U.S. government enables Afghan womenâ€™s school to continue â€“ just in the nick of time
We are thrilled to announce that the Afghan-Canadian Community Center has received the new funding needed to ensure its doors remain open.
The U.S. government generously provided a grant that is expected to total more than $150,000 over the next year.Â The first $50,000 has already been received in Kandahar and will support the centerâ€™s popular afternoon program educating 1,600 students, most of whom are women.
The new funds arrived just in the nick of time, after nearly five years of funding came to an end from the Canadian government.
â€œWe are grateful, excited and relieved,â€ says Ryan Aldred, President of the Canadian International Learning Foundation (www.canilf.org), the registered Canadian charity that helped develop the school together with Ehsanullah Ehsan, a local educator in Afghanistan.
â€œThis education gives women a chance to support their families and it ensures there are educated, skilled employees for local businesses, the Afghan government and international development agencies,â€ says Ehsan. â€œPeople in the community see that and it helps them think that women and womenâ€™s education are important, and maybe their daughters should get an education too.â€
The staff, students and families in Kandahar â€“ as well as the Canadian International Learning Foundation volunteers â€“ very much appreciate the U.S. governmentâ€™s donation. We are also thankful for all the individual donors supporting student scholarships, and the support previously provided by the Government of Canada.
â€œI think the Government of Canadaâ€™s role in helping to establish and support the school has been one of Canada’s most significant accomplishments in Afghanistan,â€ says Aldred.
However, he adds that the Government of Canada is missing a chance to ensure that the school is part of Canada’s lasting legacy in Kandahar Province. “Itâ€™s a massively-successful project in one of the world’s most difficult and deserving regions. For well less than half a million dollars over six years, we have been able to provide vital professional training to several thousand students and ensure a source of income for close to 10,000 Kandahar residents.â€
For more information or to donate to student scholarships, visitÂ www.theafghanschool.org.