Meet Bushra

Bushra is ten years old and in the fourth grade. As a Hope school student she attends classes for four and a half hours each day. Her studies include English, computers and science, subjects generally not taught in government schools.

Ranking within a class is important in an Afghan school. Bushra is a good student, and holds the number two position. Her favorite subject is English, but she works hard in all her classes.

Photos of Teacher Day Celebration

Afghan New Year's Day, March 21, is both the first day of spring and the first day of school.

Education is the Key To The Future

Throughout Afghanistan, education was severely curtailed from 1996 to 2001 during Taliban times. Girls were forbidden to attend school, women teachers were dismissed. Schools everywhere had been severely damaged by years of war, and attending classes was a grim experience at best.

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The Hope School in Kabul
The Primary School of Hope was opened in 2000 in a two story house in the Wazir Akbar Khan district in central Kabul and served 150 young boys. The school was built and funded by The International Foundation of Hope, an American NGO supported by The Ritchie Family, who's heart is never far from Afghanistan. Rents escalated wildly in early 2002 and the school moved into tents on land donated by the city. Several classrooms were built in 2003, followed by the major construction of a modern school in 2013, Omid High School, with the help of the US Corps of Engineers. Today 1,580 boys and girls in Grades 1 to 12 gather and learn at what is considered one of the best schools in Kabul. But without the benefits most modern schools take for granted, like a lack of heating to get students through cold Kabul winters, there is much room to grow.

Afghan Ministry Of Education curriculum – Dari, Pashtu, Math, Holy Koran – is supplemented by classes in English and science for all and computers for students in older grades. The faculty numbers 40 teachers, who work under the inspired leadership of Principal Latifa Hashemi.

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Looking Ahead with Hope
For the initial 6 years of the school's inception, all expenses including teacher salaries, facility maintenance and updates, textbooks, and all other costs were covered by the American NGO that built the school: The International Foundation of Hope. Today, the school is now a private/public partnership, receiving recognition and support from the government, but all funding is left up to the school and private donators. As a result, students now pay a reasonable $19 per month, which goes towards teacher salaries and other school expenses. Even at this price, students are always in desperate need of scholarships, which can be donated directly through The International Foundation of Hope. With an emphasis on English programs and computer skills, The Hope School looks ahead brightly, and with the help of the outside world, hopes to be a model for education in Afghanistan in the years to come.

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