YOU CAN MAKE $13,000 BECOME $62,000
Help us turn $13,000 into $62,000 through Rotary International matching grants. The Karadah Project International is partnering with local Rotary Clubs and the Herat (Afghanistan) Rotary Club to renovate, increase security around, and supply educational materials and training to the Khaja Mohammad Koohi primary and high school in Herat, Afghanistan. Our $13,000 raised will become $62,000 in support of students in Afghanistan.
The building has not been rehabilitated since it was built four
decades ago and requires fundamental renovations, repairs, and upgrades. Due to
the deterioration of security and increasing threats against educational
facilities, parents are reluctant to send their girls to school for good
reason. A main road passes close to the school, inviting strangers to walk
through the school yard. Shepherds and farmers with their livestock and young
men on motorcycles and bicycles pass through the schoolyard and interrupt
The school has 7 classrooms and 9 grades in each shift, requiring grades 1 and 2 teachers to conduct classes outside the school building. The open and unprotected school yard, however, has mandated that those students meet off campus in the homes of community members for the safety of both teachers and students.
Every year, a significant number of Afghan girls drop out of school because of security concerns. That impact can be seen in the current situation where there is not the Ministry of Education-required ten girls attending the eighth and ninth grades to hold classes at those grade levels. One of the key obstacles to keeping girls in school is the lack of a safe and protected physical environment. The school does not have a secure boundary wall around the school. A boundary wall is both a real and symbolic protective barrier for Afghans.
The restrictions imposed on students also affects the quality of education offered at the school. School administrators and community members have installed metal security grates on the interior side of the windows to provide some defense against vandalism. Administrators feel it necessary, however, to take student files home each night to protect them. Female students feel that their school is like a prison; they spend their entire time inside the school building where there is little light and the windows are covered. In spite of these measures, they do not feel safe. They have rarely played in the school yard.
The school’s six washrooms are located 40-50 meters outside the school building and are not functioning. The facility does not have access to the city’s power, however, the water well is equipped with a solar system built in 2016. This setup gives students access to water, though there are no running water taps for washing and hygiene. Outdoor bathroom facilities require girls to utilize them in groups, always having a few guarding the others while using the bathrooms. The benefits of a boundary wall will insure the security of the school’s property, provide students with a better educational experience, and encourage parents to send their children to school.
This project will also address a lack of resources and training for students and faculty. The library and science lab will receive updated materials for student and faculty use. Faculty, administration, and the school’s community management council will receive training consisting of updated curriculum and methodologies, gender sensitivity, and alternative means of discipline. The school’s management council will also receive training in community mobilization, focusing on the community's role in the management, maintenance, and protection of the school. Strategies and techniques helpful in mobilizing the community to feel a sense of ownership of the school and the education of the students will be included in the training.
When complete, this project will address all of these issues and provide expanded educational capacity, increased student enrollment—particularly girls—, and greater community involvement in the school.