A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area

Afghan Sister School Partnership

The Afghan Sisters Schools Partnership (ASSP) is a long-term service learning and peace education project rooted in the belief that peace and education are the rights of children everywhere.

Since 2004, CFS students have exchanged thousands of handwritten pen pal letters with students at Topchi School in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Students halfway across the world, along with their teachers and families, build trust, nurture empathy, and gain cultural understanding. Throughout the school year, ASSP brings CFS students lessons in cooking, Dari language, and arts & crafts. ASSP also sponsors documentary films and brings speakers to the community. Sustained by parent volunteers, staff, and our AFCO partners (Afghan Friendship and Cooperation Organization), ASSP is an inspiring model of a collaborative, peace education project; supporting education, in particular for Afghan girls, is an act of peace.

Through Pizza Lunch Fundraisers, ASSP has provided the Topchi School in Bamiyan, Afghanistan with everything from computers, science and playground equipment to a library and solar panels. Over 750 students (half of them girls) now benefit from a high school education that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago and more and more are attending university.

Salaam aalaikum - Peace be with you.

Read Our History Written for the 15th Anniversary

Through the sustained and dedicated work of parent volunteers and CFS staff members and students, the Afghan Sister School Partnership (ASSP) has engaged in a partnership with the Topchi Village School in Bamiyan, Afghanistan for close to 15 years. Crafted as a peaceful response to 9/11 and all that followed in the region, the partnership nurtures educational opportunities and cultural exchanges between our two school communities and supports the educational and material needs of our sister school. It is rooted in the belief that peace and education are the rights of children everywhere

Since 2004, thousands of pen pal letters and other exchanges have connected CFS and Topchi School, enabling students and teachers from both schools to glimpse lives very different from their own, while illustrating that they share many of the same interests, hopes, and dreams. We have made friends with numerous Afghans visiting our area, who have generously shared their time and valuable insights into the lives of our pen pals in Topchi Village.

Funds Raised

The project has raised $138,079, mostly through pizza lunch sales. These funds have furnished classrooms, equipped playgrounds, provided a library and science lab, supplied computers, supported teacher training, repaired bathrooms and a water cistern, provided graduation gifts, and supported the letter exchange program.

Next Steps

In response to a recent needs assessment, CFS is funding a college entrance exam preparatory class at our sister school in Topchi. We are honored to contribute $4,500 for the class, meeting this important need for the hard working older students at the school. Forty seven dedicated students are meeting six days per week, from 5:45 to 7:45am, in the early morning hours before regular school begins. This class, which continues for six months, helps prepare students for the all important Kankor exam. The Kankor is a test that determines whether you are eligible to enroll in a university, which university or private institute you are invited to attend, and what your area of study will be.

Despite the incredibly arduous schedule, students are intensely motivated to move forward with advanced education. Their hopes are high for a more peaceful and prosperous future for themselves and their families!

How You Can Help

  • Serve pizza on Wednesdays
  • Volunteer during pen pal letter writing days
  • Help with chili dinner on Sports Nights
  • Bake sweets for sale
  • Collect Box Tops for Education
  • Join the Planning Committee

To inquire, please contact Amy Smoker (AmySmoker88@gmail.com).