It was late morning when the girls at Rokhshana High School in Kabul Afghanistan arrived at the school's computer lab excited and anxious. They were about to see and speak (in real time) with students at their American sister school in Wisconin via a Skypecast.
At the beginning of the school year, most of these girls had never touched a computer, let alone understood what computers could do, but they all heard incredible stories about how computers could dramatically change their lives for the better and they were eager to learn.
Because of competing curriculum needs, even those students lucky enough to enroll in a computer class typically have access to computers just one hour a week. Despite such restrictions, the girls learned the basic skill sets (Microsoft Windows, Word, and Excel), later advancing to Power Point presentations. Because Rokhshana was (and still is) one of the few schools in Afghanistan that has internet capability, the girls then learned how to navigate the internet.
At 3 in the morning and over 7,000 miles away, a group of sleepy, but excited American students crowded around a laptop and through the marvels of technology, connected with their equally excited Afghan friends for the first time. The American students had thought they would need a translator to communicate, but the Rokhshana girls surprised them; not only were they able to speak conversational English, they were able to chat and easily discuss the exchange project both schools had worked on and had previously exchanged electronically. For these girls who had come so far in eight months, it was an amazing moment they would not soon forget.
Stories like these are beginning to happen when Afghan girls are given the opportunity and the tools to succeed. At HTAC, we are proud of the fact that almost 50% of the tens of thousands of Afghan students enrolled in our computer education program over the years have been girls. Because of their motivation, girls consistently compete equally with boys in mastering computer skills and many of them go on to secure computer-related jobs upon their graduation.
By supporting our computer education program, you are making a difference for an Afghan girl forever.
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