Sahar provides access to education in Afghanistan and supports an educated future for Afghan girls, enabling them to actively participate in social, political, and economic arenas in their communities. Sahar builds schools, computer centers, and teacher training programs utilizing local labor and community support.
Early Marriage Prevention
Early marriage is a significant barrier to girls’ education in Afghanistan. While more girls are entering high school, the continuation of early marriage prevents many girls from graduating. In Sahar schools, girls who are able to go to school typically stay until ages 12 or 13. At that point, an increasing number of girls drop out. This is partially due to early marriage.
For those girls who are able to continue through to graduation from high school, opportunities for employment and earning power are increased.
For those girls who are able to continue through to graduation from high school, opportunities for employment and earning power are increased. One extra year of secondary school increases a girl’s future wages by up to 25 percent, and if a girl receives seven or more years of education she will marry four years later and have 2.2 fewer children. Sahar has graduated 625 girls to date from its 12 schools, allowing them to earn more and become independent. In 2015, Sahar will launch a pilot for an early marriage prevention program in northern Afghanistan. Sahar’s educational strategy integrates conversations about child marriage and the importance of education within their 12 schools and with community leaders. Sahar is exploring partnership opportunities with local Afghan organizations to coordinate community engagement programs. Sahar will use their existing relationships with the Ministry of Education, principals, teachers, and parent associations at their schools in order to launch the early marriage prevention program.