In the last four decades, Afghanistan, once a land of many aspirations, cultures and people, with a memorable love, respect and hospitality for all, has sadly been drawn into conflicts, resistance and self-destructions.
It is heart breaking to witness how people’s personal and social lives have been ruined and their identities and cultural heritage have been distorted since the start of political turmoil in the late 1970s.
Since then the world has witnessed the flight of Afghans into neighbouring and Western countries for safety, survival and the start of a new life for the first time.
In the early 1980s, due to the arrival of a large number of Afghan refugees in the United Kingdom, the Afghan Academy International (The Academy), an independent, non political and non tribal organisation, was born to serve and support the newcomers with early personal and social needs, as well as to provide and promote cultural and educational activities to the new Afghan community when it was needed the most.
The activities which were initiated by the Academy such as publishing books, magazines, organising seminars, musical and cultural events, have proven to be the best alternative education in that given time and circumstance. Nowadays the second and third generations of Afghans have a higher level of achievement in schools and universities and the community has grown in size and is well established compared to what it used to be. Nevertheless, the need for our educational, cultural and social services are still very significant.
We are very much thankful to our volunteers, individuals and families who have supported and valued our work and in turn have given us a unique insight into their lives sharing their experiences which helped us to tailor relevant care, support and services according to their needs.
As we have learnt, education is one of the key means in helping people to learn new opportunities and experience common factors and values and appreciate the world around them by being an active part of the society where integration and exploration open many doors to new horizons in life.
For this and many other reasons, education, as a universal concept and value, is more then ever needed in today’s world where conflict and disturbance are on the rise and peace, tolerance, pluralism, multiculturalism, co-operation and mutual respect are needed in a local and global level.