Today it was an honor to lead an Advice Project workshop with some of the young women at Women for Afghan Women! Together, we read some of the letters from the Advice anthology, and then wrote and read aloud our own letters that partnered problems with solutions.
This is a letter written by a seven-year-old girl who recently moved to the States from Afghanistan. She’d like to be a doctor, but wrote that people say she can’t do it. Her solution? To “practice” so that she can fulfill her dream to help people. She was very proud of her letter, and I don’t blame her – in Afghanistan, 80% of women and girls are illiterate. In addition to not being able to read or write in their own language, female immigrants to the United States have the added difficulties of not speaking or writing English, not having an understanding of finances and feeling isolated.
This is where Women for Afghan Women steps in. Every Saturday, the girls you see in the photo above get together to study Dari and then have a girl’s club where they discuss themes such as bullying. One might imagine that learning Dari and English at the same time as getting acclimated to a new culture would be daunting, but the girls and their mothers are powerful people who together, work hard towards their goals.
Click here to learn more about Women for Afghan Women as well as the inspiring life story of the organization’s New York Program Director (and Advice contributor!), Naheed Bahram.