Pax Populi Launches Underground School for Women and Girls in Afghanistan

Meet Z.

That’s not her name or even her initial. Z., however, lives in Afghanistan, and she needs to hide her identity because she is a student in Pax Populi’s underground school.

Z. is 17 years old. She is smart, with a vibrant hungry mind. She was among the top students in her class. However, not long after the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, school doors across the country were shut to girls beyond 6th grade. Z. then found herself among the millions of women and girls barred from school based on their gender. Despite this devastating blow, Z.’s dream is still to go to college… and we are trying to help her make that dream a reality.

Pax Populi — the peacebuilding program of the nonprofit organization, Applied Ethics, Inc. — has always focused on peace through education. However, only since the change in government in Afghanistan in August 2021, have we been obliged to deliver our services in secret. Right now, our school is a pilot program. As we test our systems and develop our curriculum, we have limited enrollment to 25 students receiving instruction from eight teachers. With classes held five days every week, we are trying to give our students a high school level of education. For our students, our underground school could make all the difference in the world. Never has a project seemed so consequential for those we serve.

Foreign troops have left Afghanistan; what remains but goes unnoticed, is a widespread belief that women and girls need an education and have a right to it. Our school exists not only because our students and their parents want it, but because they have the courage and capacity to pursue it.

They aren’t giving up and we mustn’t let them down. This is just the beginning of a very ambitious program. With the support of many, we will grow our school both in the number of students, the grades served, and the courses offered.

Please help us to strengthen and grow our underground school for girls in Afghanistan. Donations to Applied Ethics are tax-deductible for qualified taxpayers.

To donate, please click on this link.

For more information on Pax Populi’s underground school, click here.