By Lili Mihajlovits (News Correspondent).
“Educate a girl, change the world” is a popular phrase derived from the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan.
The Girls Learn International Clubs (GLI) of the Sharon Middle and High Schools partner with the Sharon Rotary club and together they have been working to make the world a better place.
The GLI club at the middle school has been holding video conferences with girls in Afghanistan to better understand the cultural differences and similarities. The interactions are moderated by a member of the Global Nomads group, an organization that works to connect youths across the world with the power of technology. A translator is present in Afghanistan, making understanding and communicating easy and efficient. Students are able to engage in a community across the world and make lasting connections.
Gabby Emerson, a sophomore, says that the club has personally impacted her in many ways; “The club is important to my life because when I was in middle school, I got to communicate with the girls in Afghanistan and we made personal connections,” Emerson said.
“And I feel that we are making a difference either by talking to them or by raising money and awareness,” Emerson added.
Students in Sharon partner with the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan. A girls school founded in 2008, the Zabuli Center gives young women in nearby villages the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and give back. The first class graduated in 2015 through their hard work and dedication. Most plan on continuing their education at the college that is currently being built through the generous donations of clubs throughout the country.
Razia, the founder of the school, moved to America, but found her true passion in education when she moved back to Afghanistan after 9/11 to open the Zabuli Education Center. She also established the Razia’s Ray of Hope foundation, that raises money for girls and offers participants the opportunity to sponsor a girl.
Most recently, the clubs worked to screen the award winning movie, “What Tomorrow Brings.” The film portrays the lives of teachers, students, parents, village elders and Razia Jon, from the time the school was opened to the graduating class of 2015. Beth Murphy, the filmmaker, gives viewers the opportunity to experience the life of girls growing up in Afghanistan.
Ms. Stevens explains the impact the club is paramount to the children’s lives. “I think that it’s really important for people to understand how important education is in the lives of people around the world and shaping communities and helping them to become more stable and productive, particularly the education of women and girls,” the history teacher said.
“I think also, that particularly we live and work in a community that has such a strong education system and learning about education in Afghanistan can give students a new found purpose and harnessing the power of their educations,” Stevens added
GLI club meets after school on Thursdays in room 106 and is open to all community members who want to change the life of a girl across the world.