If you follow me on Twitter ( @sherryworel), you know that I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Dubai and Afghanistan. Boy, those two worlds could not be any further apart. I spent just one full day in Dubai and found it fascinating. It is the tourist capital of that part of the world; a modern city with all the amenities that includes an indoor ski slope!
And then I landed in Kabul. While the city is desperately trying to reinvent itself, the rubble left behind by the warring parties of the last five or six decades is everywhere (literally and figuratively). The traffic patterns are definitely more inventive than even those I have seen in Africa! The country’s infrastructure is weak; the needs are evident on every level. I am told that 100,000 homeless kids under the age of six wander the streets of this capital.
And yet, right there in the middle of all those screaming needs is an oasis. It is called the International School of Kabul. Begun in 2003 as an extension to homeschooling for 8 students, it now offers a full array of classes for children in preschool through the 12th grade.
About 400 students walk the secure compound as if the rest of the world didn’t exist. They are loved and nurtured by a team of caring teachers and staff.
It was my great privilege to spend a week with those students and their incredible teachers. What I found were mostly Afghan students, many of whom are ex-pats (ex-patriots) whose families have returned to their home country with hopes of making a difference. They believe hope can come to their country and that it must begin with them.
They are smart, lively, energetic…reminded me of my own experience at Stoneybrooke. In fact, as I watched the PE teacher working with a group of junior high students, I was sure I had been transported back home! Silliness knows no international boundaries.
I am writing about the school because in spite of their best efforts to survive and even flourish, they need our help. We did have a meeting with President Karzai while I was there, and he has promised to assist but the school is struggling financially and needs the support of all of us right now!
To help get attention for their work, Bob Newman, the director is leading them in an effort to get the Guinness World record for the longest paper doll chain. (I even cut out a few while I was there!) Their goal is to cut out 100,000 dolls and raise one dollar for every doll posted. They have a great video that I hope you will click here.
And after you see the video, I hope that you will consider supporting this great school. I was proud to visit, I am proud to support them and very pleased to ask you to do so as well. Most of my readers live in safe, secure and pleasant surroundings. These kids and their dedicated teachers do not. So this week, let’s lend them a hand!
For more information on ISK, go to www.iskafghan.org
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel