ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS
Rating: 4.99 stars 78 reviews
Location: P.O. Box 165 c/o Lisa Herb East Chatham NY 12060 USA
Results: AIWR currently provides its long-distance English Program to 65 Afghan women and girls, and provides its Mentor Program to five Afghan attorneys and one Afghan graduate student.
Target demographics: AIWR works to support women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 50 Afghan women and girls.
Geographic areas served: Afghanistan and Nepal
Programs: AIWR's English Program: The purpose of the English Program is to increase the English capacity of Afghan women leaders and future women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one English classes. By improving their English skills, Afghan 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. The English Program matches Afghan women and girls with experienced, volunteer English teachers from the U.S. and other Western, English-speaking countries. Each student and teacher pair meet on-line twice a week, via Skype™, for live English classes, using both voice and instant messaging features. In addition to providing individualized English lessons to Afghan women and girls, the classes provide both the students and teachers with a unique opportunity to directly meet and learn about each others’ cultures. This unique cultural exchange helps to build better understanding and stronger relationships between the Western world and Afghanistan, one person at a time. AIWR's Mentor Program: 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 American women professionals to provide long-distance mentoring to Afghan women and girls in 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 have been mentoring Afghan women human rights attorneys twice a week via Skype. The mentoring sessions focus on English legal and political terminology relevant to the Afghan attorneys’ work, including discussing the legal and political terminology in the Afghan Constitution and comparing it to other countries’ constitutions. The Mentor Program also provides editing and writing support to its Afghan partner organizations. For example, Mentor Program Volunteers assist Afghan partners with writing and editing documents that have been translated into English, such as grant proposals, website materials, brochures, articles, letters, and reports. By having Alliance Volunteers assist with editing, research and writing, the partner organizations are able to improve their standing and communication with the international community and donors and more effectively reach out to the world.
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Hundreds of women students of the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies (KIMS) have been trained in English language, communications and leadership skills since the Alliance for International Women’s Rights (AIWR) partnered with KIMS in 2008. AIWR matches women at KIMS to skilled professionals in developed countries including the United States who wish to use their skills and experience to further women’s education. The skills that women in particular obtain from the KIMS-AIWR education program help them enhance their roles in Kandahar’s communities, increase their participation in social, political and business activities, and improve their political and socio-economic standing within Kandahar’s deeply conservative society. After women graduate from KIMS-AIWR programs, their capabilities and skills allow them to make independent decisions, secure better employment and provide the key necessities of life not just for themselves, but for their communities and families as well. In return, women have an increased role and influence in both social and political life in society.
The skills taught by AIWR professionals greatly improve KIMS’ women students’ leadership, confidence-building, public speaking, critical thinking, and employment prospects. The model that KIMS-AIWR utilizes is both simple and effective – it is a technologically savvy, internet-enabled, community managed, and within Kandahar’s existing cultural and traditional values. It is supported by a wide range of international volunteers. Support from AIWR volunteers allows the institution to access modern education such as online courses, innovative ideas and technologies. These technologies and the cross-cultural interactive environment helps women in Kandahar obtain hope through interaction with other likeminded students, teachers and people, both inside and outside Afghanistan.