For twenty years, we have provided access to education for over 250,000 Afghan girls including children and adolescents. Those same girls and their families are now at tremendous risk for the COVID 19 virus. Poverty, unemployment, and inadequate healthcare infrastructure are daily realities for Afghans. Over 200,000 refugees are returning to Afghanistan from Iran. It is likely a number of returned Afghan refugees will settle in the rural villages where Sahar’s programs in Early Marriage Prevention and Men as Partners in Change are conducted.
During this time, we are launching a COVID 19 response campaign that needs your support. Our Afghan team will provide health education about the virus including hygiene, and ways to social distance within the cultural and family structures. We will also purchase soap from female entrepreneurs and distribute the soap to those in need.
While the Afghan Ministry of Education has closed schools until at least the end of April, we remain in contact with girls who attend our programs and their families. We will continue reaching out through social media platforms, educational sessions on public health and ongoing support for mental health and trauma. Our programs will continue when schools reopen. Construction on the Sultan Razia Girls’ Boarding School has resumed after the close of the winter weather season. We anticipate being able to continue with construction since the crew is outside and able to socially distance from one another.
A trifecta of forces is affecting our program participants: COVID 19, a political structure where two officials have declared victory in the presidential elections and the yet unknown impacts of the US-Taliban Agreement. It is all the more imperative for Sahar to generate resources to continue serving girls and families in Afghanistan. Each year we educate 25,000 girls. You have been an important part of the Sahar family. Please consider making a stretch gift for you and your family to support a family across the globe also impacted by the pandemic we must all navigate.