United States and Afghanistan Break Ground on New Women’s Dormitory at American University of Afghanistan
Afghanistan CEO, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Ambassador Michael Raynor, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant to the Administrator, Larry Sampler, Mission Director, Herbie Smith, and American University of Afghanistan President Mark English participated today in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new women’s dormitory at the American University of Afghanistan.
The $3.9 million project will be a three-story, 3,000-square meter building for 200 women students with dormitory rooms, study areas, a lounge area, cafeteria, and a library. The dorm will provide a safe and productive environment for female students and is financed under USAID’s largest women’s empowerment program, Promote. The dorm is scheduled to open in 2017.
“Today we are breaking ground not just for a new building, but for hope and opportunity, for adventure and personal enrichment, and for the advancement of Afghan women,” said Ambassador Raynor.
“The US government and people have helped Afghans tremendously, in all fields, but the most important field they have helped us in is education,” said Dr. Abdullah. “This women’s dormitory is one of the best gifts they have given us. Thanks to the U.S. government and people.”
“The construction of this dormitory represents yet another successful initiative to create a safe and secure learning environment for our female students,” said Dr. English. “We are grateful for the continued support from USAID to help us fulfill and sustain our commitment to providing a quality education experience for all of our students.”
In August, USAID awarded an additional $5.9 million to the American University of Afghanistan for scholarships to help Afghan women get MBA degrees and professional certificates.
The United States began building dormitories in Afghanistan in the1970s. The U.S. Embassy has been working with the Ministry of Higher Education on building female dormitories at six university campuses, including Balkh, Bamyan, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan and Parwan provinces. Over the next five years, USAID Promote is providing up to 75,000 educated women with the skills and support they need to excel in their chosen fields, become leaders in their communities and society, and maximize their contribution to Afghanistan’s continued development.
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