High school students in California are helping girls in Afghanistan continue their studies under Taliban rule, by sharing lessons virtually and raising funds.
San Diego history teacher Timothy Stiven said his students at Canyon Crest Academy took action when the Taliban, who took power in Afghanistan in 2021, banned girls from attending school.
“When girls are most in need, my students say: ‘Let’s focus on them. “Let’s do what we can so that they can continue their studies, and if possible, complete their education,” said Timothy Stiven.
So, they started meeting to share their lessons. Nighttime in California is morning in Afghanistan. Now, San Diego student Ava Khossravi leads a discussion about plate tectonics, using crackers and frosting.
“Geography is a major thread we have in common, as we have both experienced effects like these due to plate tectonics and other geographic changes over time. So, I think with this we can build a relationship,” said Ava Khossravi, a student at Canyon Crest Academy
The relationship was confidential for the Afghan girls who met in secret at a learning center, where we agreed not to use their names to protect them from Taliban reprisals.
“When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, they told us, don’t come to school, and we didn’t go to school. If there are some girls who go to school, the Taliban punish them.”
The learning center instructor said he would not stop teaching girls.
“I really believe that if you carry out your duties properly, the future will automatically be good,” said the Director of the Afghanistan Learning Center
Students share art and poetry projects. Here in San Diego, they sold copies of some of the work and raised more than $10,000 to buy laptops in Afghanistan. The joint class expanded to include students from Hong Kong and from the US states of Massachusetts, Kentucky and Georgia. (ps/lt)