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.