Renewing Hope Through New Women & Youth Initiatives in Afghanistan

Since mid-August 2021, women’s engagement in social and economic affairs in Afghanistan have been suspended due to the change of the regime. Girls’ education by attending school beyond grade 7  and in university were also restricted.  These policies affect all women and for those in university and school there is lost hope for their future as well as that of Afghanistan.

However, through all of this upheaval a small window of opportunity to intervene and gain back hope for women and young girls has opened in the Ishkashim and Zebak districts of Badakhshan. Here the local Taliban have shown support to allow women-centric activities to resume in consideration of social and cultural themes.

The UN Mission in Badakhshan plans to move forward in 2022 with several initiatives which will provide skill development, social interaction and hope.

These activities are:

1. A modular program for university aged girls on leadership and volunteerism.

2. A healthy household program that will focus on the use of fire wood and smoke inhalation (causes, sypmtoms and treatments).

3. Establishing a library service for women including books and audio books.

4.  Children’s learning program focusing on school subjects and interests of the group. 

This project in the Badakhshan is a follow-up for the BBS the literacy program in the province’s Wakhan Corridor. 

“Education is the realisation of hope for the future.”

Victor Tam

 

Wakhan Corridor Adult Literacy Overivew

Between 2018 and 2019, BBS partnered with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and SALEHO to deliver an adult literacy program in six villages in the Wakhan Corridor.

This remote region of Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and literacy is a top prioirty identified by the Wahki people.

The focus of our work, which was delivered by the local non-profit SALEHO, was on improving adult literacy rates through a program designed specifically for adult learners and delivered by local teachers trained on program delivery from master trainers.

The villages that participated in this program were Qazdeh, Vark, Shkharv, Kushnikhan, Worgund Payan and Worgund Bala. In total, 242 students enrolled in 12 classes with 20 students per class and 2 shifts of teaching each day. To support the literacy classes, 8 libraries were opened and local villagers trained as libarians.

Project Highlights:

  • Training of literacy teachers and Master Trainers were conducted twice (first session in Faizabad and the second in Shekharv Village of Wakhan District);
  • All the required furniture, training materials, books etc. have been provided and distributed to the students;
  • Twelve literacy classes were established;
  • The evaluation report of the students, based on the three tests, shows high knowledge of the students (70% received high achievements);
  • Regular supervision and monitoring of the classes have been done by the Project Manager and MoE teams;
  • Training on librarianship and reading promotion was conducted in July 2019;
  • Eight libraries have been established and the students, teachers and local people are benefiting;
  • The report of students’ attendance sheets shows 94% present during the months of May – June 2019.

The photos below are from the graduation ceremony in November, 2019.

July 2020

Certificates of Achievement for the Literacy Program

BBS would like to thank the following people and organisations for their generous support

Frank Gounelas
Geoff Bedford
Ioannis Exarchos
Jamshid Sultanzada
Laurie DeBoer
LBKT Farms Limited
Linda Sekura
Linsey Flannery

Maltec Leichtbautechnologie
Mark Quigley
Matin Zamani
Michael Marcus
Molly Hollihan
Natalie Osborne
Neo Performance Materials

Pauline Niebur
Peter Johnston
Peter Kruyt
Samuel Plagnard
Sara James
Scott Gillespie
Stefanos Kourelas

Sylvia Hirsche Memorial Library
Sylvia Liu
Taber Memorial Library
Tonya Tecca
Tracy Driscoll
Viva, Beijing Professional Women’s Association
Wray Armstrong

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Thank you for all you are doing to help these refugees. It could be any one of us in this situation. That makes you and the refugees practical heroes and bless you all!

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