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RAWA & FemAid project: Sponsorship for Teachers

For as little as $ 82 upwards a month, you can sponsor an individual teacher help Afghan women and fight Fundamentalism.

Despite the overthrow of the Talibans , the situation has not changed for women in Afghanistan. Do not be deluded, fundamentalist misogynist ideology is still dominant in this country where women's rights have been ruthlessly trampled upon. Despite the TV display of beard shaving and singing in the streets, remember that women are still shrouded in their veils, because they are afraid. Tribal law mixed with a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law still prevails in its most ruthless form. The situation is beginning to improve in the larger cities, but is desperate in rural areas Which is why it is urgent to continue to support RAWA's programmes.

Today in Afghanistan women from rural areas cannot receive education
Today in Afghanistan women still do not receive proper medical care: maternal mortality is the highest in the world
Today in Afghanistan women still cannot work
Today in Afghanistan women children and the aged are dying of malnutrition, poverty and the lack of the most elementary health care.

Through education, women become aware of their rights and try and participate in social change by voting actively and trying to take part at their own level at the establishment of a centralised, democratic government which will free them from tribal law . This situation constitutes a global threat to the whole world, children, teenagers, men as well as women. You can help in very simple, basic and effective way: By sponsoring a teacher a Pakistani refugee camp or in Afghanistan or (where about 90% of the female population is illiterate) whose purpose is to teach women to read, write, and acquire information for themselves and their families. Since 2001, we at FemAid have been working with RAWA (the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan), an independent secular women's group based in Afghanistan and Pakistan committed to equal rights and democracy In Taliban times, they sent teachers into Afghanistan to work with women in urban and rural environments. They run literacy and health courses and encourage the women who’ve followed the curriculum for about a year to start teaching themselves. In Pakistan, RAWA has established schools, orphanages, dispensaries for desperately poor Afghan refugees otherwise deprived of any real assistance from the Pakistani authorities which in itself has been overwhelmed by the presence of three million refugees. This situation has worsened recently with the establishment of a government backed by the West in Kabul Up till early till 2003, we supported costs in three schools. Because of lack of funding, we can no longer afford to support schools as we used to. Any donation marked specifically for teachers will henceforth be given either to the girls' school in Khewa refugee camp or to RAWA schools within Afghanistan. Apart from that in the educational field, we support specific students and vocational projects in orphanages run by RAWA



Teachers have variable qualifications, but certainly less than their Pakistani counterparts, simply because they themselves have been deprived of education. Many of them have gone through RAWA schools and are passing on their skills to the younger generations. The more privileged ones have benefited from the Pakistani schools where English is taught as a main language. Many young girls dream of going to a Pakistani university- but higher education would cost 5000rs ($83) a month + 100 000 rs ($1 666) inscription fee. RAWA keeps an eye on the level of the students. Whenever possible, the brightest students are given further education as they sponsor their studies in Pakistani high schools.

Running schools

Afghani teachers are paid far less than Pakistani teachers (average 1 200 rs, a month, $20, a quarter of a Pakistani salary), but that’s all RAWA can afford in their global budgets which are being stretched at the moment by the latest crisis. School directors are paid a bit more (1 500rs a month, $25) and all have to supplement their income by other work. Whenever possible, they are also paid in kind (especially food)- which is why FemAid has been trying to collect more important sums to finance these teachers. A cleaner, a guard is also on the payroll. In Afghanistan, the teachers are paid more as board, lodging and risk factor have to be taken into account. The premises are rented from Pakistani authorities and are all too small classes are also held on terraces when necessary which poses a problem during the monsoon. Sometimes an old school is hired (Hewat II), often an apartment (Mariam), where the rent is on average 10 000- 12 000rs per month, and the electricity + bills work out to on average 6000rs, per month but naturally all this is variable.Books and stationery/pencils come to about 60 000rs a year.. One has to remember that books are cheaper in Pakistan and there is a whole industry of photocopied books. As far as facilities are concerned, toilets (one per establishment) are dank ‘holes in the ground’ with a pitcher of water nearby, there are no other facilities, no first-aid kits, no snacks available, just rudimentary schooling.

See RAWA's enumeration of costs from 2000