Rural students on Way to Computer Class
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. We also chose girls in grade 5 and 6 to begin their computer education as studies have indicated that at these ages, girls (whether in the US or in Afghanistan) are impacted in math, science and technology. Our program introduces the girls to the basics of technology.
Each computer we fund will be allocated to the rural village computer center.
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 for this rural computer center.
A third urban center at the Gohar Khaton Girls' School will be opened in April 2015. Over 3,000 girls will attend the new center and of those, girls in 5,th, 6th, 7th grades as well as high schoolers will have access to the program.
"Sometimes it is so difficult to get to the Computer Center in my rural village. Security is not always the best but I have hope and dreams that my studies at the Center will open doors for my future. I've waited to be part of this program since I was in 8th grade. Now that I'm in high school, I can attend the courses and think about the possibilities of how to use the computer technology in my future. " Rural Village attendee
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 13,400 in 2014 year-to-date. 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.
“Only 20 percent of Afghanistan is electrified; it’s only 20 percent illiterate,” says Paul Brinkley, the former United States deputy undersecretary of defense. “But 60 percent have a cellphone. What does this tell you about the Afghan people? They’re starving for information. You need that more to stabilize this country than all the security things you could do.”
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.
Next Class - Computers!
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