Building With Books

Lessons from the Central Asia Institute

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Looking Forward

Consolidation and a new frontier

The dying wish of the organisations co-founder and sponsor Jean Hoerni, a Swiss physicist and silicon chip pioneer, had been to build 'a school' in Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan. It was embodied in the name 'Central Asia Institute' and after fifteen years, that is being realised. Three schools have been green-lighted in the remote GBAO (Gorno Badakshan Autonomous Oblast) area of Tajikistan and are expected to be complete before the regions winter sets in. (Central Asia Institute 2011)

While the CAI strides forward to a new frontier, the future of its more consolidated regions in Pakistan is looking brighter. Discussions are underway for the creation of a Pakistan-based registered trust, to be run by local staff, which, when in place, will empower local people to take a leading role in tackling the issues of their region. (Jabbar 2011, quoted in Central Asia Institute 2011)

With schools providing critical education to thousands of children, opportunities for secondary and tertiary education become increasingly important. However, the conservative mindset regarding women’s education is still pervasive among the parents and village leaders; often themselves illiterate.

“Two of the girls making their way every day to the Skardu Women's College are Jahan, 23, and Tahira, 26. But they are the only two girls from Korphe who continued their education.” Karin RonnowJourney of Hope 2010

This mindset is a significant obstacle preventing many intelligent and eager young women from pursuing qualification and career opportunities; an obstacle that will take time and steady effort to change. Through the precedent of these two role models, and many others in CAI scholarship positions, the ongoing aim of the CAI to promote education, particularly for women, will not just become possible, but inevitable.