“I became a teacher to serve the country. After three decades of war, the country needs reconstruction through education,” says Mirwas, the head teacher at a school in Laghman province, Afghanistan.
“Before anything else, we need education. It is the pillar of the economy and peace. If we have no education, we have no economy, no peace, no good country,” he continues.
Presbyterian World Service & Development’s girls education project in Afghanistan is not only working to raise awareness about the importance of education for all children—especially girls—but is also building the capacity of students and teachers to handle key social, political, cultural and human rights issues.
Through an innovative summer camp program, female students and their teachers are learning about civic engagement and human rights. They are also encouraged to express their thoughts and talents through artwork and during group discussions, speeches and role-play activities.
Inspiring Students for the Future
Sadia, a student, says, “The summer camp is very good exposure for me to learn about child rights and human rights, especially to understand why these rights were established.” Additionally, it’s important in the aftermath of conflict to “learn the importance of team work.”
Some of these girls want to be teachers and doctors when they grow up. But some also want to be lawyers, human rights workers, judges and politicians. They want to be forces of renewal and peace for their communities and their country.
This focus on education is helping rebuild the country after so much conflict. Another teacher, Ahman Gul, shares the huge difference it’s making: “Afghanistan needs education for its reconstruction. In the last three decades there was no education because of the destruction of war. Now people are getting educated, especially girls. When there was no education, the people lost everything. Everyone is motivated now—teachers and communities.”