Nightly News   |  April 04, 2014

‘Completely Disappointed’: Girls’ School in Kandahar Could Close

As US forces pull back from Afghanistan, a lot of aid money is leaving with them, putting humanitarian aid projects at risk.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this was a grim day in afghanistan on the eve of important elections in that country. there has been another so-called insider attack. the first to target journalists. an afghan police commander opened fire on two veteran associated press reporters as they sat in their car inside a base in eastern afghanistan . german born photographer anja was killed and kathie gannon was injured. she won a pulitzer for her work in iraq. an award she shared with ten fellow ap journalists in 2005 . she covered the war in afghanistan since it started. these are some of the remarkable imagines she captured there over the years. her colleagues called her a vibrant dynamic journalists with a warm heart and a joy for life. our chief foreign affairs correspondent richard engle is back in afghanistan where a lot is changing as u.s. forces pull back and start their withdrawal. richard .

>> reporter: good evening, brian. this is a close knit community. we all know these journalists and it was heartbreaking to learn anja had been killed and we all wish kathy a full and speedy recovery. afghanistan is in transition. u.s. troops are leaving, elections are tomorrow. and as u.s. forces leave a lot of aid money is going with them putting some of the most important humanitarian projects in this country at risk. even by afghan standards kandahar, the taliban strong hold is a very traditional place. women here stay under wraps. before leaving home , she covers herself head to toe . then takes the bus to one of the few places where women here can relax and learn. the kandahar institute of modern studies , a vocational school . the only one in town where women study english, computer skills and management. he is the school's founder and main teacher.

>> what does this mean for the women who go there?

>> it means opportunity. it means, freedom. it means hope. it means job.

>> reporter: for her, it means even more. the school is her refuge. after she married last year, her husband ordered her to stop coming. but she wouldn't give up. she borrowed books and studied in secret.

>> i try to middle of night i was studying management and i want to bring my assignment.

>> reporter: when her husband's family caught her reading they beat her, starved her, and locked her in a cold room until she had a nervous break down.

>> they were uneducated people and i was educated girl.

>> reporter: she now lives with her family. she escaped her husband and returned to school. women here don't just learn. they make connections. she takes classes and practices her english via skype with caroline burke. a grad student in new york.

>> hey, can you hear me?

>> yeah. can you hear me?

>> what the experience taught me is boundless. i learn more every day.

>> reporter: but the school that survived years of violence could close and soon. it has received tens of thousands of dollars from the u.s. state department but that funding ran out in september and wasn't renewed. now women are being sent home.

>> they are completely disappointed now. and they are looking for hope.

>> reporter: the u.s. invested heavily to help women here but as american troops leave afghanistan , so does the money. and a light of hope in the heart of taliban country could be extinguished. richard engle, nbc