We are very happy that the Women's Centre Andkhoi (WCA) is running well. Older girls and women from the villages around Andkhoi learn to sew dresses for women and children and learn to read and write in Dari and mathematic.
Customers come and visit the centre to order dresses which are made in a professional way by the staff of the WCA. Some other products are also available for buying. The manageress organizes gatherings from time to time as this is the only place where women can meet outside their home.
Two different groups of girls / women work in a sewing course in their village and for two days of the week they come by Riksha to the WCA which they enjoy very much. They will learn how to deal with customers, learn how to measure for dresses, embroidery and also some bookkeeping. They already got their mechanical sewing machines which they use in their course in the village.
In the village of Baghebustan (District of Qurghan) a second women's centre opened in 2016. 24 students are learning here sewing, embroidery, reading, writing and arithmetic. Girls from the neighbouring school come for English and computer lessons.
Girls' Education in Andkhoi
In Andkhoi the first girls' school was built in the 1950s. Apart from going to this school, the girls' only chance to study was with the help of the mullah. In the big cities, especially in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif, girls went to school and also to university, especially in the years 1960 to 1980 when the war interupted and destroyed this development. Approximately 80 to 90 % of the women in Afghanistan are illiterate. Since the end of Taliban rule the number of girls who are attending school is rising steadily but further help is needed. We are supporting girls' schools in Andkhoi and the surrounding villages and in Mazar-e-Sharif. Furthermore, we offer preparatory courses for girls who would like to attend university. For older girls who had not had a chance to attend school, we offer home courses (see below).
Women's Centre in Andkhoi
In August 2013 the Women's Centre in Andkhoi opened its doors in the rooms formerly used as training workshop for carpenters and electricians. There are three rooms: one show room for selling, one workshop and one office. The Women's Centre employs one manageress, her assistent who is also embroidery teacher and one caretaker who is also an expert for crochet.
In 2016 the WCA is getting the second extension: The 3 rooms were soon too small and a big showroom was built and now a second floor is put on top of that so that there will be a nice meeting room soon.
For older girls we have set up so-called Home Courses. The girls study all school subjects of grades 1 to 6 in three years. Some of them continue their lessons from grade 7 in state schools. Others are happy with what they learned in these three years. All girls know how to read and write quite well and are firm enough in the day-to-say mathematics. They also learn geography and biology.
We were particularly happy to meet some of our former home school students when we were visiting 12th grade classes and heard that they want to become teachers or midwives or work for an NGO.
Courses in Girls' Schools
Because of the lack of qualified teachers especially in mathematics and natural sciences, we set up courses in mathematics and chemistry as well as a computer course in girls' schools.