For the first time in Nai Qala’s history, a donor visits one of our projects.
Since 2007, Nai Qala has been implementing projects in remote areas of central Afghanistan. Since our very first project, the construction of a school in the village of Nai Qala, hundreds of donors, big and small, have made donations to support our work and make a difference in neglected communities. Without their generous contributions this would not have been possible, but none of them have ever visited any of our many projects. In June 2021, for the first time, one of our strongest partners, the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC), came to visit some of our projects in remote regions of central Afghanistan.
A donor ready to go to the field
Switzerland is committed to improving access to quality basic education for all in Afghanistan and is Nai Qala’s main partner for its pre-school project; this program helps prepare children for elementary school, thus greatly increasing their chances of success and reducing the risk of dropping out. For just over a year the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency has been supporting our pre-school education project in Daikundi province and some of the most remote areas of Bamyan province, where many boys and girlsare not in school.
In early 2021, Nai Qala made a presentation to SDC regarding the projects they support. SDC were impressed by the impact and importance of their support to children, parents and rural communities. They expressed their deep desire and interest in carrying out a field visit and seeing the results of the Nai Qala association’s projects with their own eyes. Honored by the trust and commitment of its partners, Nai Qala accepted the challenge and organized a visit to the project for 3 members of the SDC team in Kabul.
Visit to pre-school classes in Bamyan province
At the end of June, Nai Qala took the SDC team to visit villages in Yakawlang district where the project is implemented. The main objective of the visit was to follow up on the pre-school project in Bamyan province. The delegation visited two classes and met with teachers and parents. They had the opportunity to see the changes brought about by the preschool program both in the children and in the communities. Indeed, all were very impressed:
“When we visited the pre-primary classes run by the Nai Qala Association […] we were impressed to see the social skills the children had developed. One proud father told us that his daughter was doing better than her older brother, who is already in primary school. All of the parents told us that their children are more focused, more respectful of their elders, and have better personal hygiene and table manners since they started attending the classes. This gives them a much better chance of succeeding in school, and coming from communities that are often neglected, these children need every advantage they can get.”
A sense of pride
The presence of the SDC delegation made the communities proud, as few outsiders take the time and risk to visit their homes. They would never have imagined that they would have such quality guests, who took an interest in the education of their children. People need inspiration and this visit helped these communities find it.
Equally important, the SDC team also made Nai Qala proud, as this field visit was not only to examine where and how Swiss funding is being spent, but also to see the conditions under which the Nai Qala Association works and the level of commitment required to ensure that we reach every child to provide them with a basic education. This experience will remain an important source of inspiration and motivation. It gave us a real boost of confidence.