In 2008, a group of men sprayed acid on teachers and students walking to the Mirwais Mena School for Girls in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. The Safe Ride to School for Afghan Girls program was created in response to the vicious act, with donors rallying and ultimately purchasing a school bus which provided safe passage for the 100 girls who lived farthest away from the school.
After years of use, wear and tear took its’ toll on the bus, threatening the girls’ ability to stay in school. But thanks to YOU, we raised enough money to purchase two new buses with funds matched dollar for dollar by a gracious donor. And while we continue to raise much-needed funds for bus driver salaries, fuel, and on-going maintenance, we do so knowing that we’re making a significant difference in the lives of over 100 current students–and, even a former student.
Shamsia Hussaini is one of the girls who was attacked in 2008, suffering severe burns to her face. She benefited from the Safe Ride to School for Afghan Girls’s initial push for funding, which paid not only for the first bus, but also for Shamsia’s significant medical treatment. After a number of surgeries, Shamsia recovered. And today, she teaches at the very school her attackers tried to prevent her from attending. The brave, resolute teacher had this to say when asked for her thoughts on the bus program:
“If we had The Safe Ride to School Program in 2008, I would not have been attacked on a dirty street when I was coming to school. This bus is useful. It protects girls from similar attacks. Insecurity is a big challenge for us. We are suffering from people who dislike girls education, and the Safe Ride program is one of the safest way to avoid such incidents in the future.”
Beautiful, insightful words from a young woman who continues to make a difference every single day. Let’s do the same.Whizzco