To the Editor:
October 11 marked the International Day of the Girl and Carine Guidicelli, executive director of Crossroads International, tells us in her editorial in the Chronicle Herald that it is time for Canada to lead on the rights of women and girls at home and abroad. She questions if it takes a rock star to remind us who we are and what we are capable of.
A group of women from across Canada has for the past 20 years been a leader in training teachers and providing education for women and girls in Afghanistan. Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan is an organization of volunteers spread over 13 chapters across Canada who has made it their goal to help educate women and girls so they can be active members of their society. This means investing in teacher training so there are enough female teachers to teach girls separately after primary school, providing teachers with Able Box libraries and science kits so they have resources when they get to their classrooms, visiting and evaluating the skills in the classroom and now setting up community libraries and training the librarians responsible for them.
This organization grew out of a grass roots response to Sally Armstrong’s article in Homemaker magazine 20 years ago. It continues to be a grass roots organization that relies on the work of the chapters to raise funds. The author, Deborah Ellis, has provided great support by donating the royalties from “The Breadwinner Trilogy” to CW4WA.
CW employs Afghans and responds to the needs expressed by communities. Both our country director and program director work tirelessly to oversee programs that have made remarkable changes and created opportunities for the future for girls and women in Afghanistan.
We continue to hear mainly the bad news stories from Afghanistan but talk to any member of Canadian Women and she can tell you good news stories.
If you would like to know more about us, join us on Thursday October 20 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, New Glasgow, in the lower hall, for the Atlantic Chapter’s Breaking Bread. We meet at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. This is a pot luck supper where we will gladly tell about the great work of Canadian Women. We also sell products made by Afghan women and seek support for our on-going work.
Linda Sangster, Co-chair Atlantic Chapter
Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan