For AWAKEN and its supporters, vocational training programs are remarkably cost-effective—the only expenses are sewing machine and tailoring supply purchases, teacher salaries, and rental of a suitable space for six months—but the benefits are priceless. Promoting self-sufficiency for these women not only improves their lives, but also improves the lives of their families and communities.
Nearly 80% of adult Afghan women are illiterate
Long periods of war and violence has led to the death of milllions of Afghan men, leaving many Afghan women without fathers, husbands, and sons, and therefore no means of supporting themselves.
AWAKEN launched its vocational program in 2005. Each year, more than 60 women complete a six-month training program in sewing, literacy, and hygiene, empowering them to care for their family’s needs and to live healthier lives. Upon graduation from the six-month program, each woman was given a sewing machine, cloth, scissors, needles, and other tailoring supplies.
The first class graduated 32 women, and since then AWAKEN has offered an average of two programs per year, each in a different village within the Behsood District. For many women, these skills allow them to become self-sufficient and support their community.
60+ women from three different villages currently enrolled
500+ women have graduated from the vocational training program
Saheli Centers: partnership with Rotary
In 2017, AWAKEN launched an exciting new program for women that includes computer instruction. Through a generous grant provided by Rotary International, AWAKEN and Rotary are collaboratively offered two Saheli Women’s Centers each year, in addition to AWAKEN’s regular vocational training programs. The Saheli Centers were developed in India and then brought to the Behsood District to provide women with literacy and family planning education. They also give women the choice of learning tailoring skills or computer skills.
After completion of the Rotary grant in February 2019, AWAKEN has continued these services for the women as there is great interest and demand in these communities.