It's May 5, 2020, early afternoon. A group of 15 Afghan women have gathered in the teacher's lounge at the school where they work. It's the midweek curriculum meeting, and they are comparing notes about how their cla**** are doing.
10 years ago, these women could not read, but thanks to the efforts of the Afghan Institute of Learning
, they are now teachers themselves in a fully independent school. The wars are over, and Afghanistan has become a peaceful country. Thanks in large part to the efforts of women like these, most girls attend school and go on to college, just like their brothers.
The teachers take turns describing the week's challenges and successes, and advising one another on problems if they are stuck. There is much laughter in the room and it's clear that they enjoy their work, and that they love working with the students. From time to time, the teachers reflect on what their youth was like, and compare it to what their students' lives are like. The women are very glad that things have changed for the better.
It was difficult, at first. Women and girls were not expected to study or to work outside the home. But gradually, more of them were able to attend school, and the graduates set up businesses, established health clinics, or worked as teachers themselves. The Afghan Institute for Learning helped to support schools at all levels until they were able to sustain themselves, and then went on to found other schools: now there are thousands of self-supporting schools, from kindergarten up through university level, throughout the country.
Once girls and women started going to school, they were able to get work. The money they earned was invested back into their families, and the country's economy benefited. Gradually, things stabilized. Now, girls as well as boys are expected to attend school, to graduate, and to work in a field of their choice.
Disclaimer: This is an imaginary story about something I know very little about. I fully expect that the young women who are studying at the Afghan women's school now will go on to do many different things. I just wanted to play with the idea of passing it on, as it were.