In 2009, Canadian journalist Richard Phinney travelled back to Afghanistan after several years away. Instead of finding the poppies, guns, and violence he remembered, Phinney found new water pipes born out of community cooperation, ‘social audits’ demonstrating democracy at its best, and girls dreaming of becoming doctors and teachers.
Change in the Making: a Journey in Afghanistan is the story of Phinney’s travels through the remote mountainous province of Badakhshan where he encountered people whose lives have been transformed, thanks to the work of the Aga Khan Foundation and the generosity of ordinary Canadians.
These experiences stem from the Foundation’s ethos that development is a partnership, and community ownership is essential for success. In places where poverty seems insurmountable, Afghans are taking charge of their own future, creating strong and resilient communities inspired to build a better life for their children.
Aga Khan Foundation in Afghanistan
While Afghanistan continues to face pressing challenges, Aga Khan Foundation with its sister agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is working with the government, civil society and a wide range of local and international partners to create social and economic opportunities.
Building on nearly three decades of experience in neighbouring Pakistan and two decades in Tajikistan, AKF’s community-led initiatives in seven central and north-eastern provinces are strengthening governance and improving health and education, as part of long-term commitment to address poverty and instability in the country.
AKFC’s programs are part of the AKDN’s broader investments in Afghanistan. In addition to large-scale rural development; health, education and civil society programmes, AKDN initiatives include microfinance services; the rehabilitation of historic neighbourhoods in Kabul and Herat; a rapidly growing mobile phone network; and the renovation of a five-star hotel in Kabul.