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
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.

Apr 21, 2014

Afghan girls connect with sister school via Skype

real time skypecast at Rokhshana Girls School
real time skypecast at Rokhshana Girls School

It was late morning when the girls at Rokhshana High School in Kabul Afghanistan arrived at the school's computer lab excited and anxious.  They were about to see and speak (in real time) with students at their American sister school in Wisconin via a Skypecast.

At the beginning of the school year, most of these girls had never touched a computer, let alone understood what computers could do, but they all heard incredible stories about how computers could dramatically change their lives for the better and they were eager to learn.

Because of competing curriculum needs, even those students lucky enough to enroll in a computer class typically have access to computers just one hour a week.  Despite such restrictions, the girls learned the basic skill sets (Microsoft Windows, Word, and Excel), later advancing to Power Point presentations. Because Rokhshana was (and still is) one of the few schools in Afghanistan that has internet capability, the girls then learned how to navigate the internet.

At 3 in the morning and over 7,000 miles away, a group of sleepy, but excited American students crowded around a laptop and through the marvels of technology, connected with their equally excited Afghan friends for the first time.  The American students had thought they would need a translator to communicate, but the Rokhshana girls surprised them; not only were they able to speak conversational English, they were able to chat and easily discuss the exchange project both schools had worked on and had previously exchanged electronically.  For these girls who had come so far in eight months, it was an amazing moment they would not soon forget.

Stories like these are beginning to happen when Afghan girls are given the opportunity and the tools to succeed.  At HTAC, we are proud of the fact that almost 50% of the tens of thousands of Afghan students enrolled in our computer education program over the years have been girls.  Because of their motivation, girls consistently compete equally with boys in mastering computer skills and many of them go on to secure computer-related jobs upon their graduation.

By supporting our computer education program, you are making a difference for an Afghan girl forever.

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