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Computer Training Inspires Bashir to “Dream Big”

Impact Stories, Pakistan

Bashir Ahmad, a 20-year-old Afghan refugee, made a life-altering decision when he fled his war-torn homeland after the new regime took over in August 2021. The perilous journey led him to find refuge among an Afghan community in Peshawar, Pakistan. 

Having completed twelfth grade, Bashir was working at a local shop before he fled Afghanistan. Through this employment, he supported his six-member family, but it meant he had to put his dreams of further education on hold.

Bashir accesses digital literacy training through the Digital Learning Centre in Peshawar, Pakistan.

However, an opportunity emerged when Bashir learned about the Digital Learning Centre (DLC) during an education session conducted by PWS&D’s partner Community World Service Asia (CWSA) in Pakistan. Intrigued by the opportunity to gain digital skills while still working to provide for his family, Bashir enrolled at the DLC at the University of Peshawar. 

Bashir had not had prior experience with or access to computers. Through the DLC’s comprehensive curriculum, he learned word processing and how to access the internet, as well as how to use spreadsheets and develop brief presentations. He realized that the reach and accessibility of the digital platform could help him sell his mother’s delicious Afghan flatbread, known as Bulani: a rare and tasty treat in Pakistan. “I can use the digital platform wisely as it can potentially provide an extra income for my family,” he shares.

Bashir’s story showcases how education and digital literacy can transform lives and open doors to new opportunities for refugees like him, who are striving to build a better future for themselves despite facing a multitude of challenges. The DLC’s impact extends beyond acquiring computer skills; it empowers individuals to dream big and pursue their aspirations in an ever-changing digital landscape.

The DLC was launched by CWSA with support from PWS&D and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) to promote learning by using digital technologies. It means many are continuing their education despite school closures and other education disruptions. “My newfound computer skills have sparked a desire to pursue further education. I now understand the significance of continuous learning in personal and professional growth.” 

From an August 2023 report by Community World Service Asia.

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