Afghan women were denied the chance to learn to read during the Taliban era.
For most of them, it must have been hell on earth. Forced to stay at home, covered from head to toe, not permitted to go out without a male relative to support them, not allowed to work. And not able to spend all that time indoors reading books, or writing letters.
I can’t imagine anything worse.
Now, though, many women would love to catch up on the education they missed. Women like Hamza. When she was ill, her doctor gave her a prescription and the directions to the street where there was a pharmacy. However, when she got to the street, she couldn’t read the shop signs and didn’t know which was the pharmacy. Embarrassed, she couldn’t bring herself to ask for help, so she went home and suffered in silence.
Then there is Neimad. Neimad’s children wanted help with their homework. She didn’t like admitting she couldn’t give that help because she couldn’t read.
These ladies are now part of a group that comes to the Literacy Programme, run by UK based charity, World In Need. They are learning to read and write, and do basic arithmetic. Through this, they’ll be able to run their homes better, help their children, and eventually get better jobs. And, of course, they’ll be able to share in the magic of books.
Want to help them? This November, you can do so, and it won’t cost you a penny extra.
I will donate 50% of the royalties for any book by Caitlyn Callery bought between 1st and 30th November 2016. Any review left on Amazon or Goodreads in the same period will add another 50 pence to the total raised. In itself, that doesn’t sound a lot, perhaps, but as one of our supermarkets is fond of telling us, every little helps.
The women of Afghanistan deserve the education they were once denied. Together, we can help them get it.
For more information on the work of World in Need, visit their website.
For more information about books by Caitlyn Callery, see here.