Teachers-in-training attending class
Stories from the Afghan girls that Sahar serves do a fantastic job of describing the impact that YOU make possible. Getting a chance to see the challenges the young women face and how they address those challenges is the real testament to what you make possible through your contribution to this project.
Abiba, just as many other young women in Afghanistan, wants to continue her education, she wants to find work to help and provide for her family. She made the long journey, of almost 40 minutes in the back of the a Zarang (small opened back rickshaw), daily for two years. We are happy to report that she was committed to the Teacher Training program and graduated after two years.
As with Abiba, many students have a desire for more, continued education, a career, a family, and many other scenarios. In Afghanistan those opportunities are met with a lot of opposition and lack of opportunity. Sahar's Teacher Training Cener was an opportunity, a dream of continuing education for Abiba. The opposition she faces to these opportunities comes in the form social pressure, cultural conservative thinking, distance from the opportunity, lack of security etc. The issues are more complex than we can begin to explain here. Abiba gives us a glimpse into some of these issues.
Once Abiba finished studying at the TTC she wanted to go on and find work as a teacher or go on to a higher college. Her specific field of study as a teacher was to become a science teacher. Abiba is from a village in a very rural area. Rural areas tend to be more conservative than other areas. Despite this her family encouraged and supported her to go to the Teacher Training Center. Along with many others, she commuted daily to and from the Dawlatabad center in an effort to increase opportunity for her future. Abiba graduated the program with a certificate from the Government of Afghanistan saying she finished the program and had passed the Teacher Training Center with two years of training. Many students don’t go beyond this point because they can’t, because there are no jobs available close to home or based on the fact that the Ministry of Education did not choose them from the many applicants. Abiba went on to apply for a job through the Ministry of Education, just as many others did. She took the test administered by the Ministry of Education to see if she could be placed as teacher somewhere, but she was not chosen as a final candidate for job placement.
While for many this would be a setback enough to stop moving forward, Abiba did not give up. She has sought help from her family to go to a private university. Her family denied her this opportunity because they cannot afford to pay for this. So on her own she went outside of her immediate family to another family member to seek a loan to go on to this private university. She has worked out an arrangement with this family member to pay them back in the future after she graduates and finds employment. Abiba said to us that, “One of my big dreams is to finish my education.” Currently Abiba is pursuing her dream studying in the Science Faculty at a Private University, called Mawlana University. Despite these setbacks she has not given up. Sahar's Teacher Training Center was a crucial stepping stone for her after high school, bridging the gap to University.
What we learn from Abiba's story is the strong desire to persue education by Afghan women. The challenges they face can be overwhelming but your support is creating opportunities for them to acheive their goals. Thank you.
Group of students working together
Students in computer class