While our primary focus continues to be the establishment of model schools and innovative learning programs, we never forget the critical, on-going need to provide humanitarian aid and emergency relief to children and their families
On July 15th, we received a shipment of 8,500 school kits from one of our partners, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). HTAC decided to distribute the kits among three schools in highly under-served areas. The children attending these schools were among the poorest groups of refugees returning from camps in Pakistan.
One of HTAC's primary objectives is to train teachers, groom school administrators, and successfully implement its innovative programs so that each model school can one day become self-managed and not need to rely on our continued support, indefinitely.
In March of 2006, HTAC proudly turned over the operations of 5 of its fully-functioning schools back over to the Ministry of Education.
The ability to live in peace is the foundation upon which a civil society is built. And in Afghanistan, children are the pillars of that foundation.
by Omar Qargha, HTAQ Assistant Director
There are many challenges that relief workers face on a daily basis in Afghanistan. These challenges include, but are certainly not limited to, lack of substantial coordination, lack of an established infrastructure in the country, increasing psychological stress factors (escalated by recent security concerns), and of course the ever present challenge of finding funding to keep programs operating.
Two and a half year passed from the Afghanistan Government formation, or in a clear way saying from the period of Hamed Karzai's Administration. Many small things have been constructed or reconstructed which mostly they are from private sectors. No planning exists for the jobless laborers who are
gathering and hours waiting around the large traffic circles every early morning. Very few of them by chance can get a day or half a day job in building construction, most will not. Some are so bad luck people that after long hours waiting they go back homes with no job at all.
In October of 2001, President George W. Bush and The White House launched an initiative to provide assistance to the impoverished children of Afghanistan. This initiative, known as the America's Fund for Afghan Children (AFAC), called upon the children of the United States to send in $1 each for Afghan children. Working through the American Red Cross (ARC) and an international network of humanitarian aid partners, the Fund seeks to provide healthcare, education, and safe environments for Afghanistan's children.
Today, education is increasingly being perceived, and rightfully so, as an essential factor in promoting economic development and reducing poverty.
The contemporary educational system in Afghanistan was introduced at the end of the nineteenth century by the government, which used it as a means to convince traditionalists, who were in favor of religious schools (madarasas), of the compatibility of Islam with modernization. In 1935, the Afghan government declared education universal, compulsory and free. By the 1960s, considerable attention was paid to extending secular elementary schools, and vocational schools to the rural areas.