Canadian taxpayers can be proud that modest contributions from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) over the past few years have supported an exceptional school in the heart of southern Afghanistan, the Afghan Canadian Community Centre.
Tucked away behind unassuming but protective gates down a quiet street in Kandahar city, hundreds of young people bustle in and out of the small building every day. Women swell the ACCC's classrooms in the day, while young men come for their classes in the evenings. Operating much like a community college, Kandaharis can take computer, business, marketing and English classes here that allow them to land good jobs and earn good incomes. They take online classes with Canadian profs at places like the South Alberta Institute of Technology, making use of the benefits offered by free software like Skype and Canadian 'virtual volunteers' keen to pitch in where they can.
In this deeply conservative setting, access to education opportunities like those offered at the ACCC are hard to come by. Many international and Afghan NGOs have no interest in going anywhere near Kandahar given its precarious security situation, while it is the southern region that most needs more social...More >>