Jan 15, 2021

We are grateful for your support!

Dear Friends of Sahar,

Thank you for being a part of our work! We know that this is not an easy time and we are exceptionally grateful for your support.

2020 was a challenging year for us, as it was for so many. Close to a year ago, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education closed all educational institutions. We responded by moving our work online using WhatsApp to administer lessons and foster dialogue. In September of 2020, Afghan schools began to reopen and our students returned to their classrooms with new safety measures like mask-wearing, temperature checks, and social distancing in place.

With a new year upon us, we are celebrating the 31 students who graduated from our Early Marriage Prevention Program (EMPP) on December 21st, 2020. We are especially proud of their hard work in light of the additional challenges of schooling during COVID-19 times. Through their coursework, these students explored leadership, women’s rights, reproductive health, and girls’ education. 

“When girls get an education, their families and their countries are promoted as well. The educated girls not only change their own life, but also the world,” says Zulikha, a recent EMPP graduate, who has big ambitions for the future. One of eleven children, Zulkiha was born in a remote village in Faryab province where the Taliban prohibited girls’ education. When she was 8 years old, Zulikha’s family moved to Mazar-e-Sharif so that she and her seven sisters could go to school. Now in the 10th grade, Zulikha would eventually like to return to her village to build a girls’ school. She also hopes to become a writer so she can share the bravery and resilience of Afghan women.

We alsolook forward to continuing to promote gender equity through coding classes, digital literacy courses, teacher training and the state-of-the-art girls’ boarding school we are building for girls like Zulikha. Thanks to your generous support, more and more Afghan girls will have the tools, resources and knowledge they need to advocate for themselves and for their futures.

On behalf of the whole Sahar team, thank you for your support. We could not fight for girls’ education in Afghanistan without you, especially not now.

Gratefully,

Ginna Brelsford

Jan 15, 2021

Thanks for your support!

Dear Friends of Sahar,

Thank you for supporting the Dawlat-Abad Teacher Training Center (TTC). As you know, the TCC is the only center of its kind in the areas that we work that provides female high school graduates with career training. 

The women who have graduated from the TCC have gone on to become local school teachers, opened schools for adult learners, and helped girls who are out of school get back in the classroom. As our longest running program, the TTC does much more than train women to become teachers, it empowers women to empower others.

In keeping with national policy, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education closed all educational institutions, including the TTC in March 2020 in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. While we were unable to continue our work in the classroom, we continued to support the Afghan communities we have served for nearly 20 years - supplying families with food, masks, and hand soap. The TTC reopened with limited capacity in August 2020. At the moment, the TTC is closed for winter break, but we’ve been able to continue limited computer, English, and STEM training for teachers. 

As this new year begins, we look forward to reopening the TTC after the winter break. We are also working to make sure that our students and teachers have the resources they need to learn and teach in a COVID-19 compliant way. We look forward to keeping you updated as the next generation of Afghanistan’s teachers get back to learning.

On behalf of our team, thank you for your continued contributions. Your support is so important, especially during this time, and we could not be more grateful. 

Best regards, 

Ginna Brelsford

Dec 28, 2020

Thank you for supporting us!

Dear Friend of Sahar,

Thank you for your support of Sahar Education during these challenging times. Your contributions are especially important as we work with Afghan communities to respond to COVID-19.

In November, Afghanistan’s Minister of Health announced that a second wave of COVID-19 had begun to spread due to cold weather. In Balkh Province where we work, the majority of people who have tested positive are living in home isolation. Promoting mask-wearing and social distancing remains key to decreasing infections and ensuring the ability of local hospitals to respond to severe cases. Despite increased rates of infection, public schools are still open and students continue to receive in-person classes. Given that our programs take place within these schools, our priority is to ensure the safety and security of both students and teachers. 

With your generous contributions, we’ve been able to maintain COVID-19 compliant learning environments by providing masks, hand sanitizer, and requiring students to pass temperature checks before coming into the classroom. We’ve also worked hard to reduce the number of students within each room and ensure they remain socially distant from one another. With these measures in place, we’ve been able to continue our programs and expand our impact in the community. Zaitona, one of our recent Early Marriage Prevention graduates, says Sahar has taught her “...that every small step in life has its own challenges and consequences...we should not give up on anything. We should struggle and become strong to overcome our challenges.” 

COVID-19 has been an immense challenge for Sahar and the communities with which we work but, thanks to your support, we’re able to continue the fight for girls’ education and gender equity in Afghanistan. Because of your gifts girls like Zaitona receive life-changing education even amidst a pandemic.

We are incredibly grateful to have you on this journey with us. 

Kindest wishes, 

Ginna Brelsford

 
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