I wanted to share with you what I see when I visit our programs in Afghanistan. There is much good work being done and people’s lives are improving.
After a recent visit to one of our medical clinics; I see that people are much healthier and they are eating nutritious foods. They are taking care of their hygiene and that of their children. Even though they are poor and not able to afford meat, they have learned how to combine different legumes and vegetables to get all the vitamins and minerals and protein they need for a balanced diet. The result is they are living healthier lives.
The people have also learned about all aspects of reproductive health; how having fewer children is better and to space out births. This leads to a better economic situation for the whole family with enough resources to go round and for all to lead a better life. Women learn about safe pregnancy and birth practices so the risks are reduced for mothers and babies.
Mobile Literacy Classes
The Mobile Literacy Classes are very popular and remarkably effective. Most students progress from no letter comprehension to 4th grade literacy level by the end of the 4 month course. The course teaches literacy through texting on mobile phones.
The mobile phone texting keeps students working on and renewing their reading skills which means they reinforce the learning everyday as well as learning new things each day. If it was not for the mobile phones they would stop after a while or get disheartened or bored without a classroom or teacher to prompt the. The texting enables them to be very creative learners and do different things with their phones such as learn mathematics, so business, manage money and household budgeting. Other subjects they use the phone for include planning saving and investing of money, teaching husbands and children to read and do math. The reach of the mobile literacy class goes beyond the students who attend.
Radio Meraj is a private station but the Afghan Institute of Learning provides programming and other support. Radio and TV can reach the poor and illiterate and the isolated in society educating and informing many people from different backgrounds. Many of our listeners do not go out very often or very far from home because there is no school to go to or they lack the money for transportation or there is no transportation for them to use. These people especially women can stay at home taking care of house and family but still learn by listening to Radio Meraj or watching TV.
We are teaching them education things, health knowledge, news but also teaching them about their rights as human beings, as citizens. They learn how to get help from AIL’s legal clinic. Afghanistan is a poor country and there is much violence against women so helping women, through the radio or TV, learn about their rights is beneficial to them.
People are keen to learn, to be healthier and to have greater opportunity in life. AIL is helping them achieve these goals.