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Our Centers

Our centers are located in the Dashti-Barchi section of Kabul, Afghanistan.   Afghanistan has endured over 30 years of war and violence.  Not only has this left the nation’s infrastructure in ruins, it has also left the lives of Afghanistan’s people in tatters.  Most families have lost loved ones.  Many have had to flee their homes and become refugees in neighboring countries.  When a semblance of order returned fifteen years ago, many Afghans returned to Kabul hoping to find jobs and make lives for themselves.  The Dashti-Barchi section of Kabul has swollen to a population of over one million residents, trying to survive.  Life is particularly difficult for widows and their children.

Dashti-Barchi is mostly made up of people from the Hazara ethnic group.  This group of people has experienced discrimination and oppression for centuries.  Le Pélican strives to help the poorest of the poor in this community.

Le Pélican's first center opened in 2003.  A new location had to be found in 2005 when a major road was built through the original property.  In 2011, with the school now filling up the first center, a second center was located just a block away.  This center now houses the classes for young women, the sixth grade students, classes for deaf young women and the tailoring training.

In October 2014 a new center was opened in Bamiyan - about 80 miles from Kabul.  We wanted to provide for the very poorest people and so we established our center in a village of 400 that had been established to provide for people who had until then lived in caves.  It is called Sang-i- Chasspan.  This center was developed on the same model as the Kabul center, offering education, recreation, meals, and vocational training.  It quickly grew to include 235 children and 130 women.   The center at Sang-i-Chasspan operated successfully for three years.  In early 2017, an evaluation showed that most of the young children in that small community had been given a solid foundational education and were able to continue their education in the schools down below in Bamiyan city.  Through Le Pelican, the women in the community had learned to read, write and sew, and therefore had stopped attending.  Rather than continuing to make significant investments there for a smaller enrollment, the decision was made to close the center and use resources to target other areas of need.

Plans are now being made to begin a center totally dedicated to serving deaf students.  This will meet a largely unaddressed need by providing a place where deaf children and young people can be taught sign language and provided with a quality education, social interaction, recreational opportunities, vocational training and hope for the future.

"The Dashti-Barchi section of Kabul has now swollen to include over a million people, trying to survive.  Life is particularly difficult for widows and their children."