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Community-based education in Afghanistan

21 September 2022, Impact of Our Work

“I felt like maybe I could become someone” 

Sadat*, 10, lives in a small, isolated village surrounded by mountains on the outskirts of Kabul. She loves learning Maths, English and Pashto, an Afghan language. Sadat wants to be a teacher one day so that she can teach children and provide them with opportunities for the future.

Despite her passion for education, Sadat has never been to school. Nor has her 15-year-old sister. Their two brothers – aged 6 and 13 – both attend a boys’ school in the village, but the nearest girls’ school is an hour away. Many of the girls in Sadat’s village can’t make the two-hour round trip, or their families are unable to afford books and learning materials. Instead, the girls are expected to remain at home to help with domestic responsibilities.

“There is no school for girls here, so a lot of girls don’t go to school … It’s not right that boys can go to school and girls can’t, because we both have the same rights. Girls have the right to go to school and to become someone in the future,” said Sadat.

To respond to the lack of access to education for girls in Afghanistan, Save the Children runs community-based education classes in remote areas, such as Sadat’s village. These classes are educational opportunities established in homes or other safe locations identified by the community. 

We provide the students with school bags, books and stationery to remove any financial barriers to learning. We also employ female teachers to help overcome cultural barriers to girls’ education. 

I was so happy when I joined the class and all of my friends were here, when I came to this class and they gave me books and pens, I felt happy and I felt like maybe I could become someone in the future.

Sadat


“When I come to the class and learn things I’m happy,” Sadat said.
Photo: Charlotte Rose/Save the Children

“Before the community-based education class I never imagined that I could become anything. Then I joined the class and I learned about things. Now I want to be a teacher and I’ll try my best to do that … I want to teach children so they can become doctors and teachers in the future,” Sadat said.

Many children who attend our community-based education classes would not have the chance to learn if it wasn’t for these programs. This is especially true for girls, children displaced by conflict and those without the financial means to afford essential learning materials.

Save the Children runs nearly 3,000 community-based education classes across Afghanistan so that children like Sadat, who would otherwise be out of school, have the chance to learn and play with classmates.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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