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- Building Schools
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- Construction Update
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Afghan Connection aims to provide excellent school facilities for existing schools, many of which lack any kind of proper building. Each construction will have new classroom blocks and access to a resource centre that will house a library, computer room, meeting hall and science laboratory. We also provide latrines, a well and for the girls' schools, a surrounding wall if necessary. Sport will be encouraged in all of our schools for girls and boys. The communities are keen to collaborate with Afghan Connection and have provided land and labour for our work.
Our aim is to fund at least two school constructions a year. Fundraising is currently underway for Siaab School, Rustaq, and school for 352 girls. Find out more here
See our update on Dihmeeran Schoool here
See our update on Ghulam Rasool School here
Where We Work
Worsaj is a mountainous district of North East Afghanistan with a population of 70,000. Afghan Connection's education initiative here is designed to make a more sustainable impact in a smaller area, rather than continuing to fund school construction across broader geographical areas of Afghanistan.
The majority of adults in Worsaj are illiterate, but are determined that their children should have an education. The area is very remote and difficult to reach, but once there the security is good and we work closely with our partners The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan who are well known and respected in the region.
The impact of our projects in Worsaj has been so successful that we have been invited to support the neighbouring districts of Fakhar and Rustaq
"For Afghans, it is our strong belief that education is the most powerful means for achieving a sustainable peace and stability" Farooq Wardak, Education Minister for Afghanistan.
Afghan Connection aims to make education projects self-sustaining. Over the coming years we will be providing training and infrastructure to District Education Authorities, contributing to their ability to introduce and maintain schooling. Our projects will be used as templates to help develop education across Afghanistan.
11 District education employees have been given training in Worsaj and have been equipped with computers and printers. This District Education Department (DED) is one of few outlying districts which is computerised. In 2011, AC provided 4 laptops, in 2012, 3 more were provided including one for our programme monitor. Two, week long, headmasters training sessions have been funded. Two graduates from our schools have been employed by AC to monitor our Worsaj Education Project, providing feedback for donors and updates on our progress.
Farkhar is the neighbouring district to Worsaj and has similar ethnic make up, security and attitude to education. The DED there, has been asking AC and SCA to include Farkhar in our programme. SCA agrees that this would be a good way to spread our work as, economically it makes sense as we are already in the area. The plan is to include the Farkhar DED in training and to motivate and share training sessions. We can bring the two together more and they can learn from each other.
A further idea is to include the school committees (each school has a committee of community participants who take an active interest in matters of the school) in the training so they can lobby the Provincial Education Departments and the Ministry of Educaiton. They will also encourage the community to maintain and repair their own schools, so the community will no longer be dependent on SCA and Afghan Connection in the future.
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In January 2014 AC launched its appeal to raise funds for the construction of Dihmeeran School. This is an AC Community Based School that Dr Sarah Fane has been visiting for several years and is attended by 354 pupils (178 girls and 176 boys). Three years ago, the villagers signed a petition (those who are illiterate used their thumb prints) asking AC to fund the building of a school for their children, who currently study outside or in dilapidated, cramped classrooms.
Thanks to our wonderful donors, funds were quickly raised for this project. Further to this excellent news and despite the appalling weather, which has plagued the North of Afghanistan throughout April and early May, construction of Dihmeeran School started on time. The villagers are offering free labour to help build this school, and the photograph shows the foundations of the school being laid in May 2014. This marks tremendous progress and we are proud to be building a school in this remote area, where the majority of adults never had the chance to go to school.
GHULAM RASOOL SHAHID SCHOOL
In November 2013 the appeal was launched to raise funds for the construction of this school for 600 children.The National Geographic provided the cornerstone for this appeal, with a matching fund of $80,000. This was the most successful fundraising campaign in AC’s history, with full funding for the school reached 7 weeks ahead of schedule. Further to this excellent news, construction of Ghulam Rasool Shahid School has started on time. The villagers were so determined that work should go ahead, that they built a better road to the construction site, something which has proved crucial in the torrential downpours which have plagued the North of Afghanistan throughout April and early May.
AC was very excited to receive photographs, showing the foundations of the school being laid in May. This marks tremendous progress and we are proud to be building a school in this remote area, where other NGOs have been unable to wok due to their isolated location. The school will be a beacon of hope for students, teachers and the community.
BIBI ZAINAB SCHOOL
A new school for 700 girls that will include a resource centre comprising a science lab, computer room, library and meeting room. We are encouraged that there is such tremendous desire from the parents in this area to have their children educated. None now pull their daughters out of school before completing their education and some are even married but still continuing studying. Fifteen year 12 girls graduated to university last year, 5 more than the previous year. The girls in year 12 are currently applying to university and the faculties include Law, Medicine, Engineering, Religious Studies, nursing and teaching.
ABDUL BASHIR SHAHID SCHOOL
Abdul Bashir Shahid Primary School is located about 5km from the centre of the Worsaj District. The school is attended by 39 girls and 52 boys, it has 4 female and 2 male teachers and at present covers grades 1-4. The school operates out of an old, dilapidated house where some students study inside but many others have their lessons outside. It is difficult to teach and study effectively in this kind of environment and terms are often weather dependent. The new school construction is underway and will provide 6 classrooms, 3 admin rooms, latrines and a well. This will transform the working environment for pupils and teachers alike. Although this is currently a school for less than 100 children, numbers will increase significantly over the next few years and the school will extend to grade 6.
The Annoy School construction project is now complete.The objective was to build a school for 564 children - 272 boys & 292 girls - who previously studied outside with no classrooms, toilet facilities or access to drinking water. Now finished, the school has 8 new classrooms, 4 administration rooms and latrines.This building will transform the working environment for pupils and teachers creating a safe environment where children will be taught at a desk in classrooms and where both teachers and students alike can study in peace and with purpose.
In 2006, a grade 1 community-based class was set up in Kemyan as the village was too far for the children to walk to the nearest government school. It proved so popular that each year, further classes were added. However the children were studying in a dilapidated building where the roof has collapsed and it was also too small for the number of students.Now the children of Kemyan community-based school have a brand new school building with 6 classrooms. There are 291 girls and boys attending the school and it covers grades 1-6.
IMPACT OF PROJECTS
More parents will have confidence to send their children, especially their girls, to school and older girls will be more likely to stay in education if there is a secure environment.
LONG TERM IMPACT
Giving these children the opportunity to access and/or complete an education means that there is more possibility they will find skilled employment, economic prosperity will improve and they are more likely to ensure that their own children have an education. Beyond these outcomes, the children educated in AC funded schools in Worsaj have also expressed the ideal that they want to become the generation that brings peace and prosperity to Afghanistan. They want their education to make a difference.
AC has prioritised Siaab School for a new school building as part of the Takhar Education Initiative. The school covers grades 1-9 and has a total of 14 female teachers. Currently the girls have to share the local boys’ school and according to custom, Afghan boys and girls study in separate shifts. Consequently, none of the children benefit from a proper education but study for just a few hours each day. The aim is to raise funds in order to construct a building for the girls. This will not only give them their own safe and secure classroom block with a surrounding wall but it will also transform their educational experience and give them a greater chance to complete an education.
PROJECT PROPOSAL AND COSTS: The proposal is to build a new school building for the girls. The land already exists. The project will comprise ten classrooms equipped with chairs and desks, four admin offices, two storerooms and a 260m surrounding wall. The project will also include ten latrines and a well.
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