May 23, 2013 Change for Change

Today was a busy and successful one.  This morning we visited Nisswan II Girls high school, where A Better World supported since 2009. The students were in a chemistry lab when we came.

One of the incredible improvements that this school has developed was started by the new principal.  This is a woman who knows how to make change.  Only recently she began this position, but already she has introduced a program which I will call change for change.  Each month, every student is asked to give a small amount, which is less than twenty cents.  The teachers also must give a dollar.  For each donation, a record is kept.  At the end of the month, the funds are allocated to a specific project.  Because there are many old classrooms at this school in need of repair, the most recent project was to renovate one of the classrooms with the money that was collected.  We would like to match the donations that they are collecting to assist them in renovating 11 more classrooms.

Earlier this year we received a request to assist in repairing 100 desks.  The price was $20 per desk. This project was finished, although there are still many desks that are old and in need of repair.

With a police escort from he Ministry of Education, we went to the newest school: Tunika Hassan High School to look at the structure and conduct a site visit.

We thank those who donated this school.

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With other generous donations, we just completed a library here also.

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We were escorted by the police because the Ministry of Education feels a responsibility and has a protocol when foreign donor agencies come, that they should be accompanied by police when leaving the city to visit projects.

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This is a typical scene in the streets of Sheberghan: a camel, motorbike, donkey, and donkey with cart. I took the picture from inside the car.  So there are many options for public transportation in Sheberghan city…not to mention the rickshaw.

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We met an inspiring lady who has started her own radio station three or four months ago.  Inspired by the challenges that many teenage Afghan girls face, an the pressure for marriage, she has a passion to give them a voice.  She is doing this by training and empowering these students who are the announcers for the programs that she broadcasts.  We saw these girls as being confident and willing to tackle difficult issues in the society, including violence against women and women’s rights.  The show is live,  and includes news segments, interactive shows where people can call in, and educational programming.  The target audience is teenage girls.

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This was inspiring to learn about. My hope is in the young generation of Afghanistan.