Fighting for peace with the weapons of literacy

One man’s commitment to the people of Afghanistan

Linked with Reinhard Erös – Germany, with The International Council on Security and Development ICOS, with Kinderhilfe Afghanistan /German Aid for Afghan Children GAAC, and with POPPY FOR MEDECINE.

Published on current, by english edition of Zeit-Fragen, 30-07-2005.

… Health stations and peace schools:

Between 1987 and 1990, during the time of the Soviet occupation, Dr Eroes and his wife, together with their four children, worked with the women and children of Afghanistan: Annette Eroes as a teacher in the refugee camps around Peshawar, and Reinhard Eroes secretly and “illegally” as a barefoot-doctor in the caves of Tora Bora inside Afghanistan. During these terrible years the children of Afghanistan came especially close to their hearts and after their return to Germany in 1990 they did not forget the country and its marvellous people: In order to help the children and adolescents in an effective and lasting way and to provide them with a peaceful and prosperous future in their country they founded, in 1989, the project “Kinderhilfe Afghanistan” (German Aid for Afghan Children).

In the eastern provinces of Afghanistan and in refugee-camps near the Pakistan/Afghan border they construct, run and support, together with their Afghan co-workers, medical health stations, mother-child hospitals and so-called peace schools. They set up their first peace school while Afghanistan was still under the Taliban regime in Peshawar/Pakistan in 1998. In four years, more than 1000 Afghan girls were educated there. Today, more than two years after the Taliban were removed from power, and after many refugees have now returned to Afghanistan, it is still considered one of the best schools for Pakistan’s refugees in the border area.

Setting up village schools in remote areas:

After the fall of the Taliban regime at the end of 2001, Dr. Eroes built and started running the first schools inside Afghanistan, especially concentrating on the eastern provinces. Since March 2002, more than 4000 girls, between the ages of 6 and 18, have been taught by 120 female teachers in their Allaei Primary School and Allaei Girls High School in Jalalabad. In this High School, two German teachers have worked on a voluntary basis since 2004, supported by the organisation “Kinderhilfe Afghanistan”. They teach the subjects German, English and Computer Studies. During the past two years the “Kinderhilfe Afghanistan” has been able to build twelve additional schools in remote areas, especially in the troublesome eastern provinces: one in the rough mountain region of Tora Bora for 800 boys and girls, a village school for 1000 children in the poor border region of Kunar, the Paghman School for 600 girls and 300 boys in cooperation with the late UNICEF Ambassador Sir Peter Ustinov, a coeducational school in Laghman for the children of the Islamabad region, a village school for 600 children located at over 1200m in Kashmond, one of the poorest regions of Afghanistan, a girls-school for approximately 4000 children, and just a few weeks ago a boys high school for 5000 boys in Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangahar.

The subjects taught at these schools are the local languages Farsi and Pashtu, English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History, PHSE (Personal Health and Education), and Religion. The schools, as well as all the teaching materials, are free. Poor children and orphans receive regular meals and “care” parcels. Some of the schools offer German as a foreign language. Specially gifted pupils attend computer studies’ lessons. In cooperation with UNICEF, the subject “education for peace” has been integrated in the curriculum. More than 1000 female and male teachers, engineers, bricklayers, construction helpers, doctors, midwives, nurses and other assistants receive a regular income from the organisation Kinderhilfe, the only income for their families.

Financed by private donations: … (full text).

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