About the Project
The goal of Afghanistan Libre (AL) is to facilitate girls’ and women’s access to education, health and information through an integrated approach that gives them the tools and means necessary to participate in the development and reconstruction of their country. It sees the school as a place of reference for the community. Its activities answer the basic needs of schools (equipment, maintenance) and the social issues faced by Afghan girls through the implementation of an integrated educational program. This program seeks to break down the main barriers to girls’ education and give them safe access to a varied and quality education.
In order to realize its vision, AL decided to implement Health Education Centers (HECs) in schools. HECs are unique and innovative in Afghanistan. Neither health care centers nor school infirmaries, their main objective is to increase girls’ and women’s awareness of primary health issues, nutrition, hygiene and family planning.
AL has also decided to introduce kindergartens in schools for female teachers. Because female teachers have nobody to take care of their children at home and are were therefore considered as “bad mothers” when working, kindergartens limit female teachers’ absenteeism, resulting in a decrease of girl pupils’ absenteeism.
AL supports libraries in schools by training teacher-librarians and by providing equipment and books to ensure that students can extend their knowledge and culture and take pleasure in reading. AL was one of the first NGOs to fund the construction of sports grounds and the training of sports teachers in girls’ schools. It continues to support the maintenance of sport grounds to ensure that Afghan girls have a time to express themselves and to forget daily pressures.
AL provides psychosocial support in schools to find solutions to the many issues faced by girl students, teachers and families. Fully aware of the necessity to encourage girls to pursue higher education, AL organizes Board Exam preparation courses in the schools and provides scholarships to students who want to go to university. Allowing girls to go to university is not only a means of limiting early/forced marriages, but also a way of training the future leaders of Afghanistan. Those 3 last activities are done in partnership with the Womanity Foundation since 2011.
This transversal approach has been successful in the communities where it is implemented. Today, AL seeks to spread its model to the other communities it already works with.