YOUR April peace mail from Afghanistan
My name is Rabia Sabri. I am a mum of three kids and I am also the Program Coordinator for the education portfolio in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Act for Peace
When I first met some of the people living in the communities where we work, they were saying that the place of a girl is either at home or in a grave. So, that really motivated me. If women have an education, I believe their lives will improve because they’ll have jobs, the security, and then they’ll be empowered to take charge of their life. It is my hope that I can contribute somehow to the betterment of women and the society, especially in Afghanistan.
We’ve faced many challenges getting girls to school. When we started our project, girls were banned from going to school. Many people were scared at the time.
One of the successful components of our project is the awareness raising work through the Community Development Consul (CDC) shura. Shuras are committees made up of influential and trusted people in the community and they advocate on the right of girls’ education. Initially only a few hundred girls were enrolled per year but now we have almost 5,000 students enrolling each year. I think that’s a big achievement for all of us. Through the intervention of CDC we have also been able to address the issue of child marriage in many communities.
One of the activities that we started this year are the community based schools for girls. We established these in communities where there are no schools in a radius of 3-6 km. This has had a huge impact. Before this, the girls only had access to a Madrassa which only teaches Islamic studies. Now girls are attending mainstream education which can help them to pursue their dreams. Many want to become doctors, traffic police officers or engineers.
We also work with government schools because they lack funding and don’t have a lot of resources. So, one of the things we do is provide them with teachers, particularly female teachers.
We also train these teachers how to deliver the best possible classes, so that the children can have access to high quality education. We also support schools with resources. You’ll be amazed to see that in many schools they don’t even have chalk or markers. So, we give them chalk and other supplies every month.
Last year, schools shut down for four months because of COVID-19. This really affected a lot of people economically. Afghanistan is a very poor country and when I spoke to the children that came back to school, they shared that their parents didn’t have money to buy them stationery, notebooks or uniforms.
Sometimes we don’t know how our support helps other people. But, a small contribution can change someone’s life. Recently I noticed a kid was searching in the dustbin at the end of the class, and I asked one of the staff what was going on. She shared that the child was looking for paper to do her homework because she didn’t have a notebook. I was really touched, because if I’m giving a notebook or some chalk, sometimes I wonder what difference it makes. But for that kid, it did make a difference.
I am very thankful to you. Please continue your support in the future too because in absence of this support, thousands of girls who are supported by this project would not have been able to receive education.
Your support is changing the mindset of many communities and you’re making a difference in the lives of a lot of people, especially the women. Thank you.
Download this Peace Mail in pdf
Three decades of conflict and instability has had a dramatic impact on children’s education and wellbeing in Afghanistan, and girls are still fighting for equal access to education. Your support is helping girls in Afghanistan overcome the barriers they face and giving them a brighter future through improved access to quality education.
COVID-19 has also impacted girls’ access to education with many families unable to afford the basic school supplies like notebooks and stationery.
With your support, Act for Peace’s local partner Community World Service Asia (CWSA), is training teachers in more effective teaching methods and also forming committees to help educate local communities on the importance of girls’ education. You’re also helping to provide resources for schools including safe play spaces, chalk and notebooks.
Your support is making a difference!
$38 can help provide a girl with all the resources she needs to start school.
• That girls can continue to safely participate in education in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
• For continued support and resources for Act for Peace’s partner, Community World Service Asia (CWSA) and their important mission in the nation.
• For the protection and safety of all people in Afghanistan in its increasing conflict.
More ways to take action
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Give a gift that will make a lasting difference.