In light of the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we decided to feature some of our student athletes! These AAE students are not only dedicated to overcoming obstacles to finish their education, but they're passionate about staying healthy and competing in sports.
Sports have a tumultuous history in Afghanistan. During years of war, enjoying sports for fun and competition was nearly impossible for many reasons. Even today, female athletes continue to meet resistance. In many parts of Afghanistan, conservative expectations of women dictate they stay inside to cook and clean. Sports and education don't necessarily fit that narrative.
Yet AAE students never back down from a challenge. Take Kabul students Trina and Salma. Trina, 15, is a 7th grade soccer player who plays recreationally and competitively, practicing almost six hours a week with her teammates. On the other hand, Salma, 16, has fallen in love with taekwondo and has been training for two years. Around her 9th grade course load, she is able to work out three days a week. Like Trina, competing and staying healthy are important to Salma.
One day, we may see AAE students competing in the Olympics representing their country and people. Until then, we're focusing on giving them the best education possible, which we can't do without your support. For $30 a month, you can sponsor an AAE student like Trina and Salma to make sure she finishes her education and goes on to change the world.
When she was growing up, Anisa dreamed of going to school but her father wouldn't allow it. When she married at 16, her father-in-law and husband opposed her education as well. But after every single one of her 9 children graduated high school, then university, then medical or law school, Anisa decided it was her turn.
Even though most of her fellow students could be her children, "Anisa has changed the minds and beliefs of most of her classmates," says her professor. "Her presence in the class and pursuing her education has convinced her classmates that a woman, no matter her age, can study and be self-confident and self-reliant and can achieve her goals through education."
Many people in Afghanistan are still against women's education, but Anisa refuses to listen to them. "I don't care what anyone says about me. They say that by studying at this age, what will I end up with? My response is that I will continue my education and pursue my master's and PhD. I will continue studying for my entire life so I can serve my society and my country if I get the chance. I want to be a defense attorney and fight for the rights of women whose rights have been disregarded."
Anisa hasn't let anything stand in her way. And we won't either- that's why we work every day to make sure everyone in Afghanistan has equal access to education.
Thank you very much for donating to earthquake recovery efforts in Afghanistan after the October earthquake. We have been able to disburse all the donations to needy families in the Khash district of Badakhshan province, in northeastern Afghanistan. Each family received about $140, which they used to begin rebuilding their houses, buy food, or pay for funeral expenses for lost loved ones.
The AAE team has full confidence in the people of Badakhshan and other organizations working to improve livelihoods post-disaster. Therefore, we will not be collecting any more funds for earthquake recovery efforts. Your support to the people of northeastern Afghanistan has been invaluable and they pass along their gratitude.
If you would like to continue supporting the people of Afghanistan in the quest for a peaceful and educated society, please consider sponsoring an AAE student at this link.
Thank you once more for choosing to support Afghan people affected by the earthquake. Afghanistan has been made better because of you.