Institutional Activities in Afghanistan

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kmaherali
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Institutional Activities in Afghanistan

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Afghan Jamat celebrates World Teachers’ Day

The Women’s Committee of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan hosted an event on 8 October 2018 in Kabul to coincide with World Teachers’ Day. The day’s programme brought together over 80 students and 10 volunteer teachers from various Jamatkhanas across Kabul.

Attendees participated in a range of activities throughout the day, and students penned a number of essays, stories, and poems in tribute of their teachers on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world on 5 October every year. The occasion provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the role of teachers in the development of students and society. The day aims to focus on appreciating the positive impact of teachers despite their often limited resources.

At the event in Kabul, volunteer teachers were on hand to assist students with writing difficulties, and by the end of the day the students were able to write their own names, which brought joy to the teachers, and highlighted their positive impact.

President of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan Mr. Mir Ahmad Joyenda, and Chairman of the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board Khuram Baig Salimi delivered speeches on the day. Both the President and Chairman encouraged students to continue learning and support their families by expanding their knowledge.

The President and Chairman expressed their gratitude to the volunteer teachers for their support. It was encouraging to all to witness optimism and hope for all the students and volunteer teachers present. The Women’s committee plans to hold similar educational programming in other parts of the country.

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kmaherali
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Post by kmaherali »

Bamyan hosts Salgirah celebration

A delegation from the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan travelled to Bamyan in December 2018 to join the Jamat there in celebrating the occasion of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s 82nd birthday.

The President of the Council, Mir Ahmad Joyenda, and members of the delegation were welcomed by the deputy governor of Bamyan and leaders of regional AKDN institutions at the airport, before a meeting to exchange ideas on further strengthening the relationship between Imamat institutions and the local government.

On 13 December 2018, over 1500 residents from Bamyan, representing all religious backgrounds came together to celebrate Salgirah with the Jamat in the region. President Joyenda thanked the local authorities for their warm welcome and continued coordination with Imamat institutions over the past 15 years.

“His Highness the Aga Khan has an enduring commitment to Afghanistan and its people. This commitment has been expressed in many conferences and reiterated in the recent Geneva conference.” He said.

His Excellency Mohammed Taher Zahir, the governor of Bamyan delivered a speech in which he acknowledged the gracious support of Mawlana Hazar Imam and AKDN institutions in the region, and singled out the AKDN-operated Bamyan Regional Hospital for special praise.

The following day, members of the National council were joined by leaders of the local council and AKDN staff on a tour of three villages in the Shebar district, to meet with the Jamat there, and discuss opportunities for further progress and development.

Photos at:

https://the.ismaili/afghanistan/bamyan- ... rce=Direct
kmaherali
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Post by kmaherali »

Celebrating International Women’s Day in Afghanistan

The Ismaili Council for Afghanistan’s Women’s Committee hosted a multi-city event on 14 March 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day. The programme brought together over 3,000 women and men to celebrate the role of women in society.

Over a number of years, the Women’s Committee has been making significant strides in the fields of women’s empowerment and gender equality. This has resulted in numerous examples of successful women improving their living conditions, and supporting others to do so.

The Jamat in Afghanistan celebrated International Women’s Day in Kabul, and four regions in the north of the country; Baghlan, Samangan, Mazar e Sharif, and Badakhshan. Exhibitions of women’s drawings, paintings, and handicrafts raised awareness of the artistic talent, and small business acumen of women in the community. Creating and selling art and handicrafts generates income for women, thus reducing dependance, and imparting dignity.

The celebration also raised awareness of universal values, and the rights of all individuals, especially women in society, at local, national, and international levels.

President of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, Mir Ahmad Joyenda delivered speeches on the importance of compassion, fairness, and justice in Islam, and called for all attendees to focus on education as a means to empowerment.

The events were attended by members of the Jamat, including female leaders of Jamati and AKDN institutions.

Photos at:

https://the.ismaili/afghanistan/womens- ... rce=Direct
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Post by kmaherali »

Afghanistan Update - 20 August 2021

The currently ongoing events in Afghanistan are causing concern for the Jamat around the world, and the purpose of this advisory is to share authoritative information in this regard.

English | فارسی

The Jamat in Afghanistan as well as globally is requested not to heed any unfounded rumours and uninformed or even incorrect media reports. The Jamati institutions should be viewed as the only source of reliable information in this evolving situation.

There are very few civilian casualties involving members of the Jamat, the majority of whom are safe and continuing with normal life.

The Jamat has been advised to remain calm, and not give in to panicked reactions. Also, it is in each family's best interest to remain in charge of their homes and dwellings wherever they are located.

Mawlana Hazar Imam is giving constant guidance and direction to the Jamati leadership in addressing the developments.

