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May 26, 2020

COVID-19's impact on Afghanistan

A student with 4 daughters receiving a food pack
A student with 4 daughters receiving a food pack

Hello dear friends, 

All of us here at AAE hope you and your communities are keeping safe, wherever you are. Schools around the world are closed because of the pandemic and AAE schools are no exception. Afghanistan does not have the infrastructure to support e-learning, so education for many students is simply on pause until this virus passes.

As such, this project to open new schools is also paused. All this global uncertainty presents a challenge when planning, but we are committed to the education of women and girls in Afghanistan, and are hopeful for the future. 

Our team has been busy responding to the needs of our particularly vulnerable students, including some who are widowed, single mothers. Their work at tailoring shops or schools has stopped and they have no income. We have been distributing packages of food and cash to support them while the city is essentially closed.

It is not easy working in Afghanistan, and COVID-19 adds an extra layer of difficulty. Please keep safe and well, and we will do our very best to do the same. 

Mar 30, 2020

The only window of hope: A letter from Khatera

The AAE hopes you and your family are doing well during this difficult time. Schools across Afghanistan are closed because of the COVID-19 virus, including AAE's schools. We're hopeful for a quick resolution to this crisis so we can return to class. 

In the meantime, one of our students, Khatera, asked to share her story with you. Here it is.

"In 1995, due to the civil war, my family was forced to migrate from Kabul to Quetta, Pakistan. The shift had considerable impacts on me and my family. I was working along with my father as a carpet weaver to pay for the very basic needs of our family.  During the eight years of residency in Pakistan, I couldn't make a way to get an education. "

"In 2003, I came back to Afghanistan and settled in Kabul.  My family permitted me to get an education. As a 14-year-old old girl, I wasn't allowed to get admission in public school, because of my age. The only option was to attend literacy classes." 

"The literacy classes were only up to third grade.  After graduation from literacy classes, I was desperate to pursue my education.  I made several attempts to get admission to public school, but each time failed because of my age."

"After several months of searching, I found Aid Afghanistan for Education schools, which had no age restriction for students. I got admitted in fourth grade. The school program was suitable for my age and needs. The 12 years schooling period compressed into 7 years and 8 months.  The learning process sufficiently contributed to my development.  During my school years, I acquired good knowledge and skills.  I made some good, life time, friends, who are quite effective in my life." 

"After graduation, I passed the Kanker Exam (annual entrance exam to Kabul university) and got admitted in social studies in my favorite university.  After graduation from university, I followed my dream of becoming a teacher.  I was recruited by a private school, where I am teaching social subjects." 

"Now, I am teaching to hundreds of girls and women and helping them to be capable personalities.  Meanwhile, I am contributing to my family by paying the school costs of my two sisters." 

"I am proud of myself and seeing myself a capable person, by having the capacity to contribute to myself and others. Indeed, this achievement would be never possible, unless I had the chance to study at AAE school."

We are so proud of Khatrera and students like her who rise above their cirumstances to achieve their dreams. Thank you for contuing your support of Aid Afghanistan for Education, and take care. 

Jan 27, 2020

Awaiting election results in Afghanistan

Dear friends, 

Happy New Year! We hope that you and your families have had a restful holiday season and peaceful 2020 so far. We certainly felt the love from you - our global community of supporters came together to raise nearly $11,000 to sponsor students' education and invest in new schools. We are so incredibly grateful!

You may know that Afghanistan held presidential elections on September 28, 2019, two weeks after President Trump froze the peace talks. Even though it has been four months since the elections, a winner has not been officially declared. The election had a very low voter turnout, many protests, and allegations of fraud, and the Independent Election Commission has a lot to work through. 

Partnership with the government and Ministry of Education is very important to the success of Aid Afghanistan for Education's schools, especially when it comes to opening a new school, and so we will continue waiting for the election results before moving forward with this project. It's very important to be patient when working in Afghanistan!

I do want to share with you the story of Khatera, a successful AAE graduate. She says:

"I was a refugee in Pakistan and when I returned to Afghanistan, the only option for me were simple literacy classes, which didn't provide general education. I kept looking around until I found Aid Afghanistan for Education. I was admitted at 4th grade at the age of 18, and after graduation, I attended pedagogy. After graduation, I found a job to teach, which allows me to provide for my family.  Establishing schools like Aid Afghanistan for Education is very important for people like me."

Our team is hopeful and confident that new schools, once we're able to move forward, will benefit hundreds of students like Khatera. Thank you so much for your generosity, patience, and warm wishes! 

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