Below is an excerpt from a UNICEF report, showing truly how education can not only prepare children for a better life, but how it can unite villages, provinces and a nation as a whole.
"They had dreams of a better life for their children. More than two decades of war had ravaged their families and communities and left their educational system in ruins. Two generations of opportunity lost. Yet the people of Afghanistan never lost hope. Their own dreams thwarted, they never stopped believing that their children’s would one day be ignited.
Entire communities – both men and women – supported informal schools. Many clandestine schools also provided skills training and secular education for children. Teachers risked their lives to hold classes in homes across the country. This indomitable spirit and hunger for education is shaping Afghanistan’s future, and provides, perhaps, the strongest hope that its citizens can surmount the many challenges they still face.
Today, education is emerging in Afghanistan as a powerful tool for rebuilding the country. Since the end of 2001, the Afghan government has been working with local communities, non-governmental organizations and the international community. Together, they have repaired hundreds of school buildings, provided safe water and sanitation facilities to more than 1,000 others, supplied more than 8,500 tents to house temporary classrooms and airlifted thousands of tons of school supplies into the country. They have developed curricula and helped ensure that girls have access to education.
In March 2002, schools opened their doors for the first time in years. Three million children – one third of them girls – flooded the classrooms. With international support, the Ministry of Education is now focusing its efforts on improving the school environment so that even more girls will come to school."
You can read the full report here.