The Alliance for International Women's Rights is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of supporting women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan. We do this by creating connections between Afghan women and skilled professionals in developed countries who can use their expertise to further women’s education and rights. The primary way in which we create these connections is through our long-distance Volunteer Programs.
The Alliance’s Volunteer 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 Afghan women and girls to provide individual education and mentoring. The exchanges that occur through this process helps to bridge two worlds and improve understanding between what are often very different cultures. The following is a brief introduction to our Afghanistan Volunteer Programs.
The English Program - Opening the World to Afghan Women
The English Program was created at the request of our Afghan partners. Its purpose is to increase the English capacity of Afghan women leaders and future women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one English classes via Skype. By improving their English skills, Afghan women and girls are better equipped to obtain higher education and employment. English skills also allow Afghan women and girls to reach out to the international community for information, advice and funding, as well as share 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 other’s cultures. This unique cultural exchange helps to build better understanding and stronger relationships between the Western world and Afghanistan, one person at a time.
The Alliance currently operates its English Program in partnership with the Afghan Canadian Community Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
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 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 English translation of the Afghan Constitution.