Your dollars have funded a new laptop computer for girls in our computer literacy class in northern Afghanistan. With your help, we were able to accomplish our goal of providing one of our new computer centers in Balkh Province with another laptop, serving girls who will soon complete their secondary education and who are in dire need of computer skills.
The Power of A Technical Education
One computer can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of girls by improving their opportunities for higher education and employment. We have observed that training girls in fundamental computers skills increases the likelihood that they will stay in school longer and eventually graduate, effectively delaying their marriages and fostering their independence. And if they do marry, we've also observed that their husbands and fathers want them to continue their computer studies because the future rests in technology especially in the urban environment of Mazar-i-Sharif where two of our centers are located.
A third urban center at the Gohar Khaton Girls' School will be opened in September 2014.
Tayeba, a 9th grade student said: “I am very excited to go to a new school with a modern library and computer laboratory room. I always wished to have a beautiful class in the school. I have seen students in the films that went to modern schools with computers. I hope our class will be like this next year." Tayeba wants to be a doctor in the future just as her own father is to serve the people of Afghanistan.
Why Literacy Includes Computers
Furthermore, if a girl is proficient in applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and if she is able to navigate the Internet, then she will be better prepared to enter the workforce or continue on to some form of higher education. Since the implementation of our computer literacy program in 2008, yearly enrollment rates have increased significantly, from approximately 1,000 students to 13,200 in 2013. This is the power of a single computer for girls in Afghanistan as they join a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected and where information is easily accessible. A computer will allow these girls to learn about international events and will promote cross-cultural understanding and respect.
A Long-Lasting Impact
Your impact on these girls’ technical education will endure, as one computer will impact approximately 100 girls enrolled in the course every year at the center. The computer will be available for girls to operate for years to come.
Thank you again for supporting our innovative strategy of providing girls in northern Afghanistan with vocational skills while broadening their worldviews with computers. Your dollars will shape the lives of hundreds of Afghan girls who dream of advancing their skills to become more productive and involved in the political, economic, and social life of their country.
Because of your support, 30 young women from rural northern Afghanistan continue to be transported safely to our Teacher Training Center. The women attend teacher training classes six days a week and look forward to educating students from their villages after their completion of the two-year-long cycle. They are energized by the prospect of teaching as the new academic year begins in Afghanistan. Eventhough it is cold and winter break is on for students across the country, these 30 young women continue the trek to the teacher training center which operates year-round to pursue their studies.
“Before coming here I was shy to enter the classroom. I couldn’t even greet the guests who visited our house,” a young woman enrolled in our teaching training program said. “After coming here I have changed a lot. Now I can teach and manage a class by myself.”
This project will dramatically improve the long-term economic and social opportunities for these women. Training women to become teachers fosters their independence and raises their status, encouraging civic participation. And after graduation, when these 30 women attain teaching positions, they will be empowered by their income and ability to manage their budgets and make their own financial decisions. They will also contribute mightily to helping their families economic situation.
You have not only invested in these women’s independence, but also in the education of thousands of girls who are denied the opportunity to learn, simply because there are no women to teach them. Many families do not allow their daughters to go to school if there are no female instructors, particularly in rural areas where conservative attitudes are deeply rooted. You have provided more girls in rural northern Afghanistan with the opportunity to learn. These 30 future teachers, who you have helped transport to our teacher training center, will impact an estimated 4,500 students a year upon graduation. 40% of the students in Afghanistan today are girls. We need more female teachers to get more girls in the doors.
Your dollars impacted the lives of thousands of girls. We thank you for your support in helping us end the cycle of female illiteracy and in creating more opportunities to learn in rural Afghanistan. One female teacher has the power to change the future of girls’ education.
Donor Impact: Increasing Literacy Rates & Technical Skills of Girls in Northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan's youth are connected to the digital world just like kids anywhere. Except some are so mired in poverty that they can't find a way to be connected. That is where you come in. Your dollars purchased a computer for our lab in Mazar-i-Sharif, our newest and most modern of three centers throughout Northern Afghanistan. The way to educate girls now -- with all the benefits of self-esteem, wider world views, family health, economic health -- is to introduce her to, and educate her in, the computer technology that will change her life and opportunities. Tapping into technology changes opportunities and changes life's circumstances for each girl who has the ability to attend our centers.
Keyboarding to Change.
28,000 students, mostly girls, attend our schools in Northern Afghanistan. Exams were administered in December and students are now on break until spring. Two years ago, however, something unusual began to happen: as we opened our first and then second computer center and now third, we could not keep up with the demand for more computers, more teachers and more centers. It was remarkable. From mullahs to mothers, everyone wanted their daughters to be at the cutting edge of the keyboard. The future, according to the leaders of the community, was on the keyboard and the Ministry of Education agreed as they approached us asking to keep the centers open year-round. We responded with a commitment to raise funds to buy computers and open centers, hire teachers and keep girls in the seats that would expand their literacy to include computer certification courses too. Over 600 girls have graduated with certification credentials from our centers.
A young woman visiting the computer center of one of our schools in the Balkh Province reports,
“This [computer literacy program] will help girls in their studies in school and also gives girls the opportunity to move beyond the boundaries, to learn beyond their textbooks. The more access to better educational facilities for girls, the more powerful our troop of educated girls will be. Connecting these girls to computers is connecting them to the world.”
Empowering Girls. Changing Lives.
Your dollars have provided Afghan girls with access to the world at their fingertips. With new computers, these girls will be able to learn about national and international affairs, become connected to a global community, and empower themselves by strengthening their voices through social media platforms, as well as learn new technical skills required for employment. You have helped us meet the high demand for more computer literacy courses in our schools.
Learning computer skills creates more educational and employment opportunities for Afghan girls and enables them to learn about other countries, such as the U.S., encouraging open-mindedness and respect for national and international cultural differences.
Doors of Opportunity
Donors have the power to open doors of opportunity for the girls in our schools, as these centers teach computer skills to girls, leading to a certification that makes them eligible for certain kinds of employment. Acquiring these technical skills will allow girls to become more economically independent, which increases their confidence, self-reliance, and status in their communities.
Computer course graduates are positioned better to take the Koncur exam, similar to our SAT exams that prepare them for entrace to universities in Afghanistan. From social media to family finances, the incentives for computer skill acquisition are enormous. Now, all the girls need is a keyboard in front of them and that is where you, our donors, come in. Thank you and keep it up. It truly makes a difference.