With a student body of more than 250 children drawn from four villages, Aloku School is the largest and most important primary school in Kandaharâs Dand District. However, parents had been increasingly reluctant to send their children to school because of poor security and deteriorating facilities. With a grant from USAIDâs Local Governance and Community Development (LGCD) project, these children are now returning to school.
In Kandahar, community leaders are reclaiming their childrenâs right to education. Aloku School was missing doors and win-dows and the roof leaked. The badly damaged boundary wall did little to stop wild dogs from entering the building during classes or drug addicts from using the building at night. The school principal and members of the affected communities re-quested a grant to build an 80-meter security wall, which they designed with support from the U.S. Marine Corps and a British reconstruction team based in Lashkar Gah. The team also as-sisted with making improvements to the school building, and community leaders paved the road leading to the school. In addition to benefitting Dand District children, the project pro-vided temporary jobs for 45 local men.
Engineers from the Afghan Department of Education and De-partment of Rural Rehabilitation monitored construction on a regular basis. During one site visit, a representative from the Education Department said, 'The rehabilitation of this school has had a positive impact on the community. Students' interest in learning has increased. More people have shown interest in sending their children to the school.'
The Aloku school project is an excellent example of coordina-tion between community leaders, local government, and inter-national partners. The hope is that parents in neighboring districts will draw inspiration from the success of this project and work to undertake projects to restart education in their own communities.
As USAIDâs flagship stabilization effort, LGCD works to engage communities in unstable areas to take an active role in their own security and addresses priority grievances of at-risk populations through integrated community development projects.
June 13, 2014
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