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Aug 1, 2017

Ninety-six peacemakers graduate in Kabul

Massouma and her son
Massouma and her son

Last week in Kabul, we celebrated our favorite time of the year: graduation! Ninety-six students of all ages received their state-certified diplomas in a joyful ceremony joined by family, friends, AAE staff, teachers, and government officials. We even streamed graduation on Facebook Live for the first time!

Graduating student Massouma’s son was perhaps the youngest attendee at just fifty days old. During the ceremony, Massouma held him in one hand and her diploma in the other.

Massouma’s life leading up to graduation was not easy. During the years of war, she and her family fled to Iran as refugees. They returned to Kabul after eight long years. Twenty-year-old Massouma tried to enroll in public schools, but none would take her because of her age. As a result, she turned to AAE and enrolled in sixth grade. Her husband, an electrician, encouraged her to study. While she can’t afford to study at university just yet, Massouma dreams of becoming a midwife to improve the health of women and children in Afghanistan.  

Massouma isn’t the only AAE student reveling in success. Amina, a 28-year-old widow, former child bride, 10th-grade-student, and mother of four shared her story with UNICEF Afghanistan on their blog. After her husband’s death and a struggle with her in-laws, Amina fought for custody of her children for seven stressful years. She heard about AAE while working at a kindergarten. So, at 25 years old, Amina enrolled in sixth grade at AAE’s school in the Parwandoo area of Kabul.

“It was very difficult to start but my teachers and other classmates made it possible by helping me. I love all subjects. I like it that most of my classmates are close to my age. They give me confidence and encouragement,” said Amina. “If not for this program, I don’t know what would have happened to me and my daughters. It was always my dream to return to school one day.”

Like Massouma, Amina has high hopes for her children. “I want to work hard to make money and provide for my daughters. I want to make sure they will have good education and successful lives. I don’t want them to get married young.” Amina was taken out of school by her family at age 12 and was married by the time she was 14 years old.

Thank you for all of your continued support throughout the years as AAE grows. With your help, more than 1,900 students have graduated from 12 schools in six provinces across Afghanistan. All of us – current students, graduates, AAE staff, and you – are working hard to foster peace in Afghanistan. Now, as we are in between grant funding, we need your help more than ever to keep our doors open. We hope you’ll consider sponsoring a student today to make sure students like Massouma and Amina graduate from high school and bring education, economic prosperity, and peace to their communities.

Amina with her classmates
Amina with her classmates
Celebrating graduation!
Celebrating graduation!
Hassina Sherjan awarding diplomas
Hassina Sherjan awarding diplomas
Student speaker at graduation
Student speaker at graduation

Links:

May 12, 2017

Nowruz, a new magazine, and skiing in Bamyan

Shukria and her classmates skiing in Bamyan
Shukria and her classmates skiing in Bamyan
It has been a busy year in Kabul so far, and we're thankful for all of you that have joined us. Right now, we have 19 partners for peace donating monthly! Your commitment is so inspiring to us and our students.  
      Over the last few months, our students in Kabul celebrated International Women's Day, planted trees for Nowruz, and launched a brand-new women's rights magazine. You can read all about their adventures and more on our blog.
     Now, we'd like you to meet Shukria. She is a 17-year-old 6th-grader in Bamyan province, northwest of Kabul. Bamyan is known for its beautiful valley with giant statues of the Buddha carved into the cliffs facing the city. Shukria lives an hour away from school, so she walks every day. Her father cannot afford to pay for transportation. 
     "This is a golden opportunity and I should take advantage of it," said Shukria about her education. "There are no other schools who would take me at this age." Her teachers say she is smart and ambitious and even takes English classes after school. She wants to be a journalist someday.
     Shukria has a hobby different from most girls in Afghanistan: she skis. Bamyan province is very mountainous, making it a great place to ski.
     "I love skiing and I want to be a good skier. AAE has provided us with this opportunity and I like it," she said. Shukria, along with her classmates, were introduced to skiing through an AAE initiative to help motivate them. Needless to say, it's been a big hit. 
     Thank you all so much for your support, and we can't wait to share more exciting news with you soon!
Shukria skiing
Shukria skiing
Shukria stops for a picture
Shukria stops for a picture
Kabul students launched a women's rights magazine
Kabul students launched a women's rights magazine

Links:

Feb 17, 2017

Our 2016 in Numbers

Graduates in Kabul celebrating success
Graduates in Kabul celebrating success

2016 was a great year for Aid Afghanistan for Education and our students, and it's all thanks to you. Take a look at our impact in numbers.

  • Our total number of graduates rose to 1779
  • 152 teachers educated 2478 students in 6 provinces
  • 100% of Kabul graduates are off to college
  • AAE facilitated 58 community meetings
  • 180 teachers from across Afghanistan attended our teacher training workshops
  • We raised $48,559 on GlobalGiving through 252 donations
  • 129 of those donations were made by 17 monthly donors
  • The Safer World Fund matched most donations 50%

But we aren't stopping there. We've got some big plans for this 2017: 

  • Expand programs to 6 more provinces and reach 2500 additional students
  • Begin a sister school program in the United States
  • Raise funds to provide computers and internet access for every school

We're looking forward to making this year a success and can't wait to tell you all about it. Thank you for joining us in the effort for a peaceful, educated Afghanistan.

Links:

 
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