Bring a daycare to Balkh province, Afghanistan

by GoodWeave International
Vetted
Circle time at the Child Development Center.
Circle time at the Child Development Center.

Dear GlobalGivers,

We have great news! Thanks to your support, and with the help of a generous outside funder, this project has recently been fully funded. This means that GoodWeave’s Shahrak-e-Qalinbafan Child Development Center will have the resources needed to operate for the rest of the year.

Over the past two and a half years, you have helped the Center to provide a safe place to grow and learn for a total of 67 children of weavers ages 2 to 6. The 40 current students receive a daily hot meal, a foundation in literacy and numbers, and structured playtime. As children of refugees, many of these young people have experienced a great deal of instability in their lives, and this Center provides much-needed safety and consistency. Your support has enabled these children to graduate from the Center prepared to enter school, while leaving them less vulnerable to being prematurely pulled into the workforce. This has made an impact on families too – with more time and opportunity to concentrate on their handiwork, weaving mothers have been able to earn more income to be reinvested in their families.

The community continues to embrace the Center, with 15 new children enrolling this year. The families have shown investment in their children’s education, even volunteering to provide a weekly potluck lunch for the students. And the Center’s importance as a safe space for learning grew this past summer as 54 school-aged girls were able to use the facility for preparatory classes.

We are deeply grateful for your continued support of these children and this community. I think the best words of thanks are those that come from the families of children who have benefited from the center’s programs:

Zaifa, mother of student Raz Mohammad, told the GoodWeave team: “I’m really happy and appreciate the services provided at this far rural area. My son is happy and willing to go to every day with a special enthusiasm. They provide a super lunch for our children and educate them as good as it is above our expectation.”

Nelofar, the older sister of another student, Saleh Khan, added:  “I’m really happy that we have a daycare here, my brother now knows how to communicate politely, how to keep himself neat and clean, and little bit he can write some words. I really appreciate this service and wish they had even more capacity to reach even more children.”

This project is funded, but many other children and families still need GoodWeave’s support. I encourage you to take a look at our two other projects on GlobalGiving, Support Vulnerable Victims Of Nepal's Earthquake and Rehabilitate Rescued Child Slaves In Nepal, where your donations are still greatly needed. Our Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund is providing weaving families with the resources to rebuild their destroyed homes, pay children’s school fees and return to work so that they can stay out of debt and regain stability that is so deeply needed. And our other project, at Hamro Ghar, our rehabilitation center for former child laborers in Nepal, needs your support to ensure that children rescued from the looms can learn and grow in a safe and nurturing space. And please stay tuned as we launch an exciting new project on GlobalGiving in the coming months.

Thank you for your joining us in providing hope and bright futures to the children of Shahrak-e-Qalinbafan.

Gratefully,

Nina

Children at the Center enjoy a potluck lunch.
Children at the Center enjoy a potluck lunch.

Links:

Thank you!!!
Thank you!!!

Dear GlobalGivers,

It’s time to celebrate! Thanks to you, GoodWeave’s Shahrak-e-Qalinbafan Child Development Center has just completed its third year of operations!  Balkh Province in Afghanistan can be a difficult environment in which to raise children – especially for those weaving families who are struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford childcare. Even those who can are often unsure about the value of educating their children – especially girls. But thanks to your support, the Sharak-e-Qalinbafan Center continues to provide 40 vulnerable children with a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn and grow, year-round. Over the past three years, the center has served as a central hub in the community – educating children while also changing the attitudes of their families and communities toward child education. And the community has come to very much value the services the daycare provides

Parents, especially, have expressed profound appreciation for the program. Zaifa, mother of Raz, told the Goodweave team: “I’m really happy and appreciate the services provided at this far rural area. My son is happy and willing to go to every day with a special enthusiasm. They provide a super lunch for our children and educate them as good as it is above our expectation.”

And Nelofar, the older sister of another student, Saleh, added: “I’m really happy that we have a daycare here, my brother now knows how to communicate politely, how to keep himself neat and clean,and little bit he can write some words. I really appreciate this service and wish they had even more capacity to reach even more children.”

