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Tuesday, August 28 – Building Their Future: How Girls’ Schools in Afghanistan Are Preventing Early Marriage

Please join Sahar Education and Global Washington for a conversation about effective ways to prevent early marriage, including a new boarding school being built by Sahar to help rural families seeking a safer educational option in Afghanistan’s Balkh Province. Girls from rural areas can be more susceptible to early marriage when they are unable to continue their education as a result of security concerns and economic circumstances.


Global Washington

August 28, 2018

Registration starts at 12:00pm
Program: 12:15pm – 1:15pm

1601 Fifth Ave, Suite 1900

Members: $20
Non-Members: $20



  • Shogofa Amini, Afghan Fellow, Sahar
  • Ginna Brelsford, Executive Director, Sahar
  • David Miller, Board of Directors, Sahar


Shogofa Amini – Sahar Afghan Fellow

A native of Mazar-e-sharif, Afghanistan, Shogofa traveled to Seattle from Massachusetts to begin her fellowship with Sahar in July of 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Regis College in Weston, Mass., graduating with honors in 2016. During her time at Regis, Shogofa was a member the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences, was accorded the Mary C. Bryan Award for an essay on women’s rights in Afghanistan, and was named a “Pillars of the Community” honoree.

Shogofa’s childhood education was interrupted in 1995 due to the ascendancy of the Taliban, but she has since dedicated her life to learning and service, with a focus on the rights of girls and women in Afghanistan. She began contributing poetry to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project in 2009 and attended the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA) in 2010 before making her way to the U.S. to
further her education. In addition to her studies, Shogofa served as an intern for the Feminist Majority Foundation, contributing to a project aimed at providing more educational programs for women in Afghanistan. She also worked in the office of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, researching immigration issues.

Shogofa believes that being a woman in Afghanistan is not about being oppressed, weak, and afraid, but rather involves learning what is necessary to become strong. Her desire is to promote the education of women, support their rights, and advocate for gender equality. Shogofa is confident that her passions will be supportive of Sahar’s mission to create real, positive change for the girls and women of Afghanistan.


Ginna Brelsford – Sahar Executive Director

Ginna Brelsford is the Executive Director of Sahar. Ms. Brelsford brings over 20 years of experience in government, business and the non-profit world of international development. Ginna’s commitment to gender equality and access to education began with a focus on literacy in Brazil and spanned two decades of work in Russia, Latin America and Asia.

A former executive director at Pura Vida Coffee Company, Ginna is known for her ability to blend social entrepreneurial innovation with poverty eradication. She has served at the gubernatorial level as well as worked with the Russia America Foundation on a number of USAID projects promoting civil society and economic development.

A strong advocate for women’s empowerment, she authored a book on women leaders in Alaska and toured with Bono to eradicate HIV/AIDS for the One Campaign at World Vision. An explorer of frontiers, Ginna was among the first woman to ski across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska.

Ms. Brelsford’s diverse experiences have led her to the conclusion that education and literacy acquisition are key to poverty eradication. A lack of education is the root of many issues in the developing world, and she feels privileged to direct an organization that helps solve them by giving more girls the opportunity to learn.


David Miller – Sahar Board of Directors, Miller Hull Partnership LLC, UW Professor of Architecture

David is a nationally-recognized architect known for pursuing innovative sustainable and high performance design strategies while responding to each site’s unique conditions. David served in the Peace Corps after graduating from Washington State University which laid the foundation for his interest in housing design. David is a partner at Miller Hull Partnership and the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. He is the author of, Toward a New Regionalism, and the chair of the National AIA’s Committee on the Environment. He is the recipient of the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award and the BetterBricks Designer Award. He currently serves as a board member for Sahar.