Apply to Join
Aug 7, 2020

BF COVID-19 Project Report Q1

Former AFG Ed Minister Addresses Marefat Pre-COVID
Former AFG Ed Minister Addresses Marefat Pre-COVID

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We thank you for your support of Bamyan Foundation's “COVID-19 Aid for Education in Afghanistan” during this global crisis! We are pleased to inform you of the current status of this project, and share some updates that we have received from Marefat High School in Kabul, Afghanistan. The funds raised has enabled us to help mitigate a highly valuable institution’s collapse from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being an independent institution, Marefat has been at the forefront of an educational revolution in Afghanistan providing education to underprivileged students both boys and girls, and livelihood for teachers and staff serving one of the country's most historically oppressed minority group.

Since March 2020, like other schools across Afghanistan, Marefat has had to close its doors to students and remains closed to-date for the safety of its staff and students. However, as an independent institution, Marefat does not receive any government funding to maintain its status active. Teachers and staff at Marefat rely on salaries that are based on tuition fees. The closure for Marefat also meant suspending student tuitions and no other means of financial support to sustain its 210 faculty and staff once it exhausts its modest emergency funds. The school’s collapse would be a devastating setback to the community that it offers the most critical platform for social progress.

Fortunately, with your generosity during these extremely difficult times, we have been able to help avoid the collapse of an institution with an immeasurable impact on the community it serves. On 25 July 2020, we received a very detailed and transparent report of the funds we raised for Marefat. We are happy to inform you that, as of 20 July, Marefat has distributed the first round of financial aid (10,677USD) to 164 of its faculty and staff members. Each individual has received a stipend of 65USD, which is equivalent to 5,000AFN when converted to the local (Afghan) currency. Individuals who received the funds through their bank accounts paid 70AFN for incoming wire fees and a few of them who didn’t have active bank accounts received the full 65USD (5,000AFN) in cash.

Despite our persistent efforts, we have sadly been informed by Marefat that 46 of its 210 faculty and staff have left the institution due to personal issues likely to seek employment opportunities elsewhere in order to support their families during this ongoing crisis. We expect similar reports both from Marefat and our other partner schools once they have received and distributed the funds to their faculty and staff in the next quarter. We will keep you informed as we receive reports from the field.

The Afghan government has announced 5 August 2020 as a conditional reopening date for schools, but the school administrators are hesitant to reopen due to the high risk they will be facing considering the poor state of the healthcare system in the country and its inability to provide services that could meet the needs of the public.

We thank you once again for your generosity to support the Bamyan Foundation’s “COVID-19 Aid for Education in Afghanistan." Our joint efforts undeniably help make a notable difference in the lives of many during these unusual times. Alternatively, in the absence of our humanitarian efforts, the already disadvantaged communities become more vulnerable to the risk of COVID-19. Additionally, the downfall of an institution such as Marefat would be a huge loss to the most historically oppressed and economically deprived minority group. We further ask you to please share this report with your friends, families and communities. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

The Bamyan Foundation Team

Marefat Faculty & Students Pre-COVID Clossure
Marefat Faculty & Students Pre-COVID Clossure
Jun 25, 2020

Bamyan Foundation 2020 - 1st Quarter Report

Students at Rahnaward Receiving Instructions
Students at Rahnaward Receiving Instructions

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for your ongoing support of Bamyan Foundation! Your generous donations have enabled us to expand our projects and continue our support to our partner schools during such critical times when they are struggling to survive due to closures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report provides an update on the current status of our programs in partnership with Marefat High School, Rahnaward High School, Baba High Schooland ROYA Mentorship Program in Afghanistan.

Schools have been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Earlier in June, the government of Afghanistan extended school closures for three more months or until end of August. While COVID-19 has affected people everywhere, private schools in Afghanistan and the communities they serve, particularly those relying on scholarships, are disproportionately affected.Their primary concern is that teachers rely on salaries that are then based on tuition fees.This means many teachers and staff at private schools are left with no income due to school closures, while public school teachers' salaries are paid by the government.

There are around twenty-five hundred private schools in Afghanistan to help the country's education system due to void left by public school system. These private schools provide education to approximately five hundred thousand students and employment opportunities to about five thousand faculty and staff. Unfortunately, due to a lack of financial resources caused by the pandemic and school closures, seventy-to-eighty percent of the private schools face imminent collapse as they are unable to pay salaries to faculty and staff and cover other costs. Afghanistan's Private Schools Association has sent its concerns to the country's Ministry of Education, and the Ministry has not yet provided a promising response, according to Afghan media reports.

