CWS school kits help on the path of education in Afghanistan

By Donna Derr
KABUL, Afghanistan -- One of the primary programs included in the Church World Service (CWS) Afghanistan Rehabilitation Appeal is our Education Project.

This project provides resources to improve the conditions of Afghan schools and encourage students in the pursuit of their education. One way we do this is providing needed school supplies. CWS has distributed approximately 28,000 school kits to children in Afghanistan since November 2002.

During a recent visit to Afghanistan, several representatives from CWS member denominations -- the United Church of Christ (UCC), Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) -- participated in the distribution of school kits at the Kabul Children's Rehabilitation Center operated by our partner, the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan, and at a girls primary school operated by another partner, Shuhada.

The Kabul Children's Rehabilitation Center provides life skills programs, lunches and health/hygiene training to destitute children. For most of these children, the time spent at the center creates a place of comfort and safety in otherwise extremely difficult living situations.

At the Shuhada school, it was exciting to see the large number of girls now attending school and to experience their delight as they perused their school kits to see what they contained.

(Donna Derr, Associate Director for CWS Emergency Response, was a member of a CWS delegation that visited Afghanistan in January 2003.)