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Gesellschaft zur Unterstützung der Rechte afgh. Frauen und Kinder (Association Supporting the Rights of Afghan Women and Children)


School for Girls in Laghman

I started my second trip to Afghanistan on October 13th in 2004. I took the train from Vienna to Frankfurt and flew with the Afghan Airline “Ariana” to Kabul. As far as I could see (I visited the city for the last time in March 2004), there was a positive development. Especially, people were hoping that the interim president Karzai would win the election and that he would implement the promised changes. Unfortunately, I still saw a lot of children working although they should actually be at school. But they have to contribute to their families’ living expenses.

The City of Vienna and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) were so kind to provide us with the necessary financial aid in order to build a school for girls in the province Laghman, even though Afghanistan is not a main country for Austrian development co-operations.

First, I got in touch with the ministry of education and met the Minister Deputy, who was at that time in charge, Dr. Enayatullah Aman as well as the responsible heads of departments. All of them guaranteed support. My ambition was to have the planned school registrated by the state, to secure payments and further education for teachers, school equipment and materials to guarantee the sustainability of the school. We also coordinated our plans with the re-construction department, to meet the required standards for a school.

After that I travelled together with the head of our partner organisation, who is going to realise the project, the controllers of GURAF and of the ministry of education to Lagham. We got in touch with the regional school authority who informed the governor of the province on the upcoming project. The governor, Mr. Safi, wanted to meet me personally. He also guaranteed his support, this was very important to me. He expressed his appreciation and pride that such an initiative has been started by a women organisation.

The support of the regional population was very important as well the support of the oldest people of the village - which was displayed impressively when laying the foundation stone. This laying of the foundation stone, where nearly every leader of the province was present, was – without a doubt - the highlight of my journey. The governor of the province used the event to state that he would fight the drug plantations.

It is estimated that the school will be ready built in four months. Our next aims are to equip the class rooms and also – according to the local traditions - to build a wall surrounding the school. I was also astonished about the circumstances of the boys’ learning environment. No class rooms are existing. Lessons are taking place outside under a tree or somewhere in the shadow. When it is raining - or during winter- the lessons might probably be cancelled. These children deserve an alternative in form of school buildings or training rooms in order to provide these children with a future and to prevent terrorism.

The school was finished in July 2005 after 9 months of construction and was opend with a small ceremony.

Project fotos

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