On Sunday July 9, 2017, Kabultec’s sister organization in Kabul, the Roqia Center for Women’s Rights, Studies, and Education in Afghanistan graduated one literacy class for married couples, and inaugurated another. Please donate to this very important and worthwhile cause!
Roqia Center, Couples Literacy Class, Graduation 2017
The Barchi class started in July 2016 with ten couples, and was taught by our experienced teacher, Ms. Roqia. It finished this month with seventeen students. Early on, one couple had to move out of the area, and the husband of another went to Iran to work and the wife asked to be allowed to continue! Two months before graduation, two other couples moved to a different province, but Ms. Roqia replaced them with two new and eager couples from the neighborhood! On graduation day these last two couples really wanted to continue and agreed to enroll in the new class – for another twelve months!
Graduation day was a bit messy as it was very hot! We did not have electricity and had to locate a nearby generator so the photographer could take pictures. We had to find a person to go purchase gas to run the generator, as well as actually learn how to unhook the necessary electronics from regular electricity and hook it to the temporary generator. Meanwhile the few children that had accompanied their parents were getting antsy! Finally, all systems were go and we began to present the certificates, their stipend, a few small gifts of notebooks and books to read, and refreshments (juice, small drinks, and cookies). We asked the graduates for feedback, which was invaluable, with statements such as, “It feels good not to be blind anymore,” or “Now I can track my clients’ debts from my small business.” We also took many photos inside the classroom and in the yard. The graduating students went home happy with promises to enroll in the fourth level government literacy class, to read on their own, and keep in touch.
Roqia Center, Couples Literacy Class, Inauguration 2017
We then brought the new class in – – they had arrived very early and waited patiently in the hall! I welcomed them and asked them to introduce themselves and tell us why they wanted to join this class. Ms. Roqia gave them the rules, regulations, and procedures. Mr. Rahmani distributed their notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers, pencil sharpeners. When he gave one textbook per couple, they realized they had to sit next to each other in order to be able to follow the lesson!
Two couples in the new class have come from the graduating class. But like all our classes they are all Shi’a from different walks of life, several provinces, and different age groups. The youngest is 20 years old who said she did not want to fall behind her peers in education, and the oldest is a man of 68 years. Several men said they have stalls in the bazaar and would like it that they are learning numbers and arithmetic. Today they were shy and wide eyed. I know come graduation time next year, it will be so beautiful to see their level of education and socialization vastly improved!