School for 520 students in Zeera Gag, Afghanistan

In much of Afghanistan, limited roads, basic infrastructure and harsh weather conditions mean that gaining access to education is a challenge. Afghani people have worked hard to overcome the odds, even going to school with a zeal to learn before there are any buildings in place. The Nai Qala Association, supported by Oak Foundation, is dedicated to empowering Afghan men and women to change the future of Afghanistan for the better, and believes that improving education and health in remote areas will help them to do so.

Thanks to the Nai Qala Association, a new school with eight classrooms, a library, a toilet block, water well and sports field is already improving the quality of education for some 520 boys and girls in the village of Zeera Gag in the Bamyan Province of central Afghanistan. Taiba Rahim, President of Nai Qala Association, says “as the regions we work in are very difficult to reach, it takes courage by all involved to believe that a school or clinic can actually be built in these regions”.

Now though, the number of children registered for school in the area has been steadily increasing thanks to the new facilities. Students who had previously been forced to drop out, such as fifteen-year old Shirinne, are now able to return to their studies. Shirinne explains, “I quit school two years ago because the classroom had no roof. The condition of the school on the dusty ground under the very hot sun, and also in the rain, became unbearable. This year I heard that a lady came to our village and talked about building a proper school for children. My father told me this news and we went to the school to register me. This makes me happy and hopeful.”

© Taiba Rahim/Nai Qala Association