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Obaida's Dream: Lighting the Path to Education in Toratangi

In the picturesque but challenging valley of Bermal, within the village of Toratangi, lives Obaida, a bright and determined 9-year-old girl whose pursuit of education has become a symbol of hope for her community. Born into an impoverished family with no prior educational background, Obaida's journey is a testament to the transformative power of learning. Obaida is the only daughter in her family to attend school, making her the apple of her father’s eye and a trailblazer in a community where gender disparities in education are pronounced. Her two brothers travel 9 kilometers to a boys-only high school, yet despite the challenges of distance and societal norms, Obaida’s resolve to learn has never wavered. In 2022, the Afghan Women's Educational Center (AWEC) initiated a Community-Based Education (CBE) class exclusively for girls in Toratangi. Seizing the opportunity, Obaida enrolled with a fervor that reflected her deep passion for education. Initially, she harbored concerns about the program’s duration, worried it might end prematurely. However, her dedication remained steadfast as she immersed herself fully in her studies. Over two years, Obaida’s remarkable aptitude shone through; she consistently excelled across all subjects, becoming the top-ranked student in her class. Her enthusiasm not only boosted her learning but also inspired her classmates, creating a vibrant, supportive learning environment. Her teacher, reassured by AWEC’s commitment, confirmed that the program would extend for at least three years, providing a stable pathway for Obaida’s educational aspirations. Looking ahead, Obaida is poised to complete her tenure in the CBE program and transition to further education at a hub school. Her aspirations are high: she dreams of becoming a doctor, a goal now within reach thanks to her unwavering commitment and the foundational education provided by AWEC. Baitullah, her dedicated teacher, praises AWEC for their crucial support in launching these educational initiatives and echoes the community’s call for extending the CBE program through to the sixth grade. Such an extension, he argues, would significantly enhance the educational prospects for Obaida and her peers, securing a brighter future for the entire community. While AWEC’s CBE classes have already opened significant doors, particularly for girls in underserved areas, the need for continued and expanded support is clear. By prioritizing and extending girls' education through initiatives like CBE classes, communities not only promote female academic participation but also lay the groundwork for societal progress and empowerment.

2024-06-24 16:34:32

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Ikramullah's Transformation: From Farmhand to Entrepreneur through AWEC's Vocational Training

In the serene but challenging landscape of Bermal, Paktika, 21-year-old Ikramullah discovered a life-altering opportunity through the AWEC/TDH project. Once confined to subsistence farming due to early economic hardships that cut his schooling short, Ikramullah's life trajectory changed dramatically upon discovering AWEC's literacy and mobile phone repair classes. "When I first heard about the literacy and repair courses, a spark of hope ignited within me. I thought to myself, 'This is my chance to take control of my destiny,'" Ikramullah expressed, his eyes lighting up with enthusiasm. Motivated by the possibility of a new beginning, he enrolled in the six-month mobile phone repair training and a complementary nine-month literacy course, determined to forge a new path for himself. The training sessions were transformative. "Each day at AWEC was a step toward my independence. They taught me more than just skills—they taught me how to envision a future of possibilities," he recalled. Following the completion of his courses, AWEC equipped Ikramullah with the essential tools to kickstart his venture. Starting small, he initially repaired phones from his home. Gradually, as he earned from each repair, he reinvested in his business, expanding his services and inventory. Today, Ikramullah is not only alleviating his family's financial burdens but is also setting aside funds for further education. "Each phone I repair brings me closer to my dream of university. I'm building my future with every device I fix," he shared, his voice filled with determination and hope. Ikramullah is profoundly grateful for the support and training he received from AWEC, particularly highlighting the role of his mentors. "The journey from a novice to a professional wasn't easy, but the persistent guidance and encouragement from my teachers at AWEC were my constant motivators," he gratefully acknowledged. His instructor, Mohammad Rokhan, reflected on the success of the program and its impact: "Witnessing Ikramullah and his classmates transition from uncertainty to establishing their own businesses is incredibly rewarding. It's a testament to their hard work and the effectiveness of our vocational training. I hope AWEC will continue to expand these programs, reaching even more young minds eager to learn and grow." AWEC's initiatives in Orgun and Bermal provide essential educational opportunities to youths facing barriers to formal schooling. Through comprehensive courses in literacy, numeracy, and practical skills like mobile phone repair, AWEC empowers young individuals to enhance their productivity and independence. These programs significantly improve the well-being and economic status of participants, enabling them, especially young women and men like Ikramullah, to realize their full potential and contribute positively to their communities.

2024-06-02 18:40:22