By Valentina Di Felice - Head Of Imapct and Learning
“I was very depressed during the lockdown because there wasn’t any opportunity to continue official schooling but, I am glad that Womanity courses continued. This helped us not to give up with our dreams and continue to have an active educational life despite lockdown ”. Marwa, student of English Language course in Speen Kalai High School.
Key highlights January-December 2020 |
In 2020, considering all operations in the four partner schools and activities organised for alumni, Womanity conducted 44 training modules of different length enrolling a total of 716 students who completed the training and with a very limited dropout rate of 5.4%. The majority of students attended more than a module this year or in previous years. Therefore, we served 469 individual beneficiaries, of whom 76 were students enrolled for the first time in one of our courses in 2020.
During the year, on the basis of the Covid-19 measures enforced in Kabul, Womanity was able to move classes online and again in person always guaranteeing social distance and availability of hand sanitiser and masks.
Although, for some courses, we did not follow our traditional timeline and curricula, we were able to differentiate and somehow expand our offer of courses, to innovate our teaching modules and to continue follow our students and alumni in a time where the official schooling was disrupted enabling them to maintain an active educational life. This not only continued to support girls’ education but also showed resilience and adaptability of our team.
During the lockdown, we ensured that students could attend our classes by providing each a 4G internet connection, while throughout the year we also distributed 70 refurnished 2nd hand laptops for the students who did not have any appliance to do attend online courses comfortably or do their homework.
We assisted 67 alumni to find free online courses in English language or IT related subjects so that they could preserve and improve their skills while waiting for the Kankoor exam (the Afghan University entrance exam). Additionally, in February, 20 students attended a webinar organised by SOWCoders, a New York based organisation led by women working in tech.
During the reporting period 33 internships or volunteering opportunities were on-going or completed (of them 4 are part of a 4y scheme that will support students throughout University). In a couple of cases, girls were offered short term contract extensions following the internship.
5 university students are continuing successfully their higher studies in computer science thanks to our scholarships and additional 7 scholarships were awarded in the last quarter of 2020 when University enrolment re-started. Furthermore, we were able to negotiate with the Salam University a reduction of fees for students graduated from the GCC course.
The lockdown, more than the Covid-19 itself, is estimated to have a long-lasting impact in Afghanistan worsening the already fragile situation of many families for example increasing dramatically the people reaching emergency level of food insecurity as well as the number of children facing acute malnutrition. To do our part and try to alleviate the extreme poverty of families (students and schools’ workers) in our schools’ communities, Womanity mobilised funding to cover two rounds of food parcel distribution for a total of 275 packages. The first at the end of June supported 110 families, while the second at the end of October distributed food to 165 families (about half of them were already supported in the first round).
Womanity distributed hygiene kits in schools and renewed and equipped hygiene facilities with sanitizing materials when they reopened.
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