Over 775 million adults – one in five – in the world are illiterate. 64% are women.
A leading development priority for the Foundation is the promotion of quality education for all. From early childhood development to higher education, our Foundation is ensuring that marginalized groups – girls, the economically disadvantaged, physically challenged and geographically remote – are able to access quality education, stay in school longer and attain higher academic achievements.
The Foundation’s educational activities span across a broad range of initiatives, reaching beyond early childhood, primary and youth education. In fact, the Foundation is creating lasting change in Asia and Africa by incorporating educational programs in nearly all of its projects. Health-related initiatives include training nurses and educating communities about disease prevention and healthy behaviors. Rural development programs teach farmers effective techniques to help them move beyond subsistence. All these efforts equip people with life-long skills to overcome poverty and expand opportunities.
Early Childhood Development (ECD)
The Foundation has been a pioneer in promoting ECD for decades. With its child-centered approach and culturally appropriate curricula, The Foundation's model East Africa preschool program has grown to over 200 preschools, training 6,000 teachers and 3,000 school management committee members and reaching over 60,000 children. Worldwide, the Foundation's ECD and early primary programs benefit nearly half a million children.
Early Childhood Development
School Improvement & Teacher Training
Aga Khan Development Network operates more than 300 schools and programs that provide quality pre-school, primary and secondary education services to students in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uganda, Tanzania, and Tajikistan. Professional Development Centers provide world-class training to boost a growing cadre of competent, inspiring teachers.
Building Skills and Knowledge among Rural Populations
In most areas where the Foundation works, agricultural production is the primary economic activity for a majority of the people. The Foundation trains farmers in improved agricultural techniques to expand yields and productivity, which in turn, improve food security and incomes.
Nurses form the front line of rural healthcare, often serving as the first and only point of contact for health services in developing countries. Aga Khan Development Network has established training programs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria and throughout East Africa to improve skills and qualifications as well as expand the pool of qualified nurses.
Excellence in Education: Academies and Universities
Aga Khan-sponsored academies and universities such as the Aga Khan Academies, the University of Central Asia, and the Aga Khan University create new educational models, with a vision to promote competent indigenous young leaders as a key to progress in the developing world.
Community Outreach in the US
Across America, our Foundation's volunteers reach out through grassroots initiatives that educate communities about the positive role they can play in solving global poverty. The Foundation’s educational initiatives seek to inform, inspire and unite Americans as “global citizens” with communities in Africa and Asia to build bridges of hope and to promote peace, pluralism, prosperity and security globally.