To the east about 50 miles from Kabul (and an over three-hour drive that includes fording riverbeds and dodging camels), the community center at Jegdalek serves 14 villages near the Pakistani border-an area that Morning Star president Daniel Batchelder says is "on the knife edge" of insurgency: "This is territory more familiar to the Taliban than it is to the government of Afghanistan.
says 10 communities have offered land to build centers, and his
group has started a Be Their Neighbor program, where stateside donors provide $30 a month to support construction and services.
also has presented the model as a component of a U.S.-NATO exit strategy at headquarters for ISAF, the International Security Assistance Force, NATO's
mission in Afghanistan.
"You hear over and over in our own nation people say, 'What is the answer?
After 10 years of war we have very little progress to show for it,'" Batchelder
But because of security issues, teachers, and funding (tuition of $1,500, often paid partially by an employer, covers most expenses), not enough classes are scheduled to meet demand: "We are trying to be poised so that, should the security issues melt away, we are ready to expand this training," said Batchelder