We have an opportunity to host a young Afghan woman named Shogofa to study in the United States at Marblehead High School this year!
Shogofa is an impressive young woman from Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. She is hoping that that a year from now she will be graduating with a diploma from Marblehead High School. Maybe you can help. I announced on this blog on May 16th, that Applied Ethics was partnering with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). This effort to bring Shogofa to advance her education in the United States, is part of Applied Ethics’s Pax Populi Educational Outreach (PEO) program and is the first outcome of what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership with SOLA, all with the aim of helping to advance peace in Afghanistan.

About Shogofa

AE hopes to bring Shogofa (above) to study in the United States through its Pax Populi Educational Outreach program.

I had a long and engaging conversation with Shogofa and she seems to embody the strengths of character and intellect that SOLA’s leader, Ted Achilles described. It was also said that she is “quiet but energized” and “talented.” These are attributes we hope to see put to good use by helping her to obtain an excellent education. Let me tell you a little more about her.

Shogofa was born in 1988 and hopes to eventually engage in legal studies. She comes from an educated family. She has two brothers, one a doctor, and one an engineer. She also has two sisters, one is a teacher, the other is a journalist. Her mother was a school headmistress who was tragically killed in an automobile accident a few years ago. It was her mother’s wish that Shogofa receive an advanced education. Her father has agreed to permit Shogofa to study in the United States to honor his wife’s wishes.

Shogofa has been recognized for her talents as a writer. Two of her essays that appear on our website are: “Life Leaves Us Turn By Turn,” and “The Walk.” Please take a look.

Some of here other writings are posted at the website of the Afghan Women’s Writing project (please click here and here). Shogofa was also featured on the America.gov website (please click here). Her writings have been read by “Theater J” actors in public performances in the United States.

Shogofa is hoping to pursue university studies in the United States after she completes her high school degree. She has never lived outside of Afghanistan, but she has lived on her own in Kabul as she pursued her English language studies at both the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) and at SOLA. She has also worked as a librarian at AUAF. When she attends university, she plans to study history, political science, and law. After completing her education, she intends to return to Afghanistan to engage in politics. She also wants to write a book about her mother and her courageous life struggles. In her own words, she writes, “My wish to study abroad is because of my strong desire to come back to Afghanistan, so that I can help tackle the problems of my country such as corruption, and to help bring new laws and rebuild the new Afghanistan.”

Host Family

We are seeking a host family to supply Shogofa with a home during her approximately one year participation in this program. The host family is expected to provide her with a safe, comfortable, and hospitable environment conducive to physical and emotional security and scholastic success. Her stay is expected to last approximately from July 2010 to August 2011, after which time she will return to Afghanistan or continue her studies in an American university. Interested adults should contact Applied Ethics, Inc. at info@appliedethics.org.

Learning and Teaching Roles for the Pax Populi Educational Outreach Student

Applied Ethics has received the support from Marblehead’s school leaders, notably School Superintendent, Dr. Paul Dulac, to bring a qualified Afghan student to study in Marblehead High School.

In addition to the academic education provided through the high school, the Pax Populi Educational Outreach program will also seek to provide Shogofa with experiences intended to increase her understanding of American culture and history. To this end, we will seek opportunities to introduce Shogofa to key public institutions that have been particularly instrumental to the advancement of American civil society, such as municipal, state, and federal governments, and to acquaint her with notions of civil rights such as those associated with universal suffrage, freedom of speech, religion, and assembly.

Pax Populi Educational Outreach Students are expected not only to learn, but to fulfill a teaching role as well. As a condition to selection they must be willing and able to speak on conditions in Afghanistan to school and community groups. Shogofa is aware of this expectation and expressed a willingness and desire to speak publically to American audiences on her experiences in Afghanistan.

Is This Peacemaking?

Pax Populi follows from a philosophy of people-to-people peacemaking. This may take a longer time than establishing peace imposed through force, but it will also be more durable. We should not and will not put undue expectations on Shogofa. We can’t count on her or any one individual to bring peace to Afghanistan. But by supporting people like Shogofa, we are trying to help in the creation of a just and prosperous Afghanistan one person at a time. Here, as in all Pax Populi efforts in Afghanistan, we are trying to help Afghans to help themselves to build a peaceful, strong and stable country.

You can help.

There are many expenses associated with this program. Please consider making a contribution either by sending a check to Applied Ethics, Inc. or by clicking here to donate online.

1 Comment

Lauren Slade · June 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm

What wonderful news! I am so happy for Shogofa! I live in Florida but I wish I lived up in MA so I could offer to host her.

I just recently came across her writings, thanks to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. If you have not read her writings I encourage you to do so; she is an inspiration. She has an amazing talent for prose and poetry, and her words are full of love and compassion. She embodies strength, responsibility, and kindness—far beyond her age, 21!

I am overjoyed that her father is honoring her mother’s wishes and she will be studying in the United States. Congratulations, Shogofa! America will be a better place for having heard her beautiful words, and when she goes back to Afghanistan after she has studied here, she will make her own country a better place!

What greater joy could there be than if you fulfill the wishes expressed in your writings YOURSELF? And you WILL fulfill these wishes, Shogofa: you will be the very teacher that you have said Afghanistan needs!

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