Students are preparing for their final exams before summer break in our nine rural schools in Northern Afghanistan. Temperatures are already soaring and it is important to remember that no school has air conditioning; no heat in the winter and no cool air in the spring/summer. The small comforts of a desk can be a luxury many students do not have. Thanks to your donor dollars, we have been able to maintain a steady stream of desks projects - building new and replacing the old as student populations in our schools continues to grow. When schools become too crowded, the children return to tents and many bring plastic chairs from home to sit on. For those with no chairs, they find stones to sit on in the school yard. Our commitment to providing desks remains steadfast: it provides a clean place, off the ground, for the students to sit and study and it also provides local jobs for the workers building the desks.
Your contributions also help our school liaison continue to visit the rural areas, meet with community officials, principals, the girls and families. The liaison facilitates the Parent-Teacher meetings and assists with ongoing community building activities. This engenders support for the schools -- this is particularly important in areas where girls' education can and does come under fire with more conservative elements in villages. The liaison also acts as a mentor to the girls while listening to their stories and ideas about school, she also prods them into thinking about their futures and what can be for their lives and that of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will change dramatically in the next 18 months, that is for certain. Your support is more important now than ever. We can provide the physical and human resources to focus on education - a crucial element to the future of the nation as it navigates a presidential election, US troop withdrawal and other foreign troop draw downs. Education will be the certain bet for a bright future. Thanks for continuing to support the children. They will make the difference.