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New Learning Center Inaugurated in Bamiyan Province

Today, the Ayenda Foundation inaugurated the Ayenda Learning Center, a new school in the historic and picturesque province of Bamiyan. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Bamiyam's Governor, Ms. Habiba Sarabi, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Said T. Jawad, Ayenda Foundation Founder Shamim Jawad, representatives from the State Department and USAID and a number of Afghan and international guests.

The Ayenda Learning Center, which sits in the shadow of the Great Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, will provide 300 children with a modern educational facility and enhanced vocational training opportunities, unavailable in this impoverished province. Standing two stories tall and housing 24 rooms, the cost-effective construction of the Learning Center was made possible by Engineer Ehsan Bayat of the Bayat Foundation, local civil society and the office of the governor. It was funded through private donations by generous U.S. individuals and corporations. The construction of the project was managed free of charge by the Bayat Foundation.

"The beautiful children of this historic valley that once was a center of science and spirituality along the Silk Road are receiving the care and attention that they deserve from their friends and supporters in Afghanistan and United States. As we open this school on the first day of spring, let's hope that the new year and many years to come bring peace, prosperity and further opportunities for education to the sons and daughters of Bamiyan and Afghanistan," said Shamim Jawad, Founder of the Ayenda Foundation."The Ayenda Foundation is grateful to its sponsors and supporters and delighted to be able to serve the children of Afghanistan's poorest and most iconic province," she continued. Mrs. Jawad also promised to continue to work for the well-being of the Afghan children throughout the country.

The Ayenda Foundation, a U.S. non-profit organization, was established in March 2006 as a special program of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council with the specific aim of implementing projects that enhance the welfare, education, health, shelter, safety, artistic and athletic abilities of Afghan children, especially girls. The Ayenda Foundation has implemented and supported a number of significant projects based on critical needs, potential for high impact, efficiency and visibility, among other factors, for Afghan children.

The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council was created in 2002 as an Afghan-American public-private partnership, and has generated over $120 million in funding to date to advance the status of women in Afghanistan.  Georgetown University now houses the Council, which is co-chaired by University President John J. DeGioia.  Dr. Phyllis Magrab, the Director of Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development, a part of Georgetown’s Medical Center, is the council's vice-chair.

Related Links: The Ayenda Learning Center

                               The Ayenda Foundation

                           The U.S.-Afghan Women's Council

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