Your support of this vital program, along with funding from several private foundations and the US government, ensures that the daycare can continue into its 4th year fully funded. As time goes on, families are invested in seeing that the daycare becomes more self-sufficient and community-led. In fact, the parents themselves have recently organized and volunteered to bring in lunch one day a week for the children, potluck style. The parents are planning to increase this contribution over time with a goal of eventually fully covering the meals provided at the center. GoodWeave will continue to encourage more of these community efforts to ensure the daycare can keep making a difference in the lives of weaving families for many years to come.

One more piece of good news – because the Sharak-e-Qalinbafan Child Development Center has been such a resounding success, parents and village leaders in neighboring Camp-e-Sakhi have repeatedly asked GoodWeave to establish a childcare center in their own community. GoodWeave has successfully raised additional funds, and now 140 children attend both preschool and girls’ preparatory classes in this location.

Thanks again for your support of this much-needed and transformative program. I look forward to sharing more good news!

All My Best,

Brenna

Children get a hot lunch each day
Children get a hot lunch each day
Farida and her classmates playing outdoors
Farida and her classmates playing outdoors

Dear GlobalGiver,

A new Afghan school year started in March. As GoodWeave’s Shahrak-e-Qalinbafan Child Development Center proudly graduated 15 students into public school, prepared to learn and thrive, we also welcomed a new group of 15 children. Over the next few years, we look forward to seeing them grow in the safe, nurturing environment of the Development Center – and to sharing some of their stories with you.

Today, I’d like to share the story of one little girl whose life has changed because of your generous support. I hope her story will also help you to understand the important role that early childhood development plays as part of the larger movement to educate girls in Balkh Province.

To escape regional insecurity, Farida’s family of 10 fled Kunduz Province and moved to Shahrak-e-Qalin Bafan, a government-supported settlement for displaced carpet weavers, a few years ago. In 2013, two-year-old Farida was enrolled in GoodWeave’s Shahrak-e-Qalinbafan Child Development Center. She was the quietest and shyest child in the classroom, and her mother says, "She always preferred to be alone.”

In the two years since joining the daycare, Farida has become an eager learner. She has flourished socially and now enjoys memorizing poems, reading to friends and introducing herself in English. She already has a dream for the future – to become an ophthalmologist, so that she can treat her mother’s eyes, enabling her to weave more easily. When speaking of her young daughter, Farida’s mother says that attending the daycare has made her “a different girl.” And when it comes time for her to enter school, she will be ready.

Farida’s new-found self-confidence has also inspired her mother to commit to education for all of her daughters. Because of her daughter’s experience through GoodWeave’s Child Development Center, she now sees education as essential to a child’s development. For Balkh Province weaving families, the tide is changing for girls’ education. As the demand for a nurturing space for young children like Farida continues to grow, GoodWeave needs your support to ensure that every child has the chance to thrive. With your help, we look forward to hearing many more stories like Farida’s.

Gratefully,

Nina

Learning in the classroom
Learning in the classroom
Homaira practices writing at the daycare center.
Homaira practices writing at the daycare center.

Dear GlobalGiver,


Now in the middle of its third year, the daycare’s presence as a center for education and support within the community continues to grow. This year’s class of 40 children ages 2 to 6 engage in activities including math, Dari language, dance, and sports that foster their development at a critical time. They learn to write their names, sing their national anthem, practice basic hygiene, and recite poetry. In a country where girls are often faced with danger when seeking education, students like Homaira, pictured above, grow prepared and excited to enter government school.

As January sets in, families in the Balkh Province face a long winter. For those served by the Center, many of whom have refugee status and live in unstable conditions, winter can be a difficult time. Cold weather poses challenges to children’s health and wellbeing, and we are concerned about these families’ ability to stay warm. The Center’s staff work to make sure that families have access to the warm clothing and nutritious foods they will need to get through the winter- so that adults can work to support their families and their children can arrive at the Center ready to play, learn, and grow.

Your support helps to address the Center’s other needs as well. As it grows colder, expenses increase as wood must be purchased to heat the building through its wood-burning stove. The Center serves nutritious daily meals to each child, and ensures that children from remote locations are able to attend by providing transportation. Because of your support, the Center can continue to be a warm and safe place throughout the winter.


Gratefully,

 

Nina Smith

Executive Director

Links:

Mahem, 13, practices during morning prep class.
Mahem, 13, practices during morning prep class.

Dear GlobalGiver,

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,

Nina Smith

 

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Organization Information

GoodWeave International

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.goodweave.org/​
Project Leader:
Nina Smith
GoodWeave Executive Director
Washington, DC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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