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A Letter from the Director of the Afghan School Project

December 20th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Ten years ago, I received this picture from Kandahar – the first women using the computer lab at the Afghan Canadian Community Center (ACCC). Weeks later, classes were underway and enrollment was building.

Ten years of women’s education, in the birthplace of the Taliban.

Those years were challenging. We navigated a conservative culture, death threats and even assassination attempts against the Director, Ehsanullah Ehsan, only to find ourselves confounded by funding shortfalls, fifty-page grant applications and miles of red tape.

But we carried on – with thousands of graduates and a source of income for more than ten thousand residents, more than 1% of Kandahar Province.

All from this small, grassroots project.

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This year presented a new challenge, as our large-donor funding dried up once more. To survive, the ACCC had to shrink significantly, closing the door on many brave, deserving and eager-to-learn students.

Your donations to last year’s Dare to Learn Campaign are the reason many women were able to continue learning. Your generosity kept the door open for them, raising $50,000 in scholarships. I’d particularly like to thank those who supported the recent campaign by Mr. David Belluz. Your help came at a critical time.

The Dare to Learn campaign was led by a former student, Maryam, who hopes we can do it again together this year. (Read more from Maryam below.) With your support, the women can continue to learn, graduate, get good jobs, and have their classes filled by the next round of eager students.

Now operating at a smaller level, ACCC/KIMS can remain sustainable with the help of individuals like you and a few small charities – without having to rely on fluctuating large-donor funding.

Thanks to you, we’ve had so many accomplishments this year – the graduation of more than 130 students, new international online classes offered by Pax Populi, Peace Day celebrations, and the ’16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women’ campaign.

But we need your help to continue in 2017. Please donate here to help fund a further 20 scholarships as part of our 12 Days of Learning, where you’ll offer hope to students such as Suhila at a cost of just $30 per month:

Suhila is 25 years old, and works as a teacher at the local high school. She currently attends one class at the ACCC, but would also like to also join the Skype and Computing classes. She hopes to one day train the future leaders of Afghanistan, to help the country move toward peace.  Suhila’s favorite food is hamburgers, and the people she admires most are her parents for supporting her interest in education. To her supporters, she says: “Thank you very much.” 

All donations are eligible for a Canadian tax receipt.

Thank you so very much for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Ryan Aldred
Director, Afghan School Project
President, Canadian International Learning Foundation

Links in Plain Text:

The ‘Dare to Learn’ Campaign – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/dare-to-learn/

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