Jan is an Afghan native who moved to the United States in 1970 to attend college; her brother was at MIT. She became an American citizen, had a son, settled in Marshfield, and opened her Duxbury business. When the [September] 11 attacks occurred, she was horrified as any other American citizen.
‘I’m Muslim,’ she says, ‘and Islam is a very peaceful religion. Terrorists have no place in Islam; they’re evil, and evil has no place in any religion.’
Five years ago, Jan decided that what her benighted homeland needed most of all was to educate its girls – something that under the Taliban was forbidden. The school, the Zabuli Education Center, opened four years ago in Deh’Subz, a group of seven villages about 45 minutes from Kabul.
‘It’s making a difference in girls’ and women’s lives,’ says Jan. ‘This area has never had a girls’ school. It
took a couple of years for the parents to get used to their daughters attending classes, especially since 90 percent of those parents can’t write their own names.’
The school accepts kindergartners through seventh-graders, but the plan is to add another grade each year through grade 12. When the school is finished – five more grades – Jan hopes for more than 600 girls. School is free, and the 12 teachers have 316 girls right now. The students start learning English at age 4.
Available at . Accessed on January 19, 2016. Occasional linguistic adjustments to fit standard language marked with [ ].
Suppressions for pedagogical purposes (omission of excerpts with inadequate language level or advertising) marked with […].
“Tired of witnessing violence, seeing friends and family members killed and fearing for their own safety, youth from the most dangerous cities throughout Colombia began to rise up for peace in 1996. This was no simple task, since the [38-year] civil war had displaced over one million people from their homes and 300,000 Colombians, many of them women and children, had lost their lives. [15-year-old] Farlis Calle Guerrero was one of the brave young teens who rose up to inspire her nation towards peace.
Aware that their situations and experiences with violence were very similar, Farlis Calle and two dozen youth […] who came from different regions of Colombia gathered to organize what would become ‘The Children’s Peace Movement.’ They needed to expose the adult population to the impact of the war on children and include adults in their efforts. The youth utilized radio shows at schools to spread their message, set up peer counseling groups for war-affected children, employed sock puppets to teach kids about forgiveness and how to deal with hurt, and met with adults to [inform] about their problems and plead their cause. […]”