It's a nondescript building in a side street somewhere in Kabul City. But for the 100 students that attend this elementary school, its value is immeasurable.
It's a nondescript building in a side street somewhere in Kabul City. But for the 100 students that attend this elementary school, its value is immeasurable. They are delighted to go to school and eager to learn.
Shelter Now's Udo Stolte is overwhelmed: "Kabul, May 24th 2009: I'd barely arrived at the airport when I was whisked away by our staff. The entire school was waiting eagerly for the "cameraman" to arrive from Germany. It's Teachers' Day, the day when students throughout Afghanistan specifically honor their teachers and thank them for their hard work. I think we should import this custom to Germany. We could learn a lot from the Afghans. Walking into the school playground, we receive a respectful but very warm welcome from the students and teachers. The pupils are all dressed up. They perform songs, recite poems, act out sketches, throw glitter around and generally have a lot of fun. The teachers feed each other with cake - a ritual expressing honor and deep respect. The remaining cake is given out to the children. In one classroom, there is Afghan music playing and some of the children are dancing, there's a general party atmosphere.
A few days later, we return to the school. Everyday life has now resumed, but the same polite and cheerful atmosphere remains. If a child gets something right in front of the class, everyone applauds. It’s fun being here and I find I’m reluctant to leave. During the break, the children play together energetically – and there are no arguments! There are children from different ethnic groups here – Tajiks, Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks and perhaps others. There are a good 60 girls and 40 boys. These children really stole my heart away!"
Classes are taught in two sittings during the mornings. In the afternoons there are then English and computer courses. Those who want to, can also learn how to make carpets.
Shelter Now took over this school a few months ago from another organization that was unable to continue the work. The school needs painting and they want a slide for the playground. Otherwise it costs us around 1000 euros a month to keep the school running. So if you would like to, you can sponsor a child for 10 euros a month. An exciting project!