Cap Anamur has been working in Afghanistan since 2001 – our project coordinator Faisal currently reports on the projects we are still running.
The balance of power in Afghanistan has already been changing since mid-August 2021 – the Taliban have taken over. After four months, we can take stock of how the new political situation is affecting our current projects.
“The positive thing is”, reports Faisal Haisari “we are continuing our work in Herat”. In the following he summarizes how the situation has changed beyond that for the people and especially for the women and girls:
Our work in Herat goes on
“Our work continues – under much more difficult and insecure conditions and we are concerned about the future of the country. We continue to run the dialysis station and the training course for young women with restrictions.
We have to report a serious change especially in our tutoring project for low-income boys and girls. Currently, girls are only allowed to attend public schools until the 6th grade, so until the age of 12. Despite our best efforts, our tutoring program is also only allowed to teach boys. For the girls who had prepared for the university entrance exam within our course this and next year, participation is no longer possible.
The girls and women are excluded from education
For the female students that means no more school attendance and no prospect to be able to study. Many professions are no longer allowed for women, so their way to financial independence is blocked by the state.
One of our longest employees in the tutoring project, Ms. A., has been a teacher and principal at a state girls’ school for decades. Since we started our tutoring project, she has been coordinating the teachers’ lessons and the students’ admission formalities.
She reports that many girls have called the tutoring school to ask if they could come back to school. But this is now no longer possible. “In the last two years, we helped so many girls clear the exam hurdle to study, they were so happy and grateful, some did so well that they were allowed to study law, for example, and now suddenly this profession is forbidden for girls and women,” Ms. A explains.
The women and girls face a dark future
When the Taliban entered the country twenty years ago, Ms. A. quickly married off her daughters, still very young, to prevent them from being forced to marry a Talib. Even now, many families are afraid that the Taliban will lay claim to unmarried girls and widows.
Ms. A., together with her husband, also left their homeland for good; they were given protection in Germany: “I could never have imagined leaving Afghanistan at my age. We had even bought a burial plot in Herat, this is where we were born and where we wanted to be buried. The Taliban destroyed all my hopes for a better future for Afghanistan. It hurts my heart to think of all the smart, hardworking and fun-loving girls who now face dark times ahead.”
Our project coordinator, Faisal Haidari, has overseen Cap Anamur’s work since 2001, when the first girls’ schools were established. “I often think back to 20 years ago, when we were doing our part in rebuilding a battered country. I am shocked and deeply saddened by this current step backwards for the Afghan civilian population, especially for the female part. I think back with melancholy to the little girls who, with their hands rough and cracked from wind, weather and work, proudly clutched their school bags with beaming faces on their way to their village schools.”