Applied Ethics is considering applications to for those interested in being a host family in the Pax Populi Educational Outreach program. Applied Ethics is working in partnership with SOLA (School of Leadership, Afghanistan) on this project. SOLA has an exceptional track record of success in bringing promising Afghan students to study in US high schools, after which they continue to study in American universities. (See sola-afghanistan.org) The student designated by SOLA is a young Afghan woman named Shogofa. To learn about her, please see “Shogofa and Her Writings.” We are planning for her to attend the public high school in Marblehead, MA for the school-year beginning in September, 2010. The following information is for those considering participating in this outreach.
1. Why be a host family?
The reason for being a host family is to learn about another culture and to provide support for a young Afghan woman who is seeking to advance her education. Educational opportunities for girls and women in Afghanistan are very limited. On average, boys receive 11 years of education, while girls receive only four. The purpose of this program is to do something concrete to help Afghanistan by helping one of its citizens who deeply hopes to advance her education. By being a host family, you are helping to open a door of opportunity to a young woman, who aspires to help Afghanistan become a modern, stable, and peaceful country.
2. General characteristics of the host family
Since we are planning to have Shogofa attend high school in Marblehead, MA, the host family should reside in Marblehead. Families in neighboring communities would also be considered, but on school days, they would have to agree to provide transportation to and from school.
The host family is expected to provide her with a comfortable bedroom with a desk. Conditions in the home should be secure, stable, and conducive to academic success.
The family is expected to respect Shogofa’s cultural and religious traditions. Generally, this means refraining from serving her pork or alcoholic beverages or acting or speaking of Islam in a disparaging manner. According to her custom, Shogofa is likely to wear a headscarf.
3. Specific host family responsibilities
Host families are expected to provide the following:
• A welcoming and loving environment that is conducive to academic success
• A comfortable bedroom with a desk
• Meals to be eaten together with the family
• If school bus services are not available and if the home is not within walking distance to the school, the host family will help to ensure that transportation to and from school is available
4. Financial consideration
Host families offer this service for free. They are not paid, nor do they receive rent. However, they are eligible for a tax deduction. The host family is not expected to pay for the student’s living expenses as the student will be provided with pocket money for daily expenses. She will not be eligible for paid employment.
5. Medical expenses
In the event of medical issues, the costs will be covered through an insurance program supplied by Applied Ethics, Inc.
6. How long is the student expected to stay with the host family?
Shogofa is expected to stay with the host family for 10 to 11 months. She is expected to arrive in the United States in early September 2010. Unless she goes directly to a university in the United States, she should return to Afghanistan in July or August 2011.
7. If there are problems….
Applied Ethics has launched this initiative with great care. We have confidence in our partner, SOLA, and the candidate they have selected. The host family should not assume this responsibility unless they feel comfortable and confident that they would be happy with a long term guest in their house. If, however, there are problems, AE will arrange to place Shogofa with another family or have her return home.
8. To apply or for more information
Please contact Applied Ethics at firstname.lastname@example.org.