Girls sewing at BRAC reading center in Afghanistan
In the Baghlan province of Afghanistan, 17-year-old Kreshma is one of thousands of girls who were once denied access to an education. Afghanistan’s turmoil in the past decade, as well as a complex history of emphasizing boys’ education over girls’, helps explain why 71% of girls are out of school compared to only 28% of boys.
Kreshma grew up without access to an education. Her family saw the benefit of prioritizing immediate needs like household chores, but saw little value in long-term investments like primary education. Like many girls in her community, Kreshma only knew a future in which she would marry at a young age and join her husband's family.
At age seven, that all changed when community leaders, accompanied by local BRAC staff, met with Kreshma’s family to discuss a new, community-based primary school option for girls like her. Soon, she began attending a BRAC primary school.
But after Kreshma completed primary school, it became too difficult to attend the government-run secondary school much further away from her home. She began staying at home again and doing household chores, but her path to education and independence was not over.
In April 2017, BRAC began a project to address this very challenge and expand access to education for marginalized girls. Its goal is to help girls transition effectively from community-based primary schools into government secondary schools, community secondary schools, or technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centers in Afghanistan.
Kreshma and her family soon learned about the post-primary options offered through this project, including debate, tailoring, gardening, and mentorship training—activities that teach girls self-advocacy and independence to promote their future success. More Afghan girls are choosing to become resilient, self-sufficient women with these resources.
Kreshma has been training in tailoring and business skills for five months, and, when she is finished, she will be connected to microloans to start a home business making clothes for women in her community. Thanks to generous donors like you, Kreshma can choose her own fulfilling and independent future.
Kreshma is not alone in her achievements. Your ongoing support has helped enroll 1,659 girls in 40 TVET centers. In addition, 7,675 girls, ages 11-18 years, have transitioned into 263 community-based secondary schools. And to ensure that girls who enroll are able to stay in school, the project provides a school stipend to almost a thousand families.
Through a wide range of education initiatives in 10 provinces, BRAC is improving the quality of education, enhancing access, and maximizing girls’ self-esteem and leadership skills. We are extremely grateful for your continued support in helping us create opportunity for marginalized girls.
Adolescent girl eager to read