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Home-Schooling - One young woman's fight to set up schools for girls in Afghanistan despite formidable cultural and logistical obstacles

May 01, 2009 | Newsweek new window By Dina Fine Maron

Some girls walk as much as two hours each way, their plastic sandals slapping against dirt trails and fields lining the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Others take even longer when puddles impede their progress. Their common destination is one of the scattered houses enlisted to double as classrooms in Godah, an isolated village in Wardak province. The homes are part of a network of six schools for girls in Wardak and Nangarhar provinces that educate more than 2,800 students, the product of the efforts of a 28-year-old Afghan woman named Sadiqa Basiri Saleem. To bring education to rural areas like this one - where many girls may not know a single woman who can read - Saleem has battled widespread illiteracy and daunting cultural obstacles for the past seven years, setting up schools to change the educational landscape, one child at a time...

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