 40% of children aren’t in school. The majority are girls. In these regions, the biggest obstacle to education isn’t a lack of interest. It’s a lack of access. CAI increases access to education by supporting educational programs at all levels from preschool to adult learning.

Studies show that children who learn from high-performing teachers will excel at learning. But what happens when there is a shortage of qualified and capable high-performing teachers? Students struggle. We believe that one of the most effective ways to ensure that students and their communities thrive is by investing in teachers.

TEACHERS

Programs - Teachers

Studies show that children who learn from high-performing teachers will excel at learning. But what happens when there is a shortage of qualified and capable high-performing teachers? Students struggle. We believe that one of the most effective ways to ensure that students and their communities thrive is by investing in teachers.

Put yourself in the shoes of a young Tajik child attempting to learn while debris from a decrepit roof trickles down onto your desk. School buildings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan are commonly in such poor condition that they distract students. And in some cases, they endanger their lives. CAI renovates and rebuilds schools and funds community-based education programs to provide students with safe and healthy learning environments.

SCHOOLS

Programs - Schools

Put yourself in the shoes of a young Tajik child attempting to learn while debris from a decrepit roof trickles down onto your desk. School buildings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan are commonly in such poor condition that they distract students. And in some cases, they endanger their lives. CAI renovates and rebuilds schools and funds community-based education programs to provide students with safe and healthy learning environments.

While women in Central Asia work just as hard as the men in their families, they rarely get paid for their labor. Central Asia Institute supports vocational training programs that help provide women with the skills they need to earn an income and pursue a career. Empowering them to contribute to their families’ income not only increases these women’s self-esteem and stature in the community; it can also shift cultural attitudes towards women for generations to come.

CAREERS

Careers - Programs

While women in Central Asia work just as hard as the men in their families, they rarely get paid for their labor. Central Asia Institute supports vocational training programs that help provide women with the skills they need to earn an income and pursue a career. Empowering them to contribute to their families’ income not only increases these women’s self-esteem and stature in the community; it can also shift cultural attitudes towards women for generations to come.

STUDENTS

Students - Programs

In the countries where we work, significant numbers of children are not currently enrolled in school. In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, for example, upwards of 40% of children aren’t in school. The majority are girls. In these regions, the biggest obstacle to education isn’t a lack of interest. It’s a lack of access. CAI increases access to education by supporting educational programs at all levels from preschool to adult learning.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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CAI is a U.S.-registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #51-0376237. Contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S.