“I have twice visited the AAF’s school in Helmand and been impressed with the progress made between my two visits. I have seen a lot of Afghan schools, and this one has far more of a sense of organisation and purpose than many.
Simple, but really vital things, such as the provision of good toilets, has all been managed with real professionalism. Clever methods ensure that it is possible for girls to come, and to stay beyond the basic primary years. There is pride in local innovation, such as a solar-powered water pump, made of old car parts, which enables builders to finish the rooves properly.
The overseer Mohammad presides over it all with a relaxed eminence. He has been skilful in defusing any local threats and he remains on good terms with all of the local power brokers. I will never forget visiting the local polling station during the presidential election in 2014, and seeing him holding court in the middle of a group of local farmers – spinning stories and making new friends. The school is just the kind of locally run organisation that it is really worth supporting in Afghanistan, because you can see so clearly where the money goes.”
David Loyn, BBC Afghanistan Correspondent 2012-2015