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A Los Alamos resident is doing his part to raise funds for a school in Sarkar, Afghanistan. Bob Fuselier, a local veterinarian, is spearheading the local drive.
Even though their classes currently are held out in the open, boys and girls from Sarkar and surrounding areas of Helmand Province are now attending school for the first time in the village’s history. The $20,000 raised thus far through the generosity of people from Los Alamos is about $10,000 short of the amount needed to build the 320 meter privacy wall and well for the future school.
The donated wall and well has been leveraged by Dr. Mohammed Kharoti of Green Village Schools to win a commitment from the Afghan Ministry of Education to finish the classrooms and provide the teachers and staff for the future school.
The groundbreaking was recently held as Ferhard and Wakel, two engineers from the Ministry of Education, along with Dr. Kharoti and the elders from Sarkar marked out the location of the school’s privacy walls. Students played after their classes as parents and elders celebrated the day as a new beginning, one filled with the hope that is familiar to all parents: a better life for their children.
The school is being built to last. The footings for the foundation of the privacy wall are 70 centimeters deep and 60 centimeters wide. The wall will be 30 centimeters wide and about 2½ meters high, built of fired brick.
Men from the village are being hired to do the work, something for which they are very thankful. Having the fathers and brothers of future students involved in the construction ensures the highest quality of work and increases greatly the desire to maintain and safeguard the school for the future. A project built by those who it serves is one most likely to find success.
Although Kharoti is quick to give the credit for the school’s beginnings to those who have financially supported the school, the project would have never begun if not for his dedication for bringing education to Afghan children.
Kharoti’s efforts are fueled by his ability to bridge the divides that have prevented Afghanistan from moving forward. Although he now lives in Portland, Oregon, Kharoti’s grew up in Helmand Province and understands well the customs of his people.
To start a school, or any major project, one must be able to gain the approval of more than just the parents, local elders, and Ministry of Education. Religious leaders, including the Taliban, must approve. Kharoti’s ability to gain the approval of all who might have a say in the building of the school in Sarkar has allowed for the project to move forward and will help ensure its success in the future.
If you are interested in helping bring peace to Afghanistan through education, make a donation to Green Village Schools (http://www.greenvillageschools.org/). On their donation page is a link to donate for the Sarkar project.