|It’s Back to School … in Afghanistan,
thanks to a new Canadian – UK Partnership
|PRESS RELEASE September 16, 2013
The Canada-based charity, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) has been given an opportunity to expand a unique literacy program thanks to generous new funding support from the Linda Norgrove Foundation (LNF), of Scotland, U.K.
CW4WAfghan Executive Director Janice Eisenhauer is encouraged by this expanding partnership between the two like-minded charities. “We share the same passion, commitment and goals towards universal human rights in Afghanistan,“ says Eisenhauer.
John and Lorna Norgrove, who live on the remote Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland, started the Linda Norgrove Foundation following the death of their daughter Linda during a kidnap rescue attempt in Afghanistan in 2010. Earlier this year, the LNF successfully applied for funding from the United States International Development Agency (USAID) and was granted $625,000 over two years, to fund a network of community libraries and literacy classes for women and girls in 16 communities of six provinces in Afghanistan.
The Norgroves are currently visiting Canada and will attend the CW4WAfghan annual symposium in Victoria, BC Oct 4-5, 2013.
Literacy in Afghanistan is among the lowest in the world. It is estimated that only 20% of women are literate and the figure is much lower in rural areas. Recent research from UNICEF Afghanistan (2010/11) suggests that only a third of women educated to primary school level retain their literacy skills because of a lack of access to written materials. Regular use of libraries in the community and local home-based literacy classes will help address these challenges.
The project, called Afghanistan Lowalee! / Afghanistan Reads! (AR!) will reach at least 840 female literacy students, and over 11,000 library users, mainly in rural communities. AR! will also build the capacity of Afghan organizations involved in library and literacy services, providing training in topics such as literacy pedagogy and basic librarianship.
“This project will change lives,” said Eisenhauer. “Exercising one’s right to read is empowering Afghan women and girls everyday in their classrooms. Improving the literacy rate is fundamental to the future of Afghanistan, a country that has seen so much turmoil and tragedy over the years. It also has a great impact for all of us in Canada, the UK and the USA, as we seek new ways to be more effective as global citizens.”
About the Project
About Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan)
About the Linda Norgrove Foundation
CANADIAN WOMEN FOR WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN PO BOX 86016 MARDA LOOP, CALGARY, AB T2T 6B7