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
Apr 2, 2013

6 schools get new computer program

ceremonies marked the opening of new computer labs
ceremonies marked the opening of new computer labs

Far from the bustling capital of Kabul, Afghanistan lies Farah Province, a vast sparsely-populated and underserved region of the country where many Afghan children and their families do not have access to good schools and services.  Two years ago, Farah was a tinderbox of fighting between NATO and Taliban forces, and thousands of families were forced to flee to refugee camps in the north.

While the Taliban threat remains to some degree, another challenge is giving Afghan youth better access to educational and training resources; especially when it comes to job skills such as computer education.  Today, a huge computer literacy gap exists between youth in Farah Province and those in more developed, urban regions who are gaining greater access to computers and using their skills to find jobs.  Compounding the problem, Afghanistan's Ministry of Education's resources (spread so thin), is unable to make a sufficient investment in Farah.

To begin closing that gap, HTAC launched a program to educate and train an estimated 600 high school boys and girls at six targeted Farah Province schools.  It marks one of the first computer literacy initiatives for students attending public schools in the entire region.  Not only will HTAC equip these students with critical computer skills, but also assist them in seeking computer-related jobs in the area when they graduate.

The program is off to an encouraging start.  Fully-equipped computer laboratories were established at each of the participating schools.  Ceremonies attended by provincial, district, and local school officials as well as students, teachers and parents marked the opening of the new facilities.  In late March, 360 boys and 240 girls from grades 10 through 12 enrolled in the first courses.

If past history serves as any barometer, the lives of the great majority of these students will be changed for the better.  Most-importantly, HTAC's initiative will make it easier for the Ministry of Education to provide future computer education support for thousands of students at these schools in years to come.

Apr 2, 2013

Peace education also helps Afghan women and girls

peace education helps girls and women
peace education helps girls and women

In a highly conservative, male-dominated society like Afghanistan, women and girls are often treated like second-class citizens.  Most everyone is painfully familiar with stories of how the Taliban treated women and prevented girls from attending school during their rule, however, even today, when girls and women have the right to attend school, seek jobs, vote, and become productive citizens, there remain many regions of the country where girls and women are routinely harassed, hit and abused by boys and men without a second thought.

HTAC's peace education and conflict resolution programs in schools and local communities are working to stop this cycle of abuse by educating boys and men that treating girls and women with honor and respect is not only consistent with the teachings of Islam, but demonstrates real strength (for males) and is beneficial for the community as a whole.

Our school program helps boys (who have often been the victims of violence and bullying themselves), deal with their anger and fear, learn how to forgive others, build self-esteem, and teach them the values of peace and cooperation.  A key element  is teaching boys to respect girls and women; that as males, they have a special responsibility to honor, respect their rights and to protect them from harassment or abuse by other boys and even men.

In the community, we often begin by educating and gaining the support of local male leaders to not only to honor and respect women, but also help them understand how women can contribute to a more peaceful, cooperative community as a whole by providing their unique perspectives; that there is value in allowing women to participate in community meetings and become decision-making partners along with men.

The educational process is sometimes long and there are no quick solutions, however (for initiatives lasting over a year), HTAC has seen a steady, consistent reduction of harassment and abuse (against girls and women) in schools, homes and communities compared to orginal baseline results.  In addition, there are positive indicators of greater cooperation between men and women, increased involvement of women in local community affairs, reduced aggressive conflict between families and more stabilized communities.

HTAC is especially gratified to see many boys and men (former abusers of girls and women) become some of our strongest advocates for the protection of women and their rights.

Jan 8, 2013

Afghan students get high marks in computer exams

Each year, HTAC gives thousands of Afghan high school students the opportunity to learn a skill that will change their lives forever - computer education - and each year, Afghan girls and boys demonstrate their passion and commitment in gaining computer skills that help them either obtain a much-needed job, advance their education, or improve the lives of their families.

In 2012, 6,700 students from various HTAC-supported schools in Afghanistan completed our computer education program, and over 98% of them successfully passed their final computer exams and evaluations!  This measure of success is all the more remarkable considering the fact that the great majority of these students had never seen a computer before enrolling in the class.  Before being given a passing grade, students must demonstrate their knowledge and technical skills in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel (and for 12th graders) Power Point.  For those schools with internet capability, students learn how to navigate the internet including accessing information to complete school assignments.

By supporting this program, you are making a true difference in the life and future of an Afghan girl or boy.

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