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Afghan Rural Schools  

  Afghan Rural Schools has a plan to build ten classrooms at the Girls' High School in order to reduce the size or for 700 female students at the school.

The Virginia-based 501(c) (3) charity organization has already electrified three schools and office of the Director of Education in Khas Kunar, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

The odds are stacked against children getting educated if they are from the Khas Kunar in Kunar Province in rural Afghanistan. Many are from families too poor to spare them for the school day.

Even if they attend school, these Pashto-speaking children may need to learn other languages to progress because Afghanistan does not have a single national language.

Rural children may not be eligible to advance because scarce seats in classrooms usually go to members of a privileged family or clan, to children with better family connections or to children in Afghanistan’s capital or its other major cities

Some of Kunar Province’s children may not get educated because they are girls living in a society that values sons above daughters.

Kunar Province’s children also do not get as much help getting schooling from international charities because they live in one of the least secure parts of Afghanistan.

Finally, many of the rural schools operate without electricity, clean water or the technology needed to prepare students to succeed says Dr. Qayam Safi, an Afghan expat, naturalized U.S. citizen, author of One Life: An Afghan Remembers, and director of a Virginia-based charity is on a mission to help Afghanistan’s rural school children.

“Despite the obstacles, we’re optimistic. Since December 2013 we have installed solar panels to electrify three schools: a girls’ high school, a boys' high school, and a boys' middle school, in addition to the office of the Director of Education, in the district of Khas Kunar, Kunar, Afghanistan,” said Dr. Safi. Based on request from Principal of the Girls High School, ARS is planning to build ten classrooms for 700 students in the school.

Dr. Safi is seeking donations, volunteers willing to help raise money and look for schools interested in becoming sister schools to those in Khas Kunar. To learn more about the project and 501(c)3 Afghan Rural Schools (ARS), visit

“We have connections to the villages, schools and local officials in Khas Kunar. My relatives teach at these schools, and I talk with them weekly, so I can be sure what we give will end up in the right hands,” said Safi.

Dr. Safi is seeking invitations to speak to audiences throughout the District of Columbia, New York and New England about his book, his organization, experiences growing up in Afghanistan, Afghan politics and the issues facing Afghanistan’s new government. He is the author of a memoir, One Life: An Afghan Remembers (Authors Press, $14.95. Dr. Safi has pledged all proceeds from book sales to Afghan Rural Schools. Contact him at (954-909-0216 or our e-mail address,


Afghan Rural Schools (ARS) is a 501(c)3 charity based in Chantilly, Virginia. Its mission is to ensure that Afghanistan’s rural school children get a good education. ARS’s is currently raising money to build 10 classrooms at the Girls School in Khas Kunar, Kunar, Afghanistan. To learn more, visit or contact us at our e-mail address, Our EIN is 46-3424470 and our DUNs number is 066302685.


Dr. Safi was born in Kunar, Afghanistan. He attended a boarding high school in Kabul before earning his undergraduate degree from American University in Beirut, and a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City. Dr. Safi is fluent in English, Dari, Pashto, and Arabic and has been working in Northern Virginia for the last 20 years. He is the president of Afghan Rural Schools (ARS) and author of One Life: An Afghan Remembers. Qayum and his wife of 39 years, Anna, have three children and three grandchildren. He lives with wife, Anna, in Florida.

The founder of Afghan Rural Schools, Qayum Safi, grew up in Kunar Province. He has taken to heart the saying, "No matter where you go, you will always come back to the children of your ancestors."

During Qayum's childhood there was only one elementary school for

boys in the district. There was no school for girls and no high school. Of the 35 children in his class, he was the only one who continued his education in a high school. 

With a government scholarship, he was sent to a boarding school in Kabul to attend junior and senior high school. Later, he went on to Beirut, Lebanon for his BA and to pursue graduate studies in the USA.

There are many promising young people in Afghanistan. Living in a rural village should not prevent a child from achieving his or her full potential. Nor, should a child have to travel such a circuitous route simply to receive an education.

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