Access to Education

Providing access to education for all students is absolutely essential to the safety and stability of the future of Afghanistan. Sahar’s commitment to expanding access to education for all children in Afghanistan gives the entire population a more hopeful future.

Exclusion from education disproportionately affects the most poor and vulnerable children. Without hope and opportunity, these children are more likely to be exploited or recruited by terrorist organizations.

Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Spokesman


Sahar began as Journey with an Afghan School, a group founded to build bridges of understanding between the U.S. and Afghanistan for peace and cooperation in 2001. Since then, Sahar has expanded: building schools, and computer centers, and managing teacher training programs in Northern Afghanistan. Sahar became a stand-alone non-profit in 2009 in order to expand and continue our efforts. Sahar has worked in this war zone for over two decades to increase the status of girls and women in Afghanistan through education, enabling them to participate actively in the social, political, and economic arenas in their communities.

Sahar approaches girls’ education from multiple levels because we know that it takes a holistic approach to create real change. We work with partners in the U.S. and on the ground in Afghanistan to create safe learning spaces and, deliver educational and vocational training programs, and women empowerment and health workshops. These projects bolster local economies and strengthen communities, as well as fortify bonds between Afghanistan and the West. 

Sahar serves girls in Tajik, Pashtun, Hazara, and Uzbek communities – rural as well as in the urban environment of Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kabul. With formal secondary education banned for girls in Afghanistan, we are partnering with local schools and organizations to provide underground coding and English, IT, and Women Empowerment courses. These innovative courses are led by locals and supported by training and funding from Sahar. 


After the fall of the Taliban, Sahar committed to improving literacy among Afghan girls through targeted programs that were successful in improving the futures of many girls. The newest installment of the Taliban has once thrust girls into turmoil, banning formal education after 6th grade.

Sahar is working hard to reinstitute Literacy and Sewing programs throughout the country which will focus on improving literacy for girls who were pulled out of school or have never entered due to the current regime.

Our current programs focus on IT, the English language, Women’s Empowerment, and Coding, serving girls who have aged out of the legal school programs available to them. These programs prepare girls to pursue online education, find employment online, or start their own businesses. They also make it possible for girls to teach others in their community what they’ve learned and improve the lives and futures of those around them.

Your continued support is vital as Sahar explores new innovative partnerships and modes for delivering quality educational opportunities to Afghan girls who are currently banned from learning. The work Sahar does is integral to the future of these girls.

Afghan Girls School Attendance

1.1 million girls and young women without access to formal education in Afghanistan

Source: UNICEF

Ministry of Education Partnership

Sahar partnered with the Afghanistan Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve girls’ access to education before the institution of the current Taliban rule. This includes but is not limited to protocols with the MOE that governed our building programs, digital literacy programs, and prevention of early marriage pilot program.

Sahar also worked with the Ministry of Higher Education to increase the number of female teachers by supporting a teacher training center in rural Northern Afghanistan. In each circumstance, this approach ensured continuity in program delivery and required mutual involvement on the part of the Ministry and Sahar. Our building projects were turned over to the MOE to operate upon completion.

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