Creating Hope For The Future

January 18, 2009

Children in the United States have always had the opportunity to attend school and obtain an education, in order to prepare themselves to enter the job market and make a living for themselves and their families. Many go on after completing High School, to college to learn a trade in order to better compete in the job market. In war torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and others, the children often don’t have the opportunity to attend school, for many reasons. Sometimes, because their families need them to earn wages, in order to help provide sustenance and shelter for their family members. Other reason might be because of the dangers involved with going to school, or the fact that the building their school was held in, was damaged during fighting. Our children are very lucky that education is a top priority in our country and every child is required to attend school, at least until they reach the age of 16, at which time they have the choice to drop out, get their GED or complete their High School education. Often in other countries, while the children yearn to attend school, many reasons prevent them from doing so. Knowing the importance of education for the future of these countries, one thing provincial reconstruction teams have concentrated on, is ensuring that the children in these countries have the opportunity to obtain an education.

Recently, in one Afghan province, commitment to education was at the forefront, during a ground-breaking ceremony for the Maliki Surial girls’ school in the province’s Behsood district Jan. 11. When completed, the school will have 10 classrooms which will allow for 1,400 girls to attend school within a year.

“Currently, the girls attend an open-air school where they sit outdoors and learn,” Army Capt. Elisabeth Leon, Nangarhar PRT lead engineer, said. “When the weather turns bad, they simply can’t go to school.”1

During the groundbreaking ceremony, officials urged those in the audience to do everything possible to make sure that the school reaches it’s potential. By ensuring that the school succeeds, they are also ensuring that the girls who attend the school, have the opportunity to succeed, far beyond their wildest dreams. They will be giving each of the young girls hope for their futures.

“The key to success in Afghanistan is education of all children,” LTC Steven Cabosky, Nangarhar PRT commandersaid. “While this school project will help, the hard work still exists. It’s up to all of you to make sure your children are able to go to school and receive an education. That is what will build a strong Afghanistan.”2

Before the Taliban government was defeated in 2001, fewer than a million children – almost none of them girls — attended school in Afghanistan. Since then, the number has grown to more than 6 million children, with 35 percent of them girls, according to NATO International Security Assistance Force statistics.3

With each new school that is built, or one that is refurbished, more chance for success and change is offered to the future of these countries. These children are the future leaders of their country. With the chance to obtain an education, they are being enabled to succeed and make positive changes in their country. This provides hope for their future and the future of their country.

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