Afghanistan Reads! | Afghanistan Lowalee!
Community Libraries, Literacy and Books
The Afghanistan Reads! | Afghanistan Lowalee! is an award-winning adult literacy program based on a model featuring:
- Access to appropriate, mother tongue reading materials for emerging literates
- Robust professional development for the program’s literacy teachers
- Family literacy, recognizing that most of our students are also parents
- Community based: classes delivered in private homes, closeby for students
- Evidence-based pedagogy: we teach the perceptual learning method developed by adult literacy expert Dr. Helen Abadzi. Read more here.
- A curriculum that is relevant to our learners, integrating practical life skills
Activities and Impact
- From 2018 to 2020, 1800 women completed literacy classes in Takhar through the AWEP Project
- 240 women and men completed literacy classes in the Wakhan Corridor through the WILED project.
- In 2019, 150 literacy students were registered in six classes. These women were beneficiaries of Operation Mercy’s women’s self-help groups.
- In 2018, 251 literacy students graduated from nine classes in four districts of Kabul province.
- From 2017-2018, 68 literacy students graduated from four classes in three districts in Kabul. These women were peer support group members of Medica Afghanistan’s Psycho-Social and Health Program.
- From 2013 to 2015, AR! was delivered in six provinces (Herat, Balkh, Kapisa, Parwan, Badakhshan, Kabul) with funding from USAID, graduating 1,012 women and reaching an additional 18,318 boys and girls with libraries placed in local high schools after use in the literacy classes.
- Prior to 2013, CW4WAfghan delivered literacy classes in rural districts of Kabul, Mazar-i-sharif, Laghman, Nangarhar, Ghazni and other locations.
DID YOU KNOW?
CW4WAfghan’s Afghanistan Reads! Program was recognized by the Library of Congress as a Best Practice Honoree in 2017. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online.
DID YOU KNOW?Classes are typically held within the home of a local woman who receives a small rent payment in exchange for hosting the classes.“Your classes provide opportunities for rural Afghan women to follow their childhood dreams, to read and realize themselves.”
Fatima, Literacy Learner
Read a more detailed description of our unique, evidence-based adult literacy education model and its results, in Transforming Literacy Education for Afghan Women, p. 35-40 here.
The Linda Norgrove Foundation
The Afghanistan Reads! Program was initiated in 2011 with the support of The Linda Norgrove Foundation, established in 2010 in memory of Linda Norgrove, who was devoted to ensuring that the people of Afghanistan would achieve prosperity and stability as their country was rebuilt. The Foundation’s primary goal is to help women and children in Afghanistan.In 2020, we marked the 10th anniversary of the LNF 10k, with people walking or running in locations across the globe during the first 10 days of October. With these dates coinciding with our annual symposium once again, participants from several of our Chapters held socially distanced walks to recognize this partnership and celebrate the life and legacy of Linda Norgrove while raising funds for the important work of the foundation.
Literacy is Vision
“In the past, I was like a blind girl. I could not read or write, but now I read” – 2021 graduate from Abdul Hadi Dawi High School
In 2021, The AR! program is training literacy teachers, graduating students who would otherwise not have access to education, outfitting libraries at the supported schools and delivering Life Skills programs.
Classes are provided to adult women and out-of-school girls over the age of 15 in Kabul Province. Each class provides between 20 and 25 female literacy students with one year of basic literacy classes 5 to 6 days per week.
Local teachers are recruited and trained to run the classes and maintain a small library.
These photos illustrate the work our team is doing in Afghanistan to deliver life skills.
Using videos, technology, and in-person instruction, our team in Afghanistan delivers life skills programs, literacy classes, and other on the ground essential services.
Spotlight on Students
Nazifeh, 18 years old, has been studying at Abdul Hadi Davi School for two years along with her sixteen year old sister Nadimeh.
The two sisters were two of 20 students pictured receiving their certificates in April, 2021.
Of the family’s 9 daughters and one son, only Nadima and Nazifeh attend school.
“I have been interested in school since I was a child,” shares Nazifeh, “but the very poor family economy and distance kept my parents from letting us go to school. Two years ago, one day I heard from neighbors that a literacy course was being set up at CW4WA in our village. My sister and I enrolled. After a year, we both graduated and got a 3rd-grade certificate, and then because of our interest and with the help of the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, we went to Abdul Hadi Dawi High school.”
“Thanks to the CW4WA office for giving us the opportunity to continue my education,” said Nazifeh, “I want to be a judge in the future and I also want the office to provide transportation for us because there are so many disruptions on the way to school.”
Activities and Impact
In 2019, 150 literacy students were registered in 6 classes. These women were beneficiaries of Operation Mercy’s women’s self-help groups.
In 2018, 251 literacy students graduated from 9 classes in 4 districts of Kabul province.
From 2017-2018, 68 literacy students graduated from 4 classes in 3 Districts in Kabul. These women were peer support group members of Medica Afghanistan’s Psycho-Social and Health Program.
From 2013 to 2015, AR! was delivered in 6 provinces (Heart, Balkh, Kapisa, Parwan, Badakhshan, Kabul)) with funding support from USAID, graduating 1,012 women and reaching an additional 18,318 boys and girls with libraries placed in local high schools after use in the literacy classes. Prior to 2013, CW4WAfghan delivered literacy classes in rural districts of Kabul, Mazar-i-sharif, Laghman, Nangarhar, Ghazniand other locations.
In addition to these, 1800 women completed literacy classes in Takhar through the AWEP Project that was completed in 2020, and 240 women and men completed classes in the Wakhan Corridor through the WILED project.