The Anaar Multimedia Centers provide Afghan citizens in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kandahar with training and access to the Internet to improve citizen access to information and to enhance their engagement in civil society through new media and web-based platforms. Each Anaar Center is located at a leading civil society organization and provides training to Afghans in courses ranging from training in computers to new media tools. Established in the fall of 2011 as part of the USAID-funded Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project (AMDEP), the centers empower communities by increasing connectivity, building civil society networks, enhancing access to information and education, and enabling citizens’ creative self-expression. One female and one male employee – trained by Internews, an international media organization – staff each center, providing formal training, troubleshooting technical issues, and mentoring users.
Internet Access: The Anaar Centers provide communities with fast and free Internet service. For women, in particular, the centers provide a secure and comfortable space to learn how to use the Internet, access news and information, and develop information and communication technology (ICT) and multimedia skills.
Equipment and Facilities: Each center has 15 laptop computers, digital cameras, video cameras, audio recorders, and includes a visitors’ computer room and conference space. Separate facilities are offered for women in Jalalabad and Kandahar.
Free Courses: The centers offer free courses in computer and ICT skills. Short introductory courses offered by the centers include: Introduction to Computers, How to E-mail, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Digital Photography, Basic Videography, Audio Recording, How to Blog, and Using Facebook.
Fee Courses: As a part of the sustainability plan, the Anaar Centers offer more advanced, fee-based courses, such as Advanced IT, Adobe Photoshop, and QuickBooks accounting software.
Staff: Each center employs a full-time manager, an IT officer and a male and female trainer.
- Established four Anaar Multimedia Centers in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kandahar between August-October 2011.
- Anaar Multimedia Center staff received training in teaching methodology and business development from Internews.
- The centers have been well received by their communities, with over 25,000 individual visits between September 2011 to July 2012, and 2,500 registered members forming the Anaar network.
- The centers are handicap accessible and provide equal access to Internet facilities and new media training for both men and women.
- Community advisory committees have been established at each center to attain full support from the local community.
- The Anaar.net website serves as a multimedia platform linking Anaar Centers across the country, and in turn, linking the Centers to Afghan IT organizations. Anaar.net connects young people across Afghanistan to the global information society, and enables Anaar members across the country to collaborate, share ideas, and increase multimedia skills and production.
Last updated: October 01, 2013