Dear Friend of Sahar,
Thank you for being part of Sahar Education’s work! We know that this is not an easy time and we are exceptionally grateful for your support.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on this last year of school for many students around the world, including Afghanistan. With schools closed from March to August in response to the pandemic, we worked with our team to switch to a virtual method of instruction for our Men as Partners in Change (MPC) Program. Through WhatsApp, we shared video-recorded lessons, engaged with students, and disseminated public health information during Afghanistan’s lockdown.
Yasir is one student who graduated from MPC’s remote course. He says that his biggest concern during the lockdown was not being able to go to school, feeling depressed, and being separated from his friends. By taking MPC via Whatsapp, Yasir was able to keep learning and engaged with program instructors and other students. “I learned my rights and, at the same time, women's rights. I understood that human rights are not restricted to men but for all human beings. The last session, which was about community engagement, motivated me to do community service and join a non-profit organization as a volunteer to take part in the development of my community,” he says.
As schools reopened in late August, we began working in two new schools in and around Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan: Khalid Bin Walid High School and Hazrat Nouman High School. With over 3,000 boys studying at the school, we’re looking forward to engaging with these new communities. We’re particularly excited about working with these new schools because their students represent Afghanistan’s many ethnic identities including Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek. In this sense, our classrooms will not only be a space where boys learn to become better gender allies, but also a safe place to interact with diversity.
As we look forward, we will continue our transformative gender work in-person. To ensure the safety of our students and teachers, we are providing face masks, hand sanitizer, and requiring temperature checks before students can enter our classrooms. In light of COVID-19, we see promoting gender equality and girls’ education as all the more important. By helping boys rethink gender stereotypes and the role of girls and women in Afghan society, we are promoting a bright future for all Afghans.
On behalf of the whole Sahar team, thank you for your support. We could not accompany boys on their journeys to gender allyship without you.