Wahida Furmuli fled Afghanistan with her family in the early 1990s after her home was destroyed by rocket fire and joined the exodus of refugees seeking safety in neighboring Pakistan.
Seeing a bleak future for tens of thousands of war-affected Afghan children, Ms. Furmuli has since dedicated her life to ensuring that these children have a chance to go to school and that women have a prominent place in Afghanistan's next education system.
In 1999, she began working for the International Rescue Committee, training teachers to work in dozens of IRC schools for refugee children in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. Today, she is preparing these women to return to Afghanistan and help rebuild the country's devastated education sector.
"Give me an educated mother and I will give you an educated nation," Ms. Furmuli promises.
Ms. Furmuli will speak at a luncheon of the American Federation of Teachers in Las Vegas on July 16, 2002 about her experiences fleeing Afghanistan, setting up schools in refugee camps, the plight of Afghan women, and the challenges in rebuilding Afghanistan's education system.
Edward Bligh (New York, HQ) (212) 551-3114
Melissa Winkler (New York, HQ) (212)
Kenneth Burslem (Afghanistan) 92-91-43574
Avril Pendergast-Fischer (New York, HQ)