Our Jamati and AKDN institutions remain safe, and have not come under any undue pressures. In accordance with Mawlana Hazar Imam's guidance, all our institutions continue to operate as normal.

We pray for mushkil-asan and the safety and security of our brothers and sisters who are facing difficulties.

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Taliban leader meets with top Aga Khan Foundation member, discusses strategy for Afghanistan

2021, November 6:


Read more At:
https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/ ... 106212752/

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 6 (ANI): The Taliban's spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the top leaders of the group met with the envoy of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Akbar Pesnani, to discuss a comprehensive development strategy for Afghanistan, Sputnik reported.

Hanafi said that the Taliban is ready to assist the foundation in its mission in the country.

Emphasising that the joint activities should focus on the development of the health care and education systems in Afghanistan, Hanafi said that the Taliban had already begun creating conditions for girls' education in the country.

Pesnani also stated that the current priority should be the development of female education in Afghanistan.

Currently, Afghanistan is surrounded by various issues as the country's government had collapsed months back and the Taliban took control of it.

Also see: http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php ... &start=120
kmaherali
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Re: Institutional Activities in Afghanistan

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Resilience in spite of challenges: An interview with Amir Baig, President of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan

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Following recent political and economic instability in Afghanistan, The Ismaili conducted a special interview with Amir Baig, President of the Ismaili Council for Afghanistan, who explained the conditions facing the Jamat, and how Jamati and AKDN institutions are responding.

The situation in Afghanistan has grown ever more complex over the past 40 years. Amidst droughts and insecurity, the country has endured conflict and 30 years of civil war. Today, Afghanistan is in the throes of a humanitarian and economic crisis.

Survival and safety have been the primary concerns of families, under conditions that few can imagine. In spite of extremely challenging circumstances, the Jamat remains resilient.

The vast majority of the Jamat has remained in the country, illustrating confidence in the Jamati institutions’ efforts and guidance, as well as a sense of hope. The Jamati institutions, established over the last two decades, are working hard to monitor the conditions of the Jamat, to implement programmes, and to assist AKDN agencies that provide services.

Country context

The Ismaili:

Following the sudden collapse of the government in mid-August 2021, there was a fear of escalating violence and deteriorating conditions in society. How has the situation evolved?

President Baig:

Civil society collapsed, financial institutions were paralysed with little cash to offer depositors, and there was no semblance of a functioning government. There was fear of reprisals and concerns about the status of women and their education. Foreign aid had been a lifeline for the country for 40 years. After being completely frozen, aid is now slowly trickling in. Law and order had to be restored, businesses came to a standstill, and stability was needed.

The transition had its challenges. There was confusion and disarray in the beginning and we quickly mobilised our teams to connect with the Jamat around the country to assess their condition. AKDN, with its longstanding presence in the country, has continued to operate on the basis of neutrality, working peacefully for the benefit of all Afghans. This has helped the Jamat significantly, alongside sister communities, as programmes benefit all segments of the population, irrespective of religion or political affiliation.

We are in regular dialogue with government leaders in Kabul and in other regions on the needs of the most vulnerable populations and how we can continue to assist them. Together with leadership from the National Council and Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Envoy, Vazir Akbar Pesnani, as well as Jamati representatives and others, we have visited every part of the country to understand the Jamat’s circumstances first-hand.

An extensive national Quality of Life survey was conducted in the last five years and information is updated periodically. We are, therefore, aware of the Jamat’s status across the country. This has helped us mobilise resources, implement programs, and provide assistance quickly in areas of need.

Food insecurity

The World Food Programme estimates there are 22 million people needing food aid in the country. Droughts have continued in the north, affecting food supplies for the past two years. What is the food security situation of the Jamat?

During the past few months, there have been food shortages in the country, and the National Council, together with the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, along with its partners such as the World Food Programme, has provided much needed food aid to the Jamat and its neighbours, including in remote villages such as Shewa in Badakhshan.

No one in the Jamat is going hungry. The Council initiated a food aid programme in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, and the Aga Khan Foundation, to provide 2,000 metric tons of food between 2020 and the end of 2021. The Council sent more than 12,000 food packages and cooking supplies to the most needy villages and families, and this support will continue in drought-affected areas until the harvest season.

Assistance is continuing. We are receiving regular reports from the regions about the condition of each family, so we are monitoring the Jamat’s situation continuously. A better harvest is expected this year, and some of the frozen Afghan government assets may be freed to provide food aid in months to come.

Unemployment

What is the employment and financial situation of the Jamat? Are women largely prohibited from working?

The Jamat, like other communities, has been impacted, though the situation of the Jamat has not deteriorated to extreme levels.

