VUSAF Union of Assistance for Schools in Afghanistan
and its partner organisation Afghanistan-Schulen welcome you and would like to present our joint projects here in English. The German version you can find here: www.Afghanistan-Schulen.de
Until the end of 2022, our projects were running without any problems. We were relieved that in the regions where we were active, all girls from grade 1 to 12 could attend school. But even in the Andkhoi region - where classes are also held in winter - this is now no longer possible.
Our women's centres are also closed. In Mazar-e-Sharif, there are currently winter holidays, therefore, we will only know in spring whether the schools are open for girls from grade 7 or only for primary school students. The Taliban had banned female students from attending university and women from working in aid organisations. The last two bans have now been partially revoked. Women are allowed to study medicine and private primary schools may be opened again by NGOs. In Andkhoi, our female staff are now coming back to the office. These are small steps.
Together with our colleagues, we are clinging to every spark of hope. Important for us is that the Taliban spokesperson declared that their decrees were not final. "I would like to make it clear that it is not a permanent ban on women's education, it has been postponed until a appropriate environment is created for their education," Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said according to South China Morning Post. "The authorities are working in full swing to achieve that as soon as possible," Shaheen said adding leaders are not "against women's education per se" but they simply want Afghan women to "receive education in an environment compliant with our values and rules”.
Our school in the Ferdawsi camp for internally displaced people (grades 1-4) was closed for a week, but now the children are happy to be able to study again. Life in such a camp, which is slowly becoming a settlement, is particularly hard.
At our education centre, boys and girls from grade 7 are prepared for university. Because the girls are no longer allowed to come, we closed the doors to the boys as well. To help them, every day 45-minute video lessons, especially in mathematics and the science subjects which the teachers at our training centre have created are broadcast on local cable television.
We sincerely hope that the new regulations, which discriminate against women and girls in an intolerable way, will soon be lifted. Many talks are taking place with the local Taliban administrations. They also want our projects to run normally again. We are currently distributing firewood to all primary schools in the four districts around Andkhoi. Here, too, a staff member is involved in the distribution.
Our colleagues are in contact with their colleagues and the pupils and encourage them in this difficult time. We will continue to stand by the people in Afghanistan who are now threatened by hunger and disease and can only dream of a better life. We have just distributed food and woollen blankets to 250 needy people and their families and spent about EUR 23,500 on this. Another distribution is in preparation.
Please see our projects by using the following links: