Afghan Girls Lead Peer Education

Dawn L. McCall, Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs, meets with Afghan teenage girls training themselves in English and leading language classes for their younger peers in the Guzara district outside Herat, Afghanistan, December 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Dawn L. McCall serves as Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs.

The Internet may be important, but it’s not everything. In rural Afghanistan, courageous and talented young women who have never heard of the Internet are using skills today often associated with social media users — initiative, resourcefulness, and social connections — to make tangible contributions to their community.

During a recent visit to the Guzara district outside Herat, near Afghanistan’s western border with Iran, I saw teenage girls training themselves in English and leading language classes for their younger peers. These women worked with the Afghan Women Educational and Professional Improvement Organization, an ambitious organization housed in a sparsely furnished three-room office. This organization provides curriculum planning resources for teachers at a nearby girls’ school, study space for that school’s students, and — as the young, aspiring English… more »