I want to share with you more news about how the daycare you helped to build in Afghanistan has been embraced by the local community as a center for education, support, and opportunity. This summer, the Center was used in a new way: to provide educational support for school-age girls in the village.
Thankfully, we were able to keep the daycare program running during the hot summer months with a new cooling system. However, the Center was not being used in the mornings before the daycare opened, so our staff brainstormed a way to make even further use of the Center and support the ongoing education of girls in the community. When we asked local weaving families if they would be interested in morning classes to provide additional learning and support for girls enrolled in school, the response was overwhelmingly positive. The families are eager to see their girls excel in their studies- and 54 students attended classes from 7 am to 10 am throughout the summer! Each morning, they participated in exercises to strengthen their academic abilities and prepare for the coming school year. The skills gained through the prep courses will help these girls to continue their education with confidence.
Now in its third year, the Center recently welcomed a new class of 40 children. While our daycare provides a nurturing environment for young children and prepares them to enter the public school system, the morning classes were an opportunity for girls to thrive at the next level of their education. These programs have created a stronger sense of community ownership of the Center, and we continue to see a shift in attitudes toward valuing the education of children, including girls. Because of your generous gift, the Center can continue to grow its presence in the local community and to provide invaluable support for the children of weaving families.
With deep gratitude,
I’m thrilled to share two updates with you from our early childhood development center in Afghanistan that you have so generously been supporting.
Firstly, we are happy to report that we were able to install a cooling system in the daycare center. Without this cooling system the center would have had to close during the summer months because it would have been too hot for the children to stay in the center. Thankfully the daycare can stay open and the children can remain in a comfortable and nurturing environment while their mothers weave.
Our second update is a truly joyous one. In June, we celebrated International Children’s Day at the center. As you can see from the photos, the children celebrated in style – with cake, presents and party hats! While this day was a day filled with fun and games, it also holds a much greater significance.
Afghanistan is consistently named one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a child, and one of the worst countries to be a mother. Therefore this was also a day to celebrate and reflect on the opportunities that this program provides to both the children and their mothers. Women are able to concentrate on their craft and earn more income for their family, while their sons and daughters are in a separate, healthy and educational environment with an opportunity to learn, play and thrive with peers. It was a celebration of childhood, motherhood, and the empowering opportunities that they now have – thanks to your support.
We cannot thank you enough for giving these children and mothers such a beautiful reason to celebrate.
With heartfelt gratitude,
I am happy to share some heartwarming news from Balkh province in Afghanistan, where you are generously supporting a daycare center.
There are currently 38 children enrolled, including kids from remote rural families so GoodWeave provides transportation to ensure their inclusion. Their days are divided between basic lessons, meal time and play time. Please take a look at the photographs to see them in action!
While this center cares for the immediate needs of these vulnerable children, there was always a bigger picture and intention here: to set a precedent for educating rather than employing children, especially girls. And we are thrilled to share that this is proving true – the children who “graduate” from our Center are thriving and continuing in their education.
I recently met with two girls from the Center who are now in elementary school. I talked to their teacher who spoke enthusiastically about their school work: “The girls are really intelligent students. They are with a courage and can speak well [in] front of others... Overall, I’m happy from them and I really appreciate GoodWeave for their service.”
GoodWeave may provide the service, but you GlobalGivers, provide the support. I hope this report has shown you how you are truly making a difference in the lives and futures of these children.
Sharif M. Niazi
We are delighted to introduce you to the second ever class of students at the daycare center you so generously support! We just received the adorable full roster and thanks to you, 36 boys and girls ages 2 to 6 are now getting a hot daily meal, basic lessons and structured playtime. The curriculum includes Math and Dari in the morning and dance and sports in the afternoon.
The community continues to embrace the Center, coming together recently to celebrate the "graduation" of the first class -- almost all of whom have gone on to the next level of schooling. This is precisely the point of the Center – to give vulnerable children an educational foundation and to give their mothers time to concentrate on their handiwork, earning more income to be reinvested in their family.
Abida, one of the teachers, is delighted by the change she sees in the kids. "When they came here first, they couldn’t even talk. They were very shy. They didn’t want to see or talk to anyone. They didn’t know how to sit or how to eat. But now read poems in front of everybody."
Thank you for helping us welcome the new class and we look forward to sharing more pictures and anecdotes during the coming year.
Five-year-old Sharifa is one of the 30 children who is directly supported by the daycare you helped bring to Balkh, Afghanistan last summer. Sharifa, whose name means "honored", is the only child of her laborer father and carpet weaver mother. If not for the daycare, she would likely be at home all day and given hashish as a sedative so her Mom could be productive on her loom.
This practice, while tragic, is all too common in Afghan weaving villages. According to the recently published article linked to this report: “The most important material in carpet making in Qalizal [Afghan village] is not wool, but hashish.” This is why building a daycare center in an area known as the ‘Burgh of the Weavers' was critical.
We recently spoke to the parents of students in the daycare to see how their kids' behavior and learning has progressed and the broader impact the center has had on the entire family. Sharifa's parents proudly shared that she has learned to eat food with her right hand, is incredibly polite, and is very interested in her lessons. And apparently, she takes really good care of the notebook, pen and school cloths that your donation helped provide.
Sharifa is one girl and this is one daycare, but we hope you know the true power of this program. Just a couple weeks ago, on October 11, we observed the International Day of the Girl. This day is gaining in popularity because of Malala Yousafzai, the inspiring Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education. You are part of this growing movement and helping us reach into these remote villages where girls like Sharifa would otherwise have no access or opportunity to learn.
On behalf of Sharifa -- thank you and happy belated International Day of the Girl.
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GoodWeave Executive Director