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The location of our project is north of the city Herat in the Gasergah desert, far away from the nearest housing development. The public Fekri Saljougi comprehensive school was founded in 1985. Around 5,000 pupils attend the school and are taught in two shifts, in 20 different classrooms and several tents by 145 permanent employees and 15 volunteers.
Apart from the staff wages, the Fekri Saljouqi comprehensive school is barely financially supported by the state. The mother of Jawid Sultany, a member of our association at the time, was a teacher at this school, which made us aware of the school in 2009. Consequently, we added it to our project portfolio. At this point, the children were still exposed to the weather conditions without protection. A lack of heating facilities and a water supply made the situation even worse. This is where we started our work and provided the children with warm clothes, among other things.
The main problem of the Fekri Saljouqi school is the lack of classrooms in relation to the high number of students, which is why lessons have to take place in sparsely furnished, and weatherproof tents. The main building of the school is in a dilapidated condition, and the existing classrooms are poorly equipped, which greatly affects the learning success of the students.
The lack of heating facilities in the school building leads to health problems for both the students and the teaching staff on colder days. The insufficient water supply forces the students to hike to the nearest well 2 km away during the breaks to quench their thirst. For the younger students, this distance is not manageable during the break, so they have to get along without drinking until the end of school.
Visions for Children e.V. tackles these problems head on. As a first immediate measure, the children were given high-quality drinking bottles to save them several long journeys to the fountain. As a next step, we provided them with winter-proof clothing. Additionally, our member Jawid equipped the classroom tents with thick carpeting, so that the children no longer have to attend classes on hard, dusty, or sometimes muddy floors.