Students in Mobile Literacy Class
As the year comes to a close, the Afghan Institute of Learning would like to say thank you for your support of our project this year. It is because of your generosity that our program has been able to grow from a pilot program of 2 classes and 4 teachers in 2012, to 30 teachers trained to use this technique and 9 classes for a total of 315 students. We are so excited about the amazing results we continue to see when the teachers combine traditional literacy teaching techniques with text messaging, and cannot wait to offer this class to even more students in 2014!
Learning to read is life changing for the women and girls in AIL’s mobile literacy classes. It can be hard for many of us to fully appreciate the change that takes place when a person becomes literate. To help express this amazing change, we’d like to share the story of one of the twelve year old students in AIL’s mobile literacy program.
I am twelve, and as a girl I was expected to stay home all day. This caused me to become depressed. In my community it is shameful for a man to allow his daughters or sisters to go to school after they are 10 years old. Before the age of 10, I lived in an unsafe village. It was so unsafe that I couldn’t go to primary school. I always wished to be able to read and write, but it felt like it would never happen.
We moved to a new city, but we were so far from the main part of the city. Luckily, our new home is near an AIL Learning Center. I heard that they were offering literacy classes at this center, but I wasn’t sure if my father would permit me to attend the class. Finally, I was allowed to attend! I have been studying in the mobile literacy class for about three months now. At first, everything was very strange to me. I thought I had entered a new world. I found new friends. The class was very interesting to me. I can now read and write. In addition, I am learning life skills every day in class, for example, I can now communicate with people all over the world because I can now use a mobile phone. I can call my new friends, and compose and exchange text messages with them. I can also listen to my favorite radio stations on this mobile phone, and when I have free time I can even play games on it. I feel that I am becoming more self sufficient, and am so thankful for this class.
In Afghanistan, it can be difficult, if not impossible for a girl to enter school if she is behind for her age. Fewer than one in five Afghan women are literate. Without this mobile literacy class, this young girl may have never been able to reach her goal of learning to read. Now that she has, there is a greater chance that others in her family will attend school as well. In addition, when she gets married and has children of her own, it is ten times more likely that her children will also be literate. Your donations have helped to change the course of this girl’s life, and the lives of other girls like her. Thank you.
Attached to this report is our year end newsletter. We hope that you will take a few minutes to read it. Attachments: