Salima is an 11th grade student at Mirman Nazo High School in vastly underserved Farah Province in southwestern Afghanistan. Like the overwhelming majority of girls in the region, Salima had never seen or touched a computer, but she had heard wonderful stories about how computer training was transforming the lives of thousands of Afghan girls each year, throughout the country.
The chances of Salima getting her hands on a computer, let along learning any computer basics seemed like a distant dream; that is until HTAC launched a new computer education program at six Farah Province school sites, including Mirman Nazo, where Salima was attending classes.
"I had been hearing a lot about how learning computer skills could change our lives and help us get job, but I knew that in Farah Province, girls' access to computer education was almost impossible", Salima told us. "Then I heard the wonderful news that Help the Afghan Children was planning to provide a computer class for our school. I rushed to the Principal's office to sign up for the class, but was told that I would have to get a letter of permission from my parents."
Salima wasn't sure what her parents' response would be; especially her father's. In many of the conservative regions of Afghanistan, including Farah Province, long-standing cultural norms and traditions typically mean that a girl's place is in the home; even if they graduate from high school. But that night, when she spoke with and shared her deep wish with her father, Samima was surprised to hear his very positive response. Salima, to say the least, was overjoyed.
Today, Salima is enrolled and thriving in her computer class and when we asked her how she was doing, a big smile came to her face. "I feel powerful, confident, and hopeful. Many thanks to HTAC for giving our school such a good program."
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