The 2017 school year for the children of Afghanistan will start soon. After a long break over the cold winter, children head back to classes when the heavy snow begins to melt away and spring can be felt in the air.

It is an exciting time for Mahboba’s Promise. We have been marketing our early education centres in Kabul and Panjshir heavily to the local communities, leaving flyers in shops and visiting local houses to talk about the benefits of early education for children.

Last year, our Kabul centre had over 60 children attending. We hope to see that number grow even higher in 2017.

Our Panjshir early education centre was opened mid-2016. It is in a poorer, more rural area of Afghanistan so there are less families able to give their children the benefits of early education. This means the Panjshir early education centre’s presence in the community is even more important. With a funding goal of purchasing a mini-van as a school bus for the centre, we will be able to bring in more children from neighbouring villages to attend the centre over the 2017 school year.

The new school year in Afghanistan also coincides with Nawroz, or Afghan New Year. Nawroz is a time when Afghan’s clear out the old and welcome in the new. It has also become a time when fathers gift their children new school supplies for the year ahead, symbolising a positive, fresh start for the school year.

In a country with over 2 million orphans, Mahboba’s Promise aims to ensure that disadvantaged children in our care are still able to experience this New Year gifting.