17 year-old Shanhaza on her dreams and goals in providing education
November 17, 2023
Afghan teenager opens kindergarten to help children “fly off into the horizons of tomorrow”
A 17-year-old teenager in Afghanistan is running her own kindergarten for infants in her community to give them the opportunity she does not have.
Shanhaza, whose last name we are not using for security reasons, opened up ‘Fly’ kindergarten in 2020 at the age of 15 in her own house.
“I decided that while I cannot attend school myself due to the ban disabling girls from attending school, I will offer the opportunity to those younger than myself,” shared Shanhaza.
The kindergarten, which she named ‘Fly’, aims to provide children with the knowledge to “fly off into the horizons of tomorrow.”
She hopes that her kindergarten will give her pupils the ability to not only pursue their dreams but achieve them.
The doors to the kindergarten are open to everyone for two hours in the morning and evening, every day, with Shanhaza currently running three classes split into groups of six, 12, and 22 students. Girls and boys from six months to three years old attend the kindergarten.
The children are able to attend without paying. She found this aspect especially important as she believed that children from different backgrounds should be able to learn easily without any restrictions. Her father helps her buy the kindergarten supplies and provides meals for them.
Each day at ‘Fly’ is different – some days Shanhaza organises a painting session, others she sings Dari and English songs to them, she reads with them and plays educational videos.
“Whenever I see the children happy and singing songs, I feel very proud of myself that I managed to improve their lives,” reflected Shanhaza.
She highlighted that, most importantly, she hopes that “when they come to the kindergarten, they find some motivation.” The same kind of motivation she finds when pursuing her own underground education with the help of LEARN, providing her with daily English classes.
When asked about her goals and dreams, she expressed: “When my students graduate from kindergarten, I want to make a school for them so they can study the subjects they are passionate about.”