Don’t Let the Unstoppable Revolution for Girls’ Education Pass You By
All over the world, the revolution for girls’ education is gaining strength. Young girls, mothers, daughters and wives are taking the first steps toward a future with education. People from all walks of life are standing with them, helping to provide schools and supplies, and give them a voice. Are you letting the revolution pass you by?
Over the past few months we’ve been sharing incredible stories from our Journey of Hope magazine: tales of strength, grace, perseverance and hope for the future of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. These stories come straight from the heart of the unstoppable revolution for girls’ education. The people featured in these stories won’t stop working until every girl, woman, and child has the chance at a better future.
ArtLords Honored for Murals
Omaid Sharifi is the co-founder of ArtLords, a social and human rights movement that uses art to bring about change in Afghanistan. He believes in equality and education, which is why he is using his platform to support girls education.
During his interview with CAI communications director, Hannah White, gunmen opened fire on students and teachers inside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Omaid’s friends were trapped inside, and his cousin was among 13 people killed. This attack on education and future thought leaders of Afghanistan only strengthen his resolve to raise his voice. He offered to teach art classes to one of CAI’s girls’ schools in Kabul and help them paint a mural of their own that declares, “I am Afghanistan’s Future.” Since publication, Omaid and ArtLords were awarded the Anti-Corruption Excellence Award for Innovation and have been recognized by the United Nations for their work.
From Shepard to Teacher to Advocate
Gulnar, the girl from the remote village of Garhill in Northern Afghanistan who overcame great risks and obstacles to become a health worker and then a teacher, shows what can happen when ordinary people join the girls’ education revolution.
Gulnar’s education opened many opportunities for her, but it was the communities in the Broghil valley that gained the most benefit. With just one educated woman, the surrounding villages gained their first health care practitioner and a qualified teacher who can bring early education to their children.
Gulnar isn’t stopping there. Currently, preschool classes are taught under a tent, but Gulnar knows for the education revolution to grow roots, they need four strong walls and a roof. She has requested a preschool building that will serve the children of 25 families, and CAI will fund the project this year. In Gulnar’s village of shepherds and farmers, girls are not valued in the same way as boys. She hopes with education, more girls will become health workers and teachers and the communities will realize their true value.
Activism Through Art
Kyra Coates, owner of Infuse Gallery, used her gift of art to make an impact on girls’ education. She joined the education revolution when she set up the first art gallery designed to empower and give back to at-risk communities. Not only do the artists who sell paintings and the gallery give a portion of their profits to CAI, but she’s also featuring a CAI scholarship student, Mushtari Navrusshoeva, as an artist. Mushtari’s drawings were displayed in the magazine, and Kyra reports that interest in her pieces have skyrocketed.
Kyra continues to work towards this peaceful revolution of girls’ education. She’s working to make Infuse Gallery a nonprofit organization so she can continue to help the different communities she works with. Her young daughter, mentioned in the article, loves to hear the stories of the schoolgirls and has started making her own artwork for the students in Central Asia.
Joining the Girls’ Education Revolution
Many of you have been inspired by the stories of these brave champions of education, and you’ve chosen to stand with us in support. It’s been amazing to witness small acts of kindness like leaving a copy of the [Journey of Hope] at a local library. We’ve also received sweeping gestured of faith like the anonymous donor who gave $125,000 to support education in Central Asia.
We’ve had several other people join us on the front lines of education in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan in the past few months. Five new board members, Aftab Khan, Abdul Subhan Misbah, Sabahat Rafiq, Alice Thomas, and Moeed Yusuf have brought a bevy of expertise and prestige to our leadership team. You can read more about their backgrounds on our Board of Directors page.
We’ve welcomed two new people to help lead the girls education revolution in Pakistan. Our in-country partner, Central Asia Educational Trust (CAET) has added Dr. Rubina Nauman Gillani to the board of Trustees and Asia Amin as the program manger in Baltistan. Their knowledge and experience will help guide these programs into the future of girls’ education.
We’re starting the new year off with the knowledge that people from around the world, from schoolgirls in Central Asia to art activists across the world, to people like you reading and sharing this blog, are standing with us to ensure access to education is a right. The peacegul revolution for girls’ education is unstoppable thanks to the courage, ingenuity, and hard work of people around the world who refuse to let this revolution pass them by.