In a country where half the population is less than thirty years of age, education becomes the primary focus starting at the earliest possible age. Today we visited a community that is doing their best, but could use some help.
This is Naw Abad Baba Ali School. The school meets outside and can manage the heat until about 11:00 am. There is no school in the winter or on rainy days.
The rest of the classrooms are in a tent or in a mud building with no roof and no desks at all.
The key to success here is local leadership and determination to care for their children.
It falls completely to the Mullah (religious leader) who is also a member of the provincial council “cabinet”. This Mullah is from the community, went to University and is now in government. The lady next to him is the principal and she taught the Mullah when he was a child. We taped an interview with him in which he said, “Knowledge is what will get us the freedom to choose, the power to act without the influence of evil people. Education is the road to peace”.
The security has a close watch on all of us. If we take a step, they take two. Several police in regular civilian clothes are there for protection as well.
Our next visit was to Islam Joye school. They are currently using a rented home to teach about 400 students!
The community has donated land for a new school.
The school principal with Azalea.
In the afternoon we interviewed Shabana on video. Shabana graduated from Arab Khana school which we helped build. She is now in university taking Law. He goal is to become an MP with specific goals: stop violence against women, provide education for all, increase the representation of women in legislation, and peace for the country. We took her for ice cream and dropped her off at her home.
This final image captivates the eagerness of children to learn and their hope for the future.