Mrs. Khalida is a Zardozi client in Kabul province who was fortunate enough to obtain her high school diploma before the Taliban invaded Afghanistan.
Mrs. Khalida believes that every woman regardless of her age has the right to learn to read and write. She says that although now we have more girls attending schools compared to the past two decades, still many women in Afghanistan have not had the opportunity to go to school and are now illiterate.
“My eyes sparkle with joy when I see an old lady reading a street address sign or an invitation letter in front of her family members.” She said. In her opinion, all educated girls and women should motivate illiterate women to start taking literacy courses, or at least teach them at home so that there are more literate women in the future.
Since she is so interested in women’s education she takes every opportunity to teach illiterate women; she teaches her neighbors and relatives whenever she meets them. When she joined the Community Business Center in Kabul, she noticed that some other clients had difficulty reading numbers and writing down the size of clothes so she decided to teach them numbers and words.
When Zardozi’s team came to know about Khalida’s efforts, they decided to provide her with teaching materials and also give free books to her students. The team has also appreciated Mrs. Khalida in a ceremony to launch her literacy course and promised to provide free books for any future classes. Two community activists participated in the opening ceremony encouraging women to attend regularly and be serious in their studies looking at this as a golden opportunity towards a better future. They said that although it is understood that learning is difficult for older people if they make learning their priority then they would succeed. One of the activists explained how she had struggled to become literate herself with her youngest daughter as her teacher.
They described quoted the famous proverb ‘knowledge is power’ and emphasized how knowledge can help women to be more independent and more involved in family decisions.