So far this year, our immediate efforts have been focused on raising funds to keep our partner schools solvent. Our support will help pay a stipend of $65 to each faculty and staff member at Baba, Marefat and Rahnaward High Schools. We also helped provide a stipend of $45 to each family of the former child laborers through our partnership with ROYA Mentorship Program. Additionally, our support includes a small budget for each school to help with the hygiene requirements.

We hope that our continued support will relieve some of the burden our partner schools are facing during the closure by covering the most basic necessities so they do not lose teachers and staff until they reopen their doors to students - so that they can reopen their doors!

Student Scholarship Update

We have agreed with our partner schools that, upon their reopening, we will continue our scholarship support for the same number of students in academic year 2020 as we did in academic year 2019; Marefat (44), Rahnaward (88), and Baba (23). We have already covered the tuition costs for the nine former child laborers through our partnership with ROYA Mentorship Program. We are committed to continue supporting them when schools reopen.

We prefer providing consistent support to the same students year after year until they graduate. However, we have asked the schools that in cases where students have either dropped out, relocated or graduated to be replaced with new students.

The schools have been considering distance learning by making educational materials available online. However, due to students' lack of access to the internet and their financial inability to afford the costs associated with it, online learning is not an easy option for most of the students enrolled in our partner schools, particularly those who rely on scholarships for their tuition fees. Three of the schools have recently began to offer limited alternative avenues such as providing study materials through a USB drive and allowing a few students to come into the school facilities to study on their own while following certain guidelines and hygiene requirements.

We thank you again for your generosity and continued support of the Bamyan Foundaton. Our collective efforts undoubtedly help with making a lasting impact on the lives of many during this critical time. A lack of financial resources makes those already impoverished families and communities more vulnerable to the risk of COVID-19. We ask you to please share this update with others in your networks. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

The Bamyan Foundation Team 

Students at Rahnaward Receiving Instructions
Students at Rahnaward Receiving Instructions
Feb 25, 2020

Bamyan Foundation 2019 - 4th Quarter Report

Zohra - Student at Rahnaward High School
Zohra - Student at Rahnaward High School

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We thank you for your continued support of Bamyan Foundation, which has helped flourish our relationships with our partner schools in Afghanistan, and increase the impact of our program on the lives of many students in need. As we anticipate the arrival of the new academic year in a little over a month, we are eager to share with you our students’ 4th quarter progress report. Additionally, we would like to reassure you that your generous donations this past year resulted in over 50% increase in the number of scholarships we provided to students. To be exact, we supported a total of 164 students at the four schools in 2019 compared to 80 students in 2018, which is a tremendous success!

We continue to receive nothing but positive stories from both students and their parents to share with you in this report. Students generally have expressed their excitement for the opportunity to attend school. Parents have conveyed their appreciation for the financial aid offered to their children, an opportunity that they otherwise are unable to afford. Below we draw your attention to additional details from each school.

Baba High School: All of our students reported outstanding attendance records, and all passed their final exams with the majority earning As and Bs. We would like to highlight a couple stories Ali Sina and Zahra shared with us. Both are among the top performing students in their classes.

Zahra just completed 3rdgrade. She is a highly talented student with a kind and inquisitive personality. She is one of the top students in her class and earned an A in her final exams. She is determined to work harder in the upcoming years and achieve her ultimate goal in the future to become a doctor and offer help to women and girls in her community. In addition to class work, Zahra actively participates in all of the school's social activities designed for students.

Ali Sina successfully completed 2nd grade. He is a super smart student, who also actively participates in the school's morning program. He represents his class in the school's monthly meetings, which shows the potential for leadership in him at an early age. Similar to Zahra, Ali Sina also earned an A in the finals. He appreciates Bamyan’s financial aid without which getting an education would have been impossible for him.

Marefat High School: All of our students at Marefat passed their final exams, and the majority earned A and B grades. We are particularly excited to inform you that eight of our students at Marefat just graduated high school, four boys and four girls. We wish Mohammad, Hakima, Rohullah, Nazifa, Ali, Rabiya, Malika, and Abdulatiq all the best with their future endeavors.

We had two students drop out of the program, and one left the school. We requested Marefat to enroll two additional students to replace the two drop-outs. The two newly added students have also passed their final exams and will move onto the next grade.

