Rowrung primary school in Afghan Wakhan needs help

Asad Wakhi, an Afghan young man, introduced to Pamir Institute a project about a primary school, 1 to 3 level. It needs support in one of the coldest places of Afghanistan. He transmitted us pictures that he took during last week of October 2021. Asad answered some questions from us. In this article, we will try to stay factual. Though, what is reported will provoke emotion for any normally sensible reader.
Asad Wakhi, an Afghan young man, introduces a project about a primary school, 1 to 3 level. It needs support in one of the coldest places of Afghanistan. The activist transmitted us pictures that he took during last week of October 2021 and answered our questions. In this article, we will try to stay factual. Though, what is reported cannot leave us indifferent.

The school

The school of Rowrung, last week of October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi
The school of Rowrung, October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi

The primary school , at an altitude close to 2,850m, is in Rowrung ( also spelled “Rawrung”). The very geographical location was identified thanks to the help of Greg Mortenson (“Three cups of tea” author and founder of Central Asia Institute). He sent us a personal map.

Afghan Wakhan villages, courtesy of M. Greg Mortenson
Afghan Wakhan villages, courtesy of M. Greg Mortenson

Rowrung is not shown on any Google search result. It is in Upper Wakhan at 40 km from Qalah e Panja. It is located on the “road” leading to Sarhad e Brogil, 60 km farther east (this last village is where starts the Afghan Little Pamir ending at the Chinese border). The school is a governmental one. It operates only for the period going from March to October. It is open in the morning between 8:00 AM and 12:00 (Noon). This schedule allows kids to come and to go back, by foot, via mountain trails with daylight. Asad Wakhi says, the building comprises two classrooms. It has no windows, no doors (though, at least one can be seen on a picture), no electricity, no toilets. There might be some running water.

"Windows" but no glass, last week of October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi
“Windows” but no glass, October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi

The equipment consists of basic wooden boards and basic wooden chairs.

Inside a classroom, extremly poor furnitures and equipment, last week of October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi
Inside a classroom, extremly poor furnitures and equipment, October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi

The students

The students are 7, 8 and 9 years old. Their number is around 50. There are some 30 boys and 20 girls. They need an average time of 40 minutes to join the school from their home. On the pictures there are only 13 kids because it was too cold and there was too much snow, this day, for those living remotely. They could not join the class.

The teacher and the only 13 kids who could attend the class, last week of October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi
The teacher and the only 13 kids who could attend the class, October 2021, photo Asad Wakhi

The teacher

There is one teacher for the two classes. He is not from Wakhan. He comes from Shugnan district, in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan. He has no home in Wakhan. He spends the night in the house of villagers shifting regularly from one place to another one. The teacher is supposed to receive 7,000 Afghanis per month. This is equal to USD 77. But, no salaries are paid since Taliban came into power. Asad could not answer us about how this man can sustain his livelihood.

The improvement project

Asad Wakhi and some other young people of the valley recently launched an NGO for helping local people. It is called CNHHAO (Corridor Natural Habitat Humanitarian Assistance Organization). Their first projet will be the improvement of Rowrung primary school:

  • add a third classroom
  • add a little office
  • add toilets
  • install windows and doors
  • build a wall around the schoolyard.

No heating and no stoves are planned. Electricity, not available in Wakhan corridor, will not be installed. School operates during daylight. The construction work should be handled by local workers and artisans.

The online information

CNHHAO will design a small website to introduce itself, its mission and its team. The school project will be presented with more developments. A precise budget, detailed by tasks and items, will also be available. This document is still to be prepared. The procedure for donation will be explained. A “News” section will keep the donators informed about the completion status of the project.

Logo A
Logo B

CNHHAO’s logo will be one of the two versions presented here. You can indicate your choice in the comment box at the end of the article.


Creative Commons License
Rowrung primary school in Afghan Wakhan needs help
by Pamir Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://pamirinstitute.org/2021/11/04/rowrung-school-afghan-wakhan-help/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://pamirinstitute.org/contact/.


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Published by Bernard Grua

Graduated from Paris "Institut d'Etudes Politiques", financial auditor, photographer, founder and spokesperson of the worldwide movement which opposed to the delivery of Mitral invasion vessels to Putin's Russia, contributor to French and foreign media for culture, heritage and geopolitics.

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