Wow. The semester is nearly ¾ of the way through, and April 1st is right around the corner. Who would have thought that our class would accomplish all that it has in the past three months? In three short months, we have organized different events to collect school supplies, spoken to different Tampa groups, established connections with multiple companies, created a club for our cause, and collected 82 boxes full of donated supplies.
As we’ve traveled down this journey together, we have all learned many life lessons, and have helped each other out along the way. One important lesson we’ve all learned is the importance of Social Media. Coming into this class, many of us had used Facebook for personal use, but a large percentage of us had never used sites such as Twitter and WordPress. Although many of us were familiar with Facebook, we hadn’t used it for advertising events, pages, or blogs, and had previously restricted our usage of it to just keeping in touch with friends. Through these entities that we have become familiarized with, we have established connections with many different Tampa groups that we would have never had the ability to reach out to if it wasn’t for these social media entity. Some examples of this are the USF Oracle contacting us and Kryssa and Sarai’s friends from other university campuses reaching out to us to donate supplies.
While reflecting on this semester and all of its successes and drawbacks so far, I couldn’t help but wonder about what accomplishments have been made by educated Afghan leaders. I googled “Amazing Afghan Woman” and a blog written by a member of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan popped up. This blog entry can be found here. Although I can’t find the name of the blogger, his words were very touching. He wrote about Colonel Shafiqa Quarashi, a woman who serves in a leadership position in the Afghan National Police. Col. Quarashi was one of the 10 recipients of the 2010 International Women of Courage Award for all of her efforts for peace and to make a difference. She has been through a lot during her time on the force. The blogger writes, “During the eight years the Taliban was in charge, she was forced to stay at home but she quickly returned to service and advanced through the ranks despite the many cultural obstacles in her way … and in a few days time she’ll not only celebrate her first wedding anniversary, but also her promotion to general.” Everything she has gone through emphasizes how dedicated the people of Afghanistan are to learning and bettering their futures. No matter what obstacles are put in their way, whether it be a cultural barrier or a lack of school supplies, they continue to persevere through everything.
As the end of the semester approaches and we start to face problems, the heart of the Afghan people will continue to inspire us. To help further their knowledge and continue to make efforts to aid their success, we are planning many events and drives to help raise supplies for them! Some upcoming events include: Bull Market on Wednesday, March 30 from 10 am – 2 pm and the Kaleisha Tea event on April 8 starting at 7 pm.
To keep up with all of our latest efforts, don’t forget to like our project’s Facebook page by clicking here.