The vast majority of Afghans want peace, according to Jesuit Father Stan Fernandes, an Indian Jesuit who directs the Jesuit Refugee Service in the strife-torn nation.
“The rebels are about 10,000, but attract the attention of the international community,” he told the Fides news agency. “Our mission is to give voice and hope to 99.9% of the Afghan population, who struggle every day with all their heart to go forward and to build a better tomorrow.”
JRS has been working in Afghanistan since 2005, when a team of Indian Jesuits started programs in the field of education: today in the “Technical High School” in Herat, there are 600 students taking courses in electricity, electronics, construction, trade. Since 2006, the religious also teach English, computer science, biology and physics to more than 3,000 university students in Herat, Bamiyan and Kabul.
“Children and young people are tired of war and very few of them have the opportunity to go to school,” he added. Jesuits are now teaching 600 students at a technical high school in Heart, 3,000 university students in Herat, Bamiyan, and Kabul, and 200 elementary school students who are refugees in Sohadat.