Saturday, July 5, 2003

Students raise funds for Afghani school

By MICHELLE MARK, CALGARY SUN Calgary elementary school students are making their mark in an Afghanistan high school by raising funds for desperately needed school supplies.

Kids from Colonel J. Fred Scott school in Calgary's northeast began raising cash -- by performing odd jobs and chores -- for Tajwar Sultana School, a girls' high school, helping it to become the first facility of its kind in Afghanistan, with state-of-the-art computer facilities.

"This was a fantastic and emotional experience for them," said project spokeswoman Sameera Sereda.

Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, announced this week the completion of the totally rehabilitated and refurbished school buildings, integrating a new library, new sports and recreational facilities which were damaged by war.

The project was funded by the UK Department for International Development and supported by donations from various sources, including the Rotary Club of Calgary East in Canada and the students of Col. J. Fred Scott Elementary School.

The Col. J. Fred Scott student body of 486 includes a number of children from Afghanistan.

"By giving trained educators in Afghanistan the resources through which their students can quickly access a breadth of knowledge, we hope to help the people of this country to open doors to the world," said program director Farid Daya.