Project H.E.R (Healthy, Educated, Resourceful)
Girls’ access to education, particularly health education, is alarmingly low in Afghanistan. According to the 2014 UNICEF annual report, an estimated 3.5 million children are out of school in Afghanistan; 2.45 million (70%) of them are girls. Women need access to health education to make healthy informed decisions about their bodies, when to have children, and how many they want to have.
In recent years, attacks, threats, and explicit prohibitions imposed to restrict girl’s education in the war-torn country have dramatically decreased the amount of girls receiving education while also putting them at a high risk for violence. Health education for women and girls is a fundamental need that facilitates significant changes in several other important indicators such as child mortality, early pregnancies, and STI contraction rates (including AIDS).
In order to provide a better understanding of women’s health and accessibility to education for girls in Afghanistan, Project H.E.R. is committed to implementing a culturally inclusive educational program providing knowledge on mental health, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, and exercise for girls aged 13-18. Studies show that as access to educational opportunities for women increases, so does their health and that of their children, and the likelihood of giving birth before age 18 decreases. Project H.E.R. provides an opportunity for girls to have access to health education workshops that are vital to the development of their entire community.
Through Project H.E.R., we are dedicated to providing girls aged 13-18 with information about bodily, mental, and reproductive health, as well as striving to normalize such discussion.
We are committed to implementing a workshop about health education for girls in 4 different schools in Kabul, Afghanistan. The project is designed to happen during sixteen days in each school. In each term of the workshop 25 students will attend and receive the training and teaching given at the workshop. The primary goal is to empower girls with knowledge of health in order to allow them to make educated decisions about themselves. A pilot program will help build the foundations of the health education workshop in Kabul before expanding the project to neighboring provinces such as Panjshir, Parwan, Baghlan, and Kapisa. With the help of our community based partners, Project H.E.R. expects to create a sense of community and provide a space to educate and enable girls to live their best lives.