House of Flowers Orphanage

The House of Flowers (HoF) is a unique orphanage in Kabul that provides a home as well as an innovative education program for orphaned children aged 5 to 18. The House was founded in 2002 in order to help meet the critical needs of destitute children who had lost parents. Children in these situations were sometimes living on the streets or in situations of extreme poverty and/or violence. The HoF was designed to provide a safe and supportive home and a very strong and unique educational program for these children, giving them the chance to grow up in a developmentally healthy environment and also to recover from the traumas many of them had experienced. The House is currently home to 27 children, one third of whom are girls. Since 2002, the House of Flowers has operated under a protocol with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Disabled and Martyrs (MoLSADM) of the Government of Afghanistan. The children come to the House through recommendations from neighbors, family members and the MoLSADM. The staff then investigate the socioeconomic situation and assesses whether the need for a home for the child is genuine and legitimate. The orphanage was initially founded by an organization known as MEPO (Medical, Education and Peace Organization), and has been operated by an Afghan non-governmental organization (NGO) known as HEWAD since its founding.  From its inception, the philosophy of the HoF environment provided for the children has been based on Montessori learning and teaching principles, emphasizing inner development and inner strength through meeting children’s developmental needs. For example, the children at HoF are integrally involved in the House community. They have responsibilities but also freedom. They are given experience in life skills in the House to help prepare them for adulthood. They learn skills of conflict transformation, self-awareness and compassion, and also develop strong social skills. Children have joined the House of Flowers along the way, through recommendations from the MoLSADM. As the children grow older, some of them have begun transitioning out into the wider world, working part-time and earning their own money. Those who have left the House frequently return to visit, and the staff keeps close tabs on them to make sure that they continue their studies even after having left.

Using the DD Library to Support Girls’ Success in the Konkor Exam As students in Afghanistan complete high school, those who wish to enroll in university write a national examination known as the Konkor. The pass rates of this exam are higher among male students than among females, and one reason is likely males are more likely to access preparatory classes in private institutions, as well as other means of support to prepare for the exam, that female have more limited access to. In response to this problem, The Asia Foundation conceptualized a project using a systematic, cost effective, sustainable, and geographically representative approach: Providing the opportunity for Kankor Exam preparation training to girl students by their own school teachers and during their regular study time. This activity will be launched in 300 schools across Afghanistan. In addition to supporting teachers to effectively prepare female students to pass the exam by focusing on the questions one might expect to be included in the exam, CW4WAfghan’s Darakht-e Danesh Library will be mobilized to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills in teachers and students. The DD Library will make available a variety of learning materials, study guides, and interactive features that help students and teachers better grasp subject knowledge by engaging their thinking and analysis. Students in remote areas will access these tools from an offline version of the DD Library. DD Library team members will travel to the schools and support them to access and use this technology-enabled learning tool on site. Together, with the activities implemented by the Foundation and its other partners, it is anticipated that these efforts will result in a greater number of Afghan girls accessing higher education. With funding from:

Fanoos/Lantern: Teacher Training for Afghanistan

The goal of the Fanoos/Lantern Fund: Teacher Education for Afghanistan Program was to provide training for 1,000 in-service teachers each year, half of whom will be female, in rural Afghanistan. The teachers registered in the program were trained in active learning methods, as opposed to traditional rote learning. Their training had a heavy emphasis on hands-on math and science as well as student-centred social studies and language learning, utilizing highly qualified Afghan Master Teacher Trainers. Upon successful completion of training, teachers are certified by the Afghan Ministry of Education and, as a result, are eligible for a salary increase as certified teachers. We worked to intensively train teachers in both methods (pedagogy) and subject matter, as a powerful way to increase the quality of the public education system, and improve learning outcomes among students. The project’s goal was to raise learning outcomes by improving the quality of public secondary school education in target locations, contributing to Afghanistan’s long-term human development objectives by investing in the country’s human capital. Specific target outcomes include enhanced performance among trained teachers in pedagogical skill and in subject knowledge; enhanced pedagogical performance among trained teacher educators; participating schools equipped with resources that enable application of the training methods, including school science labs and school libraries; and the capacity development of school administrators in participating schools. The project budget was $400 per teacher trainee, which included the cost of basic training and numerous supplementary activities to reinforce the teachers’ professional development, including the equipping of all participating schools with School Starter Kits: one modest science lab and one mini library to provide the necessary resources for engaging students in active, hands-on learning. Quarterly reports are available for Fanoos. Please contact us to request a report. 

The Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies (KIMS) in Kandahar City is committed to promoting the participation of women in the economic, political, social, cultural and civic life of their country, and is provider of employment-oriented education that has created significant change for students in Kandahar, particularly women. The KIMS project promotes economic independence and social stability for 175 women and their families in Kandahar. The Professional Education Development project provides 10 months of scholarships for 175 women to attend training in English, Communications, Journalism and Computing. Training includes computer skills, business communication and English language, organizational behaviour, leadership, human resoures and conflict management, and fundamental accounting principles. There is a significant need for professional education and economic development, particularly for women in southern Afghanistan. Illiteracy in Kandahar Province is estimated at 71.7% in Kandahar Province (according to the Ministry of Education), the average family income is estimated at just $37 per week and 32% suffered from some form of food insecurity (Danish Refugee Council, 2013). The high rate of illiteracy and unemployment have contributed to the continuous subjugation of Afghan women.

fghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) was the first partner for CW4WAfghan in 1998. The initial grant of USD $2,500 helped cover the rent for their offices and women’s resource centres in refugee camps. Following that, funds were provided annually by CW4WAfghan for many projects with AWRC. AWRC was founded in 1989 to address the urgent needs of Afghan refugee women. AWRC’s stated vision for their organization is to work towards “a future where Afghan women are active agents of positive change in their community and country”. AWRC serves women and children in the provinces of Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Laghman and Ningarhar. Their main programmes include Community Mobilizations & Advocacy, Education, Community Empowerment, Supporting Civil Society Organizations. CW4WAfghan also helped to re-establish their offices in Kabul in 2002, to expand their activities and establish a suboffice in Laghman and funded a community library in Kabul. Most recently, AWRC was an implementing partner with our the CIDA funded Excel-erate teacher training, which ended April 2013.