CONNECTING WOMEN ACROSS THE GLOBE TO SUPPORT WOMEN’S RIGHTS
AIWR’s long-distance Empowerment Programs take advantage of free Internet-based communication technology to help open the world to women in developing countries through long-distance volunteers. The volunteers use Skype and e-mail to meet long distance with women and girls in developing countries to provide individual tutoring and mentoring. The exchanges that occur through this process help move women and girls toward their personal education or employment goals while also helping to bridge worlds and improve understanding between different cultures. The following is a brief introduction to our Empowerment Programs, currently offered in Afghanistan.
THE ENGLISH PROGRAM – OPENING THE WORLD TO AFGHAN WOMEN
The purpose of the English Program is to increase the English capacity of women leaders and future women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one English classes. By improving their English skills, women and girls can more easily reach out to the international community for information, advice and funding, as well as sharing their experiences with the world. Improved English skills also help women obtain employment and educational opportunities.
The English Program matches women and girls with certified and experienced ESL/EFL teachers. Each student and teacher pair meet on-line twice a week via an app such as Skype for live English classes, using both voice and instant messaging features. In addition to providing individualized English lessons, the sessions provide the women and girls with professional women role models and mentoring. The live sessions also give both the students and teachers a unique opportunity to directly meet and learn about each others’ cultures. This unique cultural exchange helps to build better international understanding, one person at a time.
For more information, please visit our English Program page.
THE MENTOR PROGRAM – PROVIDING INTERNATIONAL MENTORING
The Mentor Program helps build the capacity of Afghan women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one mentoring relationships with American women mentors. The Mentor Program selects qualified international women professionals to provide long-distance mentoring to Afghan women in English and the subject matter of the mentor’s expertise. The mentor and mentee meet weekly via Skype’s free computer-to-computer phone and instant messaging service.
One example of our Mentor Program includes a team of Seattle women attorneys who mentored an Afghan woman senator by helping her understand the legal and political terminology in the international treaties with which she works, and aided her in her legislative efforts to increase the country’s penalty for rape. We have paired mentors with attorneys who represent women in family law cases, and with women’s rights attorneys who trained thousands of Afghan women on voting rights and educated many judges and police officers on domestic violence laws. Other examples include an English professor with experience translating medical textbooks mentoring a doctor in English medical terminology, and an American woman scientist who mentored a young Afghan dental student with biology classes.
Through our program, mentees have advanced in their careers, obtaining leadership positions in their fields and organizations, and many have attained the necessary language and content mastery to become eligible for and obtain scholarships for international post graduate study.
For more information, please visit our Mentor Program page.