One year after the Taliban took over 17-year-old Mursal Fasihi remains in shock that she is unable to return to school. School-going children A once-dedicated student her name is Mursal Fasihi. Fasihi – like all girls in secondary school is unable to return to school because of the rules set by the actual leadership.
“It isn’t appropriate that they decide for us, directing us to go to school with a mahram (a male companion) and to cover our faces, and cease attending school,” She says in reference to the series of rules that have stopped girls and women from taking part in the public sphere.
One of the last times Ms. Fasihi stepped inside the school was when she passed her final exam for the 11th grade in the month of July 2021. Then, a month later, the Taliban took over Afghanistan which culminated in Kabul’s fall on Kabul on the 15th of August.
I long for my school, my teachers, and my friends.
A number of her classmates were able to quit Afghanistan and continue their studies in other countries. “I truly miss my colleagues, my friends, and also my high school. My school was a wonderful school, but I’m not able to attend there,” she says.
Her hopes of becoming a doctor are in doubt. School-going children However, her hopes won’t die. School-going children To help fill her days and be productive Mrs. Fasihi joined the Youth Peer Educators Network (Y-PEER) which is a regional program run by and for young people that is supported by The UN organization for reproductive health, UNFPA.
Youth-oriented education focuses on developing the life skills of young people to overcome the obstacles they will face. Mrs. Fasihi joined a training session in July last year. She is now one of 25 trainers of Y-PEER within Afghanistan.
The program provided her with an understanding of the various challenges that young Afghans confront on a daily every day. As an educated young lady living in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul she had not been aware of how many girls, specifically young girls who live in rural or poverty areas, have adverse experiences, such as pre-marital and adolescent birth.
A record-breaking increase in poverty?
The dramatic rise in the number of people living in poverty, as a result of the economic downturn that occurred from the Taliban’s return to rule in Afghanistan has brought to the forefront discussions of the issues. Due to the need for relief, some families have turned to marrying their young daughters, transferring responsibility for their protection and care.
It is very sad, because how could one child bring another to the world and nurture the other child?” Ms. Fasihi says. “At the age of our children, we’re only children. We must be learning and striving for the best. We don’t have the time to get married right now.
Do you wait on the shadow cloud to go away?
While Ms. Fasihi’s dream of formal education has been put on hold for a while, she finds value and meaning in her role as an educator of peers for other people.
Alongside educating young people about the negative effects of the early marriage stage and adolescent pregnancies she is also able to communicate her hope for a brighter future.
When that dark cloud has passed it will be brighter mornings she told UNFPA.
I wish that girls of my generation aren’t going to abandon their dreams. It’s okay for them to feel scared and it’s acceptable to cry but abandoning will not be an option. I would like them to keep learning as best they can. Inshallah, I hope that someone will be able to help us or the schools will be reopened,” she said. “Our bright day is coming.”