No woman is truly free until we are all free. The women of Afghanistan are suffering under the oppressive rule of the Taliban but it is within our ability to empower and support them in their fight for equality!
Hear from a past student on the effectiveness of underground schools, learn about Sahar’s programs from Shogofa Amini, Program Manager, and understand how our efforts are making a difference for Afghan women.
Register free today and enter to win 4 Main Level or Club Terrace tickets to 2024 Mariner’s home games.
February marks the end of the winter break for many Afghan schools. This is also an important month for the mission of Sahar. Several of our programs run around school schedules and this month will see the return of our Stealth Sisters, Underground TechSheroes, and Men as Partners in Change to their classrooms.
But for many others in Afghanistan, the return to school is a harsh reminder that they have been left out. Sahar receives almost daily pleas from women and girls through email and social media, asking to be enrolled in our programs. We are working hard to expand our programs and bring hope to more of these desperate girls.
You can learn more about the students in our programs by visiting our updated website or reading our 2023 Impact Report.
90 Students enroll in Underground TechSheroes second round!
Today marked the beginning of the second round of Underground TechSheroes in Afghanistan! 60 students began the IT course and another 30 embarked on Coding.
This program is open to students from 15 to 20 years old who are banned from formal education under the current regime. Past students have graduated with the skills and confidence necessary to pursue employment in medical offices, become freelancers, and enroll in online courses.
This program is made possible not only by your support but also by the bravery of the teachers who hold these programs in secret locations for our students. Despite the heightened risk for the girls and the team with recent reports of the Taliban arresting women for going against their policies, they are committed to the success of these programs.
The new year brings new opportunities to change the lives of Afghan girls.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
This yearly celebration of the contributions of women in the sciences is a reminder to all girls and women that their dreams are possible. Consider donating in the name of your support for women in STEM on February 11th, 2024.
Quarterly Zoom Round Table
Join Sahar Education on March 7th, 2024 to learn how underground education is changing lives this year! Register today!
Get to Know Afghanistan
Eager to understand Afghan culture further in this time of crisis for the people of this embattled country?
“I first read A Thousand Splendid Suns just after the return of the Taliban in 2021 when Afghanistan dominated headlines around the world. If we need any reminder of why we should stand in solidarity with Afghan women now more than ever, this book is surely it. It’s a really intense story of a world we all hoped was far behind us – and yet it’s more relevant than ever to understand the lives of women under the Taliban.”
There are many ways to support the women and girls of Afghanistan. We encourage you to immerse yourself in artwork, books, and interviews about the country.
To get updates every month from Sahar, sign up for our newsletter below.
Seattle group launches secret schools for Afghan girls under Taliban rule by Nina Shapiro shared our story with the Greater Seattle area and the world on December 25th, 2023.
When the Taliban reclaimed Afghanistan in 2021, Seattle-based Sahar found its mission completely undermined.
For almost 20 years, the nonprofit had worked to educate Afghan girls, denied education under the first Taliban regime in the 1990s. Sahar repaired schools and built new ones, which it turned over to Afghanistan’s education ministry to run.
The organization’s showcase was a school for 3,000 girls in northern Afghanistan, designed by the prestigious Seattle firm Miller Hull in collaboration with the University of Washington’s architecture department. The nonprofit had also broken ground on what was to be the country’s first public boarding school, also designed by Miller Hull and intended for rural girls who had to walk miles to school — risking kidnapping and attacks as Taliban traditionalists waged their insurgency.
Threads of Hope is a literacy and sewing project designed for underprivileged and economically disadvantaged girls and women aged 18-40 who have not had the opportunity to get a formal education. The program provides participants with free-of-cost literacy, and sewing skills classes. Additionally, graduates are gifted their sewing machine upon completion of the course.
Our partner is integrating Sahar Education’s Women’s Empowerment and Health Workshops in the literacy class to educate participants about important topics such as mental health, early marriage prevention, and planned parenthood, and support them in their journey of self-empowerment.
Besides learning how to read and write, the program aims to provide participants with the opportunity to gain skills that will lead them to become financially independent. Additionally, the program provides women with a safe space to come together and form a sense of community and belonging.
The first round of this program in Kabul, Afghanistan has 40 women enrolled and began in November 2023.
In October, 20 girls graduated from the second round of the Stealth Sisters program. These girls celebrated their commencement like any other graduates- albeit in secret. The girls in this program are part of the 2.5 million girls forcibly barred from attending school by the Taliban. However, they have not let the situation in Afghanistan deter them. Thanks to your support, these girls learned English, computer skills, and women’s empowerment curricula. As they graduated, they had different plans for their futures but none of these 20 students would let their talents go to waste.
Some will start their home-based schools educating girls in their community about their rights, women’s health topics, mental health, the effects of child marriage, and more important topics. Others will start jobs working in medical offices or teaching online. A number of them will even use their newfound computer skills to apply for programs taking them outside Afghanistan for the first time. Although the Taliban has endeavored to squash the hope out of every girl and woman in the country, these 20 girls have found something worth fighting for.
Round Three Began November 2023
And, in November a new 20 students enrolled in the third round of the Stealth Sisters program. These students entered this underground school to make a difference in their own lives and their communities. Each of these girls is a rebel, fighting to learn and to dream whilst the Taliban works to keep all women locked in the darkness of oppression.
Want to sponsor a Stealth Sister?
Now through January 1st, every donation to the Stealth Sisters Program qualifies for 50% matching! Sponsor a girl for only $165 thanks to matching! Every dollar counts!
Thank you for your generous support of Sahar Education as we continue to evolve in pursuit of our mission. I am writing you to invite you to join our online auction now through December 15th! There are a few items that arrived too late for our A Night In Afghanistan event and a couple of new offerings as well. All proceeds go to further our education programs for Afghan girls.
Please note, bids are placed through the website but there is no credit card required to bid. Winners will have the option to pay by check or card via Sahar’s regular donation methods. Just ensure to input an email address when you bid so we can reach you if you win. Good luck!