Central Asia Institute

Education is the surest path to world peace.

In 1996, Central Asia Institute was founded on this principle. Educating the children of villages torn by war, poverty, and isolation is the best way to solve conflict and provide opportunity.

Over twenty years ago we began work to help fund our first school in Pakistan. Today, CAI has initiated over 450 projects in remote, often conflict-ridden areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Imagine creating 450 projects in historically volatile areas occupied by many groups with varying agendas. We had to pioneer our own process, forge relationships, and create a network across these different regions with one common goal – to bring education to children, especially the girls.

CAI educates boys and girls. But it’s educating the girls that really make the difference as they share their knowledge with their children, families, and communities. Access to education in these rural, often high-conflict areas is non-existent or restricted for many reasons, particularly for girls. In many communities, there are no schools. In others, there are no teachers. Often, children can’t afford the required uniforms and school supplies, so they are unable to attend. Each community brings a unique set of circumstances, and it’s our job to work with the local community to untangle these needs and address each one so education is attainable and sustainable.

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