Help The Afghan Children

Our mission is to help Afghan children become educated, healthy, and productive citizens who are able to fully contribute to building Afghanistan's civil society. We accomplish this by working with supporting partners to establish model community-based schools in different regions of Afghanistan; by providing training to local educators to enhance their professional capacities; and by developing and introducing innovative learning programs
Jul 10, 2014

Closing the computer education gap

girls computer class
girls computer class

For most people in the West and around the world, the only news coming out of Afghanistan these days is the hotly contested presidential run-off election, charges of voting corruption, or the latest casaulties from a suicide attack.

But this past Spring, Help the Afghan Children enrolled another 3,750 girls in our computer education classes and for these deserving girls, gaining computer literacy and a chance to lead a proud, productive life are no longer a fantasy, but a realistic, achievable goal.

It was not that long ago when it seemed the most important thing was enrolling more Afghan girls in schools, and while those numbers began to steadily increase, a serious problem arose.  The overwhelming majority of girls graduating from high school had no marketable skills and earn a decent living.  Sadly, most of these girls were forced by their parents to marry (for the short-term economic gain of the daughter's family), and from pressure from their husbands, early child-bearing.

At the same time, a second problem was emerging that affected the entire country.  When the information technology marketplace burst upon the scene, Afghan government ministries, educational institutions, organizations and companies (large and small) were forced to hire people from other countries to fill I.T. related jobs because there were so few Afghans (especially women) who had such skills.  That meant, about 50% of Afghanistan's human resources (women) were not being utilized.

Help the Afghan Children, the first organization to bring cvomputer education into Afghan public schools, is doing its part to close this gap.  With our 2014 enrollments, HTAC has trained over 43,000 girls in computer skills and applications.  Earlier this year, we coordinated a historic real-time Skype between one of our schools in Kabul and their sister school in the United States.  In our classes, girls are learning how to develop spread sheets, power point presentations, and learning to navigate the internet and research information that helps them with homework assignments and projects. 

Our aim is not just teaching rils the technical applications of computers, but to give them real world skills, opportunities to secure computer-related jobs, and a new life.

May 8, 2014

Afghan boy becomes peacemaker

Mansoor, peacemaker
Mansoor, peacemaker

Young Afghan boys such as Mansoor, a student at Mirwais Mina High School in Jawzjan Province grew up in an environment where fighting and aggressive behavior seemed to be the only way to resolve conflicts.  But after enrolling in HTAC's peace education class, Mansoor discovered there was a better way to get along in the world.  When he observed two adult male neighbors beating one another, Mansoor bravely intervened and (at the risk of being injuried himself), used the skills he learned in class to mediate and resolve their conflict non-violently.  After listening to Mansoor talk about the benefits of living peacefully, the two men regretted their action and apologized to one another.

HTAC is educating and empowering a new generation of Afghan youth, like Mansoor, to become peacemakers.  Such efforts are having a profound impact in reducing fighting and aggressive behavior, not only in Afghan schools, but in homes (where violence commonly occurs), and entire communities.  By choosing to embrace peaceful, everyday living, Mansoor and thousands of Afghan boys each year are rejecting a culture of violence and are no longer vulnerable to extremist elements.

May 8, 2014

Model schools give Afghan girls a future

Sorya High School
Sorya High School

Although much has been made in the general media about the increased enrollment of Afghan children in schools, the sad fact remains that only a very small percentage of these children are gaining the kind of knowledge and skills they will need to become productive citizens in a country that remains a fragile democracy.  This is especially true of girls.

HTAC-supported model schools like Sorya High School represent a bright spot in giving thousands of Afghan girls an enriched educational curriculum that all girls deserve, but only an estimated 5% receive.

This mostly girls school was established in 1961 as a middle school (grades 7 through 9), and ten years later, was enlarged to accommodate the educational needs of many older students in the surrounding neighborhoods.  In 1992, during the Afghan Civil War, the school was burned and badly damanged and lay dormant until 2002.  Two years later, an international non-profit organization made several structural and other renovations. 

In coordination with Afghanistan's Ministry of Education and local school officials, HTAC began providing additional educational support and teacher training for Sorya High School in 2008.  Since then over 10,000 girls have directly benefited from our programs- including peace education, computer education, environmental education, literacy and cultural exchanges.

Today, Sorya has an average yearly enrollment of over 2,500 girls and 270 boys from grades 1 through 12.  The school boasts 65 classrooms, has 107 teachers, a principal and 8 administrative staff.  For recreation, Sorya has a playground for both volleyball and basketball.  Recently a team of girls competing with other schools captured first place in volleyball and third place in basketball.  

HTAC has put a premium on establishing and supporting centers of learning that make it possible for Afghan girls to thrive and succeed.  Supporting our model schools will allow HTAC to continue providing quality education to many thousands of girls and boys.

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