Dasht-e-Barchi is a heavily-populated district located in western Kabul which “sprang virtually out of the desert 10 years ago” (AP 23 Jan. 2014) when hundreds of thousands of previously displaced people returned to Afghanistan. Narrow alleys and unpaved roads extend from both sides of Shahid Mazari Road like a labyrinth. An analyst from the Afghanistan Analysts Network stated that Dasht-e-Barchi is relatively poor, overcrowded, offers few work opportunities, and lacks sufficient government infrastructure, such as schools and roads (AAN 13 Apr. 2016). There is a shortage of government schools and most families in this area can not afford the private schools that are available.
Zahra Sarwary founded the Royesh Private School in the heart of Dasht-e-Barchi in March 2017 and opened the doors to the school’s first 70 students. In 2003, at the age of fourteen, she and her family returned to Kabul after living as refugees in Iran. In Kabul, she attended a school with no classrooms, chairs, books or teachers and began to dream of ways to improve the education system in Afghanistan. She received her undergraduate degree from Kabul Education University and her masters from Kateb University and has spent the last ten years of her life as a teacher, trainer and course facilitator. She has taught all age levels from pre-school through university and is a passionate education activist.
Sarwary’s inspiration to start a school came from several trainings through the ALEM Project, organized by the French Embassy. She made several trips to France to visit schools and attend advanced trainings in inquiry-based learning methods. Speaking of her mentor-trainers, Michel Ouliac and Patrick Marcelle, she stated, “They showed me how to work practically and effectively to make the students seek both knowledge and competencies.”
The Royesh Private School aims to improve education standards for its students and its teachers. Sarwary conducts free training for teachers and is committed to elevate the quality of teaching in Afghanistan. Painted in bright colors, the school has a library, computer class, laboratory and comfortable classrooms. Students thrive with hands-on learning experiences. They conduct experiments, participate in field trips, and enjoy classes in technology and art. Guest speakers and other programs help to engage parents in their children’s learning journeys. The school also provides health care services, competitions, celebrations and other events.
In an effort to make high-quality education accessible for needy students in Dasht-e-Barchi, ROYA is partnering with Royesh Private School to match children from impoverished families with financial sponsors. The school currently serves students through 9th grade and will add new grades each year. We have identified 65 needy students, many who have lost their fathers, have parents with a disability or are unemployed. The total cost for tuition, books and uniforms ranges from $11 US per month to $18 US per month depending on grade level and the need to study during the winter session. Please help us to offer these deprived children a brighter future with better opportunities.
To see the available students and learn more about sponsoring, click here.