The VUSAF managers reporting in October 2018 as follows:
Sayed Faqir Hashemi, VUSAF Country Director:
We are happy that, despite the difficult security situation, our projects in the province of Balkh are progressing well.Our English and computer courses in Sayed Shah Khan Girls’ high school are going well and the students are attending the courses with great interest. Personally I am really happy and impressed from these courses as the eagerness and great interest of the students always encourage me and give me more energy to work hard. I suggest to continue these courses and open some in other schools as well. We frequently get requests from the students and schools administrations for establishing such courses in their schools.
Although we have implemented around 15 school construction projects here, but still so many schools are facing problems with lack of classrooms in different part of the city. Mazar is one the biggest city of the country and it has so many schools with many students. Therefore still a lot of work is needed in this regard.
Organizing science workshops is another good addition to our programs/plans. We have organized science experimental workshops for the teachers of the schools in Mazar many times. Most of the teachers who are taking part in our workshops are young, inexperienced and newly graduated teachers. We can say that it is a golden chance for them to improve their education level and teaching methods. Thus it would good if we continue organizing such workshops for them in the future too.
Recently we started a construction of 16 classrooms building in Aibak city of Samangan province. Hopefully, we will be able to extend our projects there as well.
Unfortunately the government is not able or does not want to do so much in this regard; although they get a lot of funds, but it is not known where this money is being spent. Even some time they do not pay the salary of the poor teachers on time. The only hope of the people is the NGOs which are working in this country. Hopefully, the international community does not forget Afghanistan at least in the near future, because this country still needs more help in different sectors, especially in the field of education which can be counted as a backbone of the country. If the backbone is not strong enough so the other parts of body never can be strong. Therefore if the international community and our foreigner friends want to really help Afghanistan they must pay more attention to improve the education sector, because the reasons of all these existing problems in this country is lack of education. If our people become educated I am sure our problem would be solved forever.
Sayed Asef Sadaat, VUSAF Regional Director
I am happy that our prep. courses (Morning and afternoon courses) are running well. The students are attending with a lot of interest. Every day we have to reject one or two students who want to enrol to our courses. Beside the daily lessons we are conducting extra programs among all groups – different competitions and functions for the purpose of increasing their abilities.
Thursday functions are running every week and students are very interested because they see their friends and other students of Education Centre (EC) who are taking active part in all functions as announcers and playing the main roles in the programs. Beside Thursday functions, our cultural gathering is also affecting well our students’ reading, writing and analysing skills. Our English and computer courses are running very well. Students who graduated from English courses are good English speakers and they are happy and feel lucky that they studied in our courses, even some of their parents send messages to Andkhoi office or they come and show their gratefulness.
15 males and 15 female teachers are working as assistants in our courses and receive in-service training. It seems that there is considerable change with these state schools’ teachers. They are really interested in improving their abilities because they themselves come to Andkhoi office and ask us to be accepted as assistant.
The ecology program activities are going better than our expectation. Actually, the teams which we have established in state schools are not doing so much, our EC team is really very active. They are speaking on Radio Turkistan, interview bazaar people, have cleaning programs in Andkhoi bazaar. They are spreading the idea of keeping clean our environment and decreasing the use of plastics. This EC group is really very big and strong.
Ganj Khana school building is finished but we have not yet handed it over to government. Still I am waiting to extend the electric system. I talked with community people, head of education and district governor in this regard.
Security in our area is worse than last year. Two villages in the district of Qaramqul are under the control of Taleban. Two Girls’ schools are half closed; the boys’ schools are open (the boys’ school which are located close to the base of armed Taleban is also half closed). The curriculum of teaching plans was changed according to the wishes of Taleban. Some religious subjects were added and some previous lessons (natural science) deleted. The Government is taking no action. Maybe it is because of the election or something else.
Soman Sadat, Manageress of the Women Projects
We can say that all activities of our women centres are welcomed and accepted by the community almost according to our target- Beside all sewing, reading and writing and all other tasks covering general knowledge giving and capacity building for women, people see in our centres more than only a sewing place, but a real women’s centre. By help of this centre, we have got to know the strength and belief in women’s power. Quite a lot of faces we have got to know who felt and recognized their own strength and weaknesses and made their goal to work on in their life.
Sub-centres – Former sewing students took one more step towards implementing the idea of self-help and gaining experience by training other ladies in the neighbourhood. We can say that is an excellent example of good use of sewing courses.
Women’s sports – We can call it one of great success in all 4 districts around Andkhoi that the women who come to our Gym have improved their confidence through exercise. They got advice on avoiding piles of pain killers and medicines that the doctors used to give to their patients for business purposes and people are used to take unprescribed medicines for even very insignificant pains in body instead of understanding the need of their body and finding the main cause of disorder in their body.
As one of the most important aspects of our fitness club we can offer to ladies is giving the opportunity for women to pass at least an hour or more time every day out of their home and in a free environment which itself played a good role in mental relaxation to women who were just a housewife and the one who bears most of the problems of the family alone.
Older age ladies’ eagerness for learning reading and writing is something that made us strengthen our effort to do more for ladies and break the boundaries of age differences in learning.
The quality of the clothes made in our centres is good and caused a switch in fashion from Chinese and Indian/Pakistani clothes to locally made designs of our centres.