Almost Ready to Open Its Doors

*Sheldon Village, Afghanistan

GHNI has been working in Sheldon Village, a hidden and hurting village in central Afghanistan. After many meetings and Transformational Community Development (TCD) training, the local people requested a school building. Village children in Sheldon faced so much difficulty in the past, because they had no school building in their village. Some of them used to walk for almost three hours per day to attend a remote school. Some of the students were gathering in a dark and muddy house where animals were kept.

As we were teaching TCD with the local people, they requested a school building. GHNI answered positively to their request, and it took almost one year to settle on a construction company and bid proposal to build the school. A local company won the bid to build the school. This company promised GHNI to complete the work in six months. Unfortunately, they did not finish the work within the promised timeframe. GHNI canceled the contract with them and gave the work to another local construction company. Initially, this second company worked hard, and within a short time, the school had roofs and all the stone masonry walls were built.

The work on the school was stalled again by the local workers for almost one year. The new construction company that was being paid by GHNI was not paying its workers and subcontractors, so work came to a stop. After many contract issues with the company and local village workers, GHNI withheld payment—even deducting money—until the company agreed to pay its workers and subcontractors. One day, the head of the construction company came into the GHNI main office and agreed to sign an agreement to finish the work on the school and settle accounts with workers and subcontractors. Showing this document to government officials, workers, and subcontractors offered hope that all was not lost.

Finally both sides came to an agreement. It was determined the construction company had accounts with almost twenty people who worked for them. GHNI deducted the amount owed the subcontractors and workers., and paid them directly. The Sheldon Village workers agreed and the construction company continued work until the school was complete, after three years. Engineers from four government departments came to inspect the school, and eventually, on a cold and snowy day, the school was completely submitted to the Ministry of Education and the villagers of Sheldon.

Despite so many difficulties, the GHNI-Afghanistan staff never lost faith and were always decisive, making the right decisions and acting wisely. They placed pressure and requirements on companies that always asked for money. The workers were so happy when they received their money, they said “Khudaya Shukr,” which means “Thanks to God.” Sheldon villagers, teachers, and students are so glad and thank GHNI.

The GHNI-Afghanistan Team

Thank you!

The families and students of Sheldon are overjoyed to finally have their own local school. No longer forced to walk miles to school, they now have education within reach. Thank you for standing with GHNI-Afghanistan as they fought for these children. Your support was vital and deeply appreciated. The school is now a reality!

*For purposes of security, “Sheldon Village” is a pseudonym for the village being helped by this project.