Onkhyai Valley Girls School, Afghanistan

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In 2009, the Rotary Club of Emerald City developed the vision of building a girls’ school in Afghanistan. The club members developed a plan and began raising funds for the construction of the school. With help from other Rotary clubs, individuals and foundations, the funds were raised.

The construction of the Onkhyai Valley Girls School in central Afghanistan was completed in March of 2011 for the beginning of the Afghan school year. Emerald City Rotary partnered with a local Afghan non-government organization (NGO)–Agriculture, Health and Development Organization (AHDO)—to construct the school.

The Afghan Ministry of Education provides supplies as well as instructors and support staff to operate the school.

The school when it opened had no desks, chalk boards or other furniture. Although the students were provided books and school supplies by the Ministry of Education, the students sat on bare floors.

Emerald City Rotary, along with other Rotary clubs and Rotary International, just finished a grant process to purchase desks, chalk boards and other supplies, including laptop computers. These items will be in place when classes resume in March of 2013. (The school is not open during the cold months during the winter and the hot summer months).

The school will also provide space for up to 100 women to attend literacy classes. In this province, few women have had the opportunity to attend school. Many of these women will also benefit from using the laptop computers brought home by their children.

The school will serve:

  • 400 primary, elementary school and middle school girls
  • 150 primary school boys
  • 100 women enrolled in literacy classes

Emerald City Rotary member Dr. Suzanne Griffin is the impetus behind the school. Subsequent to September of 2001, she has been engaged by several agencies and universities to assist and rebuild the education system in Afghanistan. Although working to improve the overall educational system, her focus has been on the education of girls and women.

Several articles have been published about education in Afghanistan as well as Dr. Griffin’s efforts:

For the March 2013 update, download the presentation here.

To learn more about this club project or how you can help, please send us an email here.