Unemployment in the country has tripled. Many have lost their jobs, including teachers and those working in the federal, municipal, and provincial governments. Women have been particularly affected and many are out of work. The majority of Afghan students were previously taught by women, and they have been greatly affected. There is a shortage of qualified teachers and the situation is critical. However, UNICEF is providing a few months’ salaries to teachers to help them survive.

Prior to August 2021, the unemployment rate in the Jamat was 36 per cent. Today, it stands at 81 per cent, so you can imagine the consequences on families. As most members of the Jamat have a second home in smaller towns or villages, many have returned there as they can survive more easily than in the large cities. The Council provided transportation for over 4,000 people to return to their ancestral lands. This may continue for a while, until there is financial stability, but we are continuing to educate and train people to earn income from other sources. Together with the government and AKDN, we need to make employment opportunities a priority in the coming months.

Healthcare

How are medical facilities coping? Does the Jamat have access to adequate healthcare?

Hospitals are running out of fuel for generators and medicines are in short supply. However, most of the Jamat has access to at least basic health care. Those in the mountainous and more remote villages still have to travel for several hours, if not a full day, to reach a clinic or hospital. The French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul, established in 2006 through a partnership between the Government of France, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, AKDN, and the French NGO La Chaîne de L’Espoir, offers support to Jamati members needing treatment. The Jamat has good access to hospitals operated by Aga Khan Health Services, such as Faizabad hospital (AKHS Provincial hospital), and the Aga Khan Hospital in Bamiyan.

Education

Initially due to the pandemic, students were unable to go to school. In particular, those in Grades 11 and 12 lost half a year of schooling, which may impact their ability to enter university. Girls are no longer permitted to attend secondary school. How has the current situation impacted access to education for students within the Jamat?

The National Council has developed several programmes to provide classes to help students prepare for university entrance exams and for others to learn new skills, including English and vocational training.

The future of our children is a significant focus. The Aga Khan Education Services provided resources to teach students in our Jamatkhanas and Bait-ul Ilms. Over 9,000 students are enrolled in the Women’s Empowerment Programme and Digital Learning initiative, of which 65% are women. Over 1,000 students are enrolled in English classes, and 110 teachers are in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) training programme at the Aga Khan Learning Centre in Kabul.

The objective is to build professional level capacity in ECD to enable access to science and mathematics courses, and increase access to all levels of the English language. Recently, AKES established an Early Learning Centre in Kabul catering to children aged three to six years. We have also received tertiary level scholarships.

Status of women

Many of the gains made over the past two decades have dissipated, especially in employment. Universities have gender-segregated classes now and many women were dismissed from their positions in schools and in the government. What is the overall status of women in the Jamat?

Women have been affected the most because of the unemployment situation. This will take time to resolve and the Council has taken measures to provide them with other skills. But in the cities, they are free to attend Jamatkhanas in the mornings and evenings, even without a male attendant, and to shop freely in the bazaars. The burka is not enforced and a scarf will generally suffice as a head covering. More remote areas, however, are more conservative, and they are more restricted.

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The Jamat, under the guidance and protection of Mawlana Hazar Imam and with the support of Imamat institutions continues to prepare for the future. AKDN staff and Ismaili Council leadership and Jamati volunteers are committed to monitoring conditions and to providing all assistance possible at this fragile period in the country’s history.

More photos at:

https://the.ismaili/global/news/institu ... he-ismaili
kmaherali
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Aga Khan National Council’s head dies in Afghanistan as car crashes into the river

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The head of Aga Khan National Council for Afghanistan has reportedly died as a result of a car crash in the northern Badakhshan province, local sources confirmed.

According to reports from the northern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, the head of Aga Khan National Council for Afghanistan and two of his colleagues have disappeared as their car fell into the Amu River in Ghazdara area of Miamai district of Badakhshan on Thursday afternoon.

Amir Big, the head of Aga Khan National Council for Afghanistan, Dawlat Sherdil, the head of Aga Khan’s National Council for Badakhshan and Noor Ahmad Etumadi, another senior member have been killed as a result of a car accident at 5:00 PM on Thursday, a local source told Khaama Press.

“Out of the four people inside a Toyota LandCruiser SUV, only driver the driver has survived who is now in a local hospital.”, the source said.

Hundreds of people have been gathered from both side of the Afghanistan and Tajikistan border to search for the dead bodies, the source added.

The reason behind the incident has reportedly been the worse condition of roads in the area and also the lack of understandings of the driving challenges by the driver who was new for such roads.

The northern Badakhshan region is in lack of paved roads despite billions of foreign aid funds have been spent in Afghanistan for building the infrastructures, but due to the unbalanced distribution of funds across the country, Badakhshan has received much lesser than it needed.

https://www.khaama.com/aga-khan-nationa ... the-river/
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