Learning for Community Empowerment Program
The Learning for Community Empowerment Program (LCEP-2) project aims to improve the livelihoods of urban and rural populations through an integrated literacy and productive skills program. Participants (60 percent women) follow a 15-month course to develop literacy and acquire "soft skills" that prepare them for greater economic opportunity. The project promotes a sustainable process of lifelong learning and community economic empowerment. Adult learners begin with general literacy and numeracy education and in later sessions, are provided vocational, financial literacy, and business skill-building courses that tie in with the program's community savings and investment groups. LCEP-2 works in 20 provinces across Afghanistan and has already enrolled more than 223,100 community members (60 percent female) in literacy and productive skills training. A recent evaluation documented the difficulty of developing viable economic activities without strong local businesses, and the revised project will focus on literacy and livelihood training, while relying more upon networking, apprenticeships with local trades persons, and other community resources for micro/small-enterprise development.