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Serving a Broad Community

CW4WAfghan is committed to literacy for adults and children. This includes a recent partnership with UNESCO Bangkok to deliver reading materials to handicapped children. In terms of Adult literacy, CW4Wafghan recognizes that adults learn differently to children, and customizes the education programs accordingly.


If all students in low-income countries left school with elementary reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. In other words, ensuring that those who study reading actually learn it could result in a 12% cut in global poverty.”

Source: Reading: A Way Out of Poverty

Children with Disabilities
CW4WAfghan, in partnership with UNESCO Bangkok, is working to ensure children with disabilities in Afghanistan continue to learn at this critical time through the creation of reading materials in accessible formats. CW4WAfghan is translating accessible reading materials into Afghan languages and ensuring they are available in accessible formats, for children with disabilities. The project is based on UNESCO’s existing collaboration with Global Digital Library (GDL). The accessible books will also be available in the Darakht-e Danesh Library. 

Adult Literacy

CW4WAfghan’s approach to adult literacy education is based on a perceptual learning method that optimizes reading learning in adults, developed by Dr. Helen Abadzi, a cognitive psychologist who uses evidence from neuroscience to understand how adults learn reading. The method has been tested in multiple languages and script combinations in different countries, and was tested for the first time in Afghanistan by CW4WAfghan in 2019, under the guidance of Dr. Abadzi.

Besides the way the letters are presented, the method emphasizes repeated practice to gain automaticity. Teachers must be trained in guiding students in such practice in literacy classrooms. Testing has shown consistently much better outcomes than with other methods.

Resources on Literacy in Afghanistan

CW4WAfghan has developed a successful model of adult literacy education called Afghanistan Reads! Here, we share some useful resources that reflect how we approach literacy education in Afghanistan.

Recommended Reading

Abadzi, H. (2008). Efficient Learning for the Poor: New Insights into Literacy Acquisition for Children. International Review of Education.

Abadzi, H. (2006). Efficient Learning for the Poor: Insights from the Frontier of Cognitive Neuroscience. World Bank. 

Abadzi, H. (2005). Adult Illiteracy, Brain Architecture, and Empowerment of the Poor. Adult Education and Development.

Royer, J.M., Abadzi, H. & Kinda, J. (2004). The Impact of Phonological-Awareness and Rapid-Reading Training on the Reading Skills of Adolescent and Adult Neoliterates. International Review of Education.

Teale, William H. (2008). Reading Education Internationally Published in Literacy Daily, contains many recommendations that reflect the way we work in our Afghanistan Reads! adult literacy program. The article was translated by CW4WAfghan staff member Abdul Rahim Parwani, for the 8am newspaper in Farsi (2019). Read it in Farsi.

UNESCO (2015). Learning Families: Intergenerational Approaches to Literacy Teaching and Learning.