Situated directly across from Afghanistan’s northeast border, Tajikistan has become a vital partner for the U.S. in Central Asia. While beset by internal and external challenges, the former Soviet Republic these days serves as an effective bulwark against the encroachment of violent extremism from the south, underpinning U.S. efforts aimed at stabilizing the region through diplomatic, economic, and security cooperation. When it comes to American national security, Tajikistan matters.
Within this strategic context, the U.S. Army civil affairs team in Tajikistan is pursuing projects that enhance stability and social cohesion in historically underserved areas. Gharm district in the ethnically mixed Rasht Valley is case in point. Set along the northern border with Kyrgyzstan, the inhabitants of the impoverished valley have long felt ignored by the central government in Dushanbe, leaving an opening for external influences and extremism to achieve a foothold in the region.
After consultations with the Minister of Education and the Gharm District governor, the American civil affairs teams agreed to fund the building of a public school to bolster the community’s resilience and strengthen continued partnership with the U.S. However, there were not enough resources available to furnish the school interior. SoA is now working with the U.S. teams on the ground to provide 120 student desks to the school.
We need your help to get this education initiative past the finish line. Your contributions ensure the success of our deployed troops and help children in Gharm District receive a quality education.
The drive out of Dushanbe started with little fanfare, as our two-vehicle convoy navigated the unruly city traffic. Quickly, the humdrum of Tajikistan’s capital, a hodgepodge of tree-lined avenues, Soviet-style apartment blocks (known as Khrushchyovka), and larger-than-life monuments that leave little room to the imagination, gave way to a soothing tapestry of secluded mountains, lush … Continued