Portrait of a Giving Circle: From Northern Virginia to Northern Afghanistan
Since 2007, members of a Giving Circle in northern Virginia have been meeting each year and pooling their funds to make targeted grants for educational projects in Afghanistan. Ayni Education International is among their projects. “We look for the ability to make a significant difference in educational opportunities available to a community’s children. We chose Ayni in part because they can provide such opportunities, but also because Ayni is able to verify what is accomplished with our funds,” says Dave Stapleton, a founding member of the Giving Circle and now an Ayni board member.
In 2008, the Giving Circle chose to support a rural school, 20 km from Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province. The Giving Circle has funded multiple projects for the ongoing maintenance and expansion of the school. Over 1,440 students currently attend the school with a principal, 21 teachers and 3 guards.
The school desperately needs to be expanded to continue serving a growing population of school-aged children since its original construction in 2003. The Dawlatabad District – where the school is located – boasts a high level of enrollment in schools, especially for girls. The school needs several new classrooms, especially for its high school aged girls who are not allowed to travel to larger regional schools.
The Giving Circle, which now includes five couples, has committed to building 4 new classrooms with new desks, a library and a security wall around the school in 2012.
If you would like to form a giving circle, we would be pleased to share the experience of the Northern Virginia group. Please contact our office. Northern Virginia’s circle is making a tremendous impact on the lives of 1,440 students. Their spirit of giving is crucial to the students in Afghanistan.