The initial idea behind monitoring was to improve hygiene, students and teachers’ attendance and fair distribution of books and materials among others, a volunteer in Herat went beyond this and helped his neighborhood to construct a school building.
Abdul Fatah Barakzai lives in the vicinity of Omar Farouq School that is located in suburbs of Herat in a poor neighborhood. Although very young, Abdul Fatah is acquainted with the teachers, parents, and elders. He would see kids studying under the sun in summers and in cold weather in autumns whenever he passes by the school. He had an idea. He called on a meeting of elders, parents, and teachers and stated that “These kids need a proper place to learn. Is there anyone to help us construct a building?” This meeting did not result in big donations. However, people from the community reached out to a local businessman and he committed to donating steel bars needed for construction of the school. Encouraged by this, the community provided some assistance and the first of a three-story building was constructed.
Learning about the community initiative, the Norwegian Refugee Council has committed to complete the remaining two stories of the building in 2018. When Abdul Fatah was asked what his next idea is, he said, “I now think of making the school a green place by approaching a farm owner.” Integrity Watch facilitated community monitoring of schools by local volunteers such as Abdul Fatah in nine provinces in 2017.