Afghan Connection, Worsaj District Education Initiative

Proving the power of community-based education

For hundreds of children in Worsaj, a remote district in northern Afghanistan, getting access to education hasbeen difficult, and sometimes impossible. Government schools were just too far away.

Education charity Afghan Connection set out to change this. As well as building 11 schools for more than 7,000 children, and training 800 teachers, they set up community-based education classes, attended by 1,500 children.


A catalyst for social change

We gave a grant of £10,053 so Afghan Connection couldassess the impact of their work in the Worsaj district. The charity’s research partner, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan’s Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, carried out a survey of students, parents, teachers, the School Management Council, community members, and the government authority in the district.

The research explores how effective the education initiative has been in improving access to a quality education and getting more children to finish school – particularly girls who tend to drop out of school to get married. Afghan Connection also wanted to identify areas for further improvement and use the evidence as a catalyst for extending its model of community-based education into other areas of Afghanistan.

Key findings

  • There has been an 87.5% increase in school enrolment in community-based education since 2011 when Afghan Connection started working in Worsaj district. 75% of school-aged children are now in school.
  • 95% of students say that they enjoy studying more because new school buildings shelter them from extreme weather and they feel more secure.
  • 70% of students interviewed for the research said they would continue their education after completing grade 12 – only 2% said they would not.
  • Many school graduates go on to teacher training, midwifery, and agricultural colleges; some go to universities in Kabul and other major cities.
  • The interviews showed that, while there are still plenty of challenges for young people trying to complete their education, more students are doing so and going on to further education than were before the initiative, particularly girls.


You can view a short video of the work of Afghan Connection here.

“I would not have been allowed to continue my studies if Afghan Connection hadn’t built the school. The change was so dramatic. We couldn’t believe the difference. Without this support, most girls would have been stopped from going to school. Now the school goes all the way to Grade 12. Hardly anyone drops out because passion for education is so high. I graduated and was determined to get to university. I want to be of use to my community and look after their health.”

A graduate from a community school who went on to complete a degree in Public Health

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