Mareena, a 10th grade student shared her story. She is a high spirited student who has attended Marefat since early grades and always been one of the top students in her class. She has consistently maintained an average score of 89.78. In addition to class work, Mareena is an active member of Marefat's Student Council. Last year, she was a candidate for the council's presidency, but lost it to a strong rival from another class. Regardless, she maintained her work with the Council. She is also the co-founder of a youth association called “Youth Mirror Association” and the “Association for Friendship and Mercy.”

Rahnaward-e Noor High School: All of our students reported exceptional attendance records, and all passed their final exams. This demonstrates the hard work and dedication of both teachers and students at Rahnaward. We highlight three students' stories here.

Roya just completed 2nd grade. Being nine years old, in addition to school work, Roya helps her parents with daily chores. Roya's mother has disabilities, but she has to work with a charity organization in her community to earn an income and support her family. Roya's father is an elderly who is unable to work outside of home. Her father always wanted to enroll Roya in school, but he didn't have the means to afford it before Bamyan Foundation's support. Roya is excited that she has passed the final exams successfully. She earned 2nd place in her class. Roya loves arts and languages. She enjoys her Dari and drawing classes. Roya is determined to try harder next year and earn the first place in her class. Roya's father is grateful for the scholarship her daughter receives from Bamyan Foundation. It has made him hopeful for her daughter’s future, and wishes for Roya to live a better life than him.

Zohra, a 3rd grade student, was determined from the beginning of the year to work hard and earn the first place in her class. Her hard work paid off and she did earn the first place in finals. She was also recognized as one the top ten students at the school. Her father is very supportive of Zohra's education. He described Zohra as "an example in every way." Zohra is passionate about learning Dari and Math. She aspires to become a capable teacher in the future.

Mosa is an inspiring 4th grade student at Rahnaward. He bikes 10 kilometers each way to get to school and back daily. This past academic year was Mosa's first year at Rahnaward. He is a hardworking and highly talented student. His final grades were in the 97 percentile. This is a wonderful news because prior to receiving Bamyan's support which enabled him to enroll at Rahnaward, Mosa had attended public school where education standards are very low. He was discouraged from learning and was about to quit school altogether and help his father in farming. Since his enrollment in Rahnaward, Mosa has become fully engaged in learning and has developed hopes for a better future. He received positive feedback from his teachers on all subjects, and he is particularly good at English. He is already able to carry on basic conversations in English. Mosa actively participates in other school activities including the morning program and attends English classes in the afternoon. He described studying at Rahnaward as a dream come true for him because he always wished to be able to attend Rahnaward, but his family was unable to afford it. Mosa's future goal is to become an engineer in the future, and help his country's reconstruction efforts.

Roya Mentorship Program: All of our students at Roya reported nearly perfect attendance records during the 4th quarter. All, but one passed their final exams and will move onto the next grade. Zainab passed most of her final exams, but fell short of passing a few. However, she still has an opportunity to move up to the next grade if she passes in retaking those few exams before the start of next academic year.

We had one student drop out of the program this past year. ROYA has replaced him with a new student and we share his wonderful story below.

Rameen, a 10th grade student, ended the year with a 90% average, among the top in his class. He improved from a B in the first half of the year to an A position in the 2nd half of the year. He had only three absences all year. Rameen has great leadership potential and served as an announcer for more than one celebration at his school. For the winter session, Rameen has decided to focus on improving his English skills. Last year, he collaborated on many projects including science projects about chemistry interactions; saving the environment; the galaxy; and cultural projects such as learning about the multiple cultures in Afghanistan; knowing famous people of Afghanistan; and learning about the Afghan flag. He has also worked on a project regarding using waste material to produce an electric car. Rameen enjoys playing sports, especially football.

Finally, as demonstrated by their stories throughout the year, many of the students Bamyan Foundation supports have suffered from financial, emotional, and sometimes even physical, in the case of child laborers, hardships. We hope that their stories continue to inspire you as much as they inspire us. We also hope that these students' progress and accomplishments in education as a result of our collective efforts inspire your enduring support for our program. We kindly ask you to share these stories with others in your networks. The more support we receive, the more students we can help pull out of various dire circumstances, and make a lasting impact on their lives. Children are the most vulnerable segment of the population anywhere and more so in the conflict driven regions where Afghanistan is undoubtedly a prime location.

The Bamyan Foundation

Mosa - Student at Rahnaward School
Mosa - Student at Rahnaward School
Rameen - Student at ROYA
Rameen - Student at ROYA
Graduation Ceremony - Marefat School
Graduation Ceremony - Marefat School
Roya - Student at Rahnaward School
Roya - Student at Rahnaward School
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.