Enabling Women to Gain Valuable Life Skills
With more than 70% of the population functionally illiterate, it is essential to continue to support literacy programs. Afghan Friends Network has created a program designed to enable the most needy individuals to read, write, conduct basic business transactions and support their families. Women and adults too old to attend traditional schools benefit greatly from this course. In addition to the typical challenges faced when implementing programs in a developing region, there are several major hurdles we need to overcome in order to be successful in this endeavor. First, the women are very poor and have limited ability to travel. Second, there are cultural barriers to teaching women to read and write, though since the demise of the Taliban, this is becoming less of an issue. Third, regular attendance has proven to be problematic. Finally, maintaining the quality of the program requires consistent oversight by an independent representative.
AFN’s program enables the women to learn how to read and write as well as learn sewing skills. By providing vocational training along side literacy classes, the women are able to earn extra money and provide for their families.