Were you born as a refugee? Have you ever been forced to leave your country because of war? Did your parents leave everything behind and start with nothing but a suitcase in a different country? Have you ever been deprived of access to basic education because of your nationality? Have you been judged or faced bias because of your accent, gender or because you were too vocal in your hometown? Have you ever felt scared and nervous while traveling abroad, standing in anticipation with your passport in hand?
That’s me! I hope this introduction gives you an idea of what I have been through approaching the third decade of my life.
Is wishing for a borderless world where all humans are treated equally too big of an ask? I’m not sure. While I was struggling to overcome fears I’ve faced in my own life, I learned a thing or two about what it means to be a Global Citizen. Human beings working alongside each other without the constraints of tags or labels to create an empowered, inclusive global community.
Knowledge is power and technology is the tool for this empowerment. That’s what made me become a citizen of the world without considering geographical boundaries. I founded Code to Inspire as the first coding school for girls in Afghanistan and made everything happens in Herat, Afghanistan literally online, starting from the fundraiser, shipping equipments, recruiting mentors, registering applicants, curriculum development and etc. This is the power and connectivity I am talking about which enabled a refugee born who was deprived to access education makes her dream come true and give free access of technical and digital literacy to her hometown women!
Today ( March 8th) is International Women’s Day and we are celebrating March as Women’s History Month. That’s why we wanted to take today’s blog post to celebrate all these young girls who are coming to our coding school everyday chasing their dreams and pursuing what they love. Just a few years ago, this would have been unimaginable.
Women don’t need sympathy, women need the genuine understanding of what they have been through and how the community can stand with them and treat them equally as men. This is what I am doing for our students in Herat, Afghanistan. I want them to be bold, courageous. I want them to be visionaries and agents of change.
Afshaneh, Munireh, Azita, Nahid, Samira, Razieh, Somaiye and all of our students at CTI are proving that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE. No matter who or where you are!