Meet 5 Afghan girls determined to get an education

Human Rights

These schoolgirls in Afghanistan are determined to get an education, no matter the obstacles.

Meet Bibi, Lialoma, Zahra, Sana, and Marzia – 5 intrepid girls that continue to dream big!

Afghan girls face significant challenges, such as growing up in remote villages without schools. In addition, all girls over the age of 12 are now barred from formal education.

With EU humanitarian support, they are trekking each day to math and literacy classes the International Rescue Committee (IRC) offers to children who cannot access education.

Girls like them and their families are also caught in the growing economic and hunger crisis that is making life more difficult for nearly all Afghans. 

The IRC offers math and literacy classes to children up to grade 6 who are unable to access schools.

These informal courses are available 6 days a week across 5 Afghan provinces.

Below, meet the 5 girls and learn what motivates them to continue learning. 

Bibi Asha

Bibi Asha, 9, has been attending IRC-run courses for 3 months. “My teachers and books are my best friends,” she says.

Before IRC’s program, Bibi’s village did not have a school.

“My mother and sisters encourage me to get an education,” says Bibi, who hopes to become a teacher.



Lialoma, 9, wants to become a doctor, engineer or pilot. She attends the IRC classes 6 times a week and enjoys playing with Razima, her best friend.

“The teachers praise us with nice words and clap for us,” she says.

“I hate war,” Lialoma says when asked about the future. “I want to have a good life.”



7-year-old Zarha undertakes a challenging journey on her walk to school.

“Children are throwing stones at us,” she says. She also faces dangerous traffic and sometimes flooded roads.

“I want to be an engineer,” says Zarha, “to draw and build beautiful houses to serve our people because most live in tents.”



© IRC, 2022 (photographer: Oriane Zerah )

Sana, 9, has been attending classes for 3 months. She loves school because of her classmates—her best friend, Soraya, is there—and the kindness of her teacher.

“I want to finish school and start university,” she says. “I want to become a teacher and serve the country. I come to class every day to study hard.”



Marzia, 12, wishes to have a proper school in her community. “Our school has 1 classroom and 1 teacher for all students and subjects,” she explains.

Marzia’s parents continue to buy her school supplies while her teachers give her motivation by praising her.

“I want to be a doctor because they treat people–I have to study hard and get higher education to achieve this goal.”

Story by the IRC.
Publication date: 11/10/2022

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