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6th Grade Graduation Brings Turmoil to Afghan Girls

As another year comes to a close under Taliban rule in Afghanistan girls are losing hope for the future they were promised. Radio Free Europe reported on the dire situation on December 8th, 2023:

‘Hundreds of thousands of sixth-grade girls in Afghanistan attended the last day of the school year, many with tears in their eyes as they face an uncertain future because of Taliban policies that forbid them from further schooling and restrict their basic human rights.’

Imagine graduating 6th grade only to face the brutal reality of forced marriage, domestic servitude, or extreme poverty. This is the reality for those girls. Without continued education they will not be eligible for the few jobs open to women and their families will face hard decisions.

Under the current regime, the people are facing appalling conditions with little help from the defacto government or the international community leading to record dissatisfaction by the Afghan public. 

‘The Taliban’s policies are deeply unpopular among most Afghans. Even though dissent is often met with a harsh response by authorities, some people are still willing to criticize the government because the policies are seen as destructive.

In the Muslim nation of some 40 million people, activists and rights advocates accuse the Taliban of implementing “gender apartheid” by denying women education, work, freedom of movement, and deciding how they can appear in public.’

Furthermore, although girls’ education and the freedoms of women have been severely stilted there have also been damaging changes made to the education system affecting boys. 

A report titled Schools Are Failing Boys Too, from Human Rights Watch, is quoted in the article as saying 

‘curriculum changes, the firing of female teachers, corporal punishment, and other practices risk their education over the longer term as well.

Sahar Fetrat, a women’s rights researcher at HRW and the author of the report says the Taliban has caused “irreversible damage” to the education of both Afghan boys and girls.

“By harming the whole school system in the country, they risk creating a lost generation deprived of a quality education,” she said.’

With the fate of 40 million people hanging in the balance, we can only hope the international community will step up to pressure the Taliban into reversing these abhorrent policies. In the meantime, secret schools are among the few avenues open to girls who have aged out of the education system. 

Sahar offers underground programs to girls and women who are excluded from school in Afghanistan. In our programs, girls learn English, computer skills, coding, women’s health and mental health topics, tailoring, literacy, and women’s empowerment skills. 

We also offer a program for boys and young men that focuses on how men can support women in their fight for equality, how families are more functional with a partnership between the parents, how domestic violence and early marriage are wrong, and more important topics that we need the youth of Afghanistan to learn if we expect anyone ever to stand up and stop this oppressive regime. 

A graduate of the second 2023 Stealth Sisters program shares her thoughts

In October, 20 more girls graduated from the second round of our Stealth Sisters program. Even more girls are learning through our Underground TechSheroes program, also in its second round. And, the first rounds of our adapted Men as Partners in Change and Threads of Hope programs are underway as the year comes to a close.

Want to learn more about our programs? Watch our most recent round table on YouTube!

Want to support our programs? Bid on Auction items until December 15th or donate with 50% matching today through Global Giving!

You can change the life of a girl and her community, today!

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Help reach $20,000

Sahar Education is reaching for the stars with your help this #GivingTuesday

From now until 9 pm PST, YOU can help us maximize our share of $1.2 MILLION USD in bonus funds from GlobalGiving for #GivingTuesday! Additionally, Sahar Education will receive double matching from the Safer World Fund! 

This is your chance to support Afghan girls in their struggle against the tyranny of the Taliban—the more you give, the more we get!

Today only, your donation of $100 = $200 for Afghan girls!

Donate now!

Progress as of 9 am towards our $20,000 goal!

Your contribution is changing lives!


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Juneau World Affairs Council Welcomes Shogofa Amini

On September 14th, 2023, Sahar Program Manager, Shogofa Amini shared her story and the story of Afghanistan with the Juneau World Affairs Council.

Shogofa spent 5 years of her childhood learning in a secret school organized and taught by her mother, a former principal. She understood from a very young age the power of education. Although there were great risks from the Taliban for learning and teaching, her parents understood those risks must be taken for the future of their children.

Imagine sending your daughters to learn English knowing they may be beaten or killed if discovered. It is a harsh reality that many Americans cannot fathom. However, it is once again the daily experience of the Afghan people.

Shogofa shared how a love and respect for education led her to the United States, completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and how she came to work with Sahar. It was her dream to return to Afghanistan and help women and girls achieve their dreams, however, the resurgence of the Taliban has made that impossible at this time. That blockade has not stopped Shogofa, who has helped Sahar invest in secret education courses since August 2021.

Sahar Education continues to provide hope for Afghan girls under the repressive regime of the Taliban with the constant support of Shogofa. Her dedication to the programs is apparent as she shares the experiences of the students she personally interviews.

Watch Shogofa’s presentation at the Juneau World Affairs Council.

Do you want to help young girls with a passion for learning? Donate today to Sahar Education via GlobalGiving and our programs receive 50% more for every $1000!

You can change the life of an Afghan girl and her community by supporting Stealth Sisters and Underground TechSheroes. 

Donate today through GlobalGiving and your contribution will go 50% further with matching from the Safer World Fund through January 1st, 2024 (or until matching funds last). 

Help Sahar Education reach the goal of $10,000 through this program, sponsoring 6 girls for the 6-month Stealth Sisters course!

Join Sahar on October 25th to celebrate the resilience of Afghan women while supporting our programs!

A Night In Afghanistan will feature Afghan food, music, and traditional clothing. Join us to learn about the rich culture of Afghanistan before the Taliban and the current conditions under which brave students continue to fight for their right to education. 

Sahar has been providing educational opportunities in Afghanistan for over 20 years. Although many organizations stopped serving women once the Taliban took over, Sahar shifted to a secret school model that continues to educate women and girls against Taliban restrictions. 

Join us at Structure Cellars on October 25th to hear from Program Manager, Shogofa Amini, and Executive Director, Meetra Alokozay. Also hear from the former Afghan Youth Representative to the United Nations, Shkula Zadran, about the current situation in Afghanistan and why educating women is so vital to the recovery of the country and its people. 

Virtual registration is also available for those who would like to join us from outside Seattle.

Buy tickets today!

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