‘May Flowers: A Celebration of Afghan Girls’ Education’ to be held at Mingei International Museum

CCA students have been using Zoom to speak with students in Afghanistan.
CCA students have been using Zoom to speak with students in Afghanistan.
(Timothy Stiven)

Students from Canyon Crest Academy raise money for laptops and equipment for Afghan youth.


The nonprofit Flowers for the Future will hold a fundraiser, “May Flowers: A Celebration of Afghan Girls’ Education,’’ to raise money for laptops and equipment to help Afghan girls continue their learning remotely while schools are closed to women in Kabul. The event will feature a reception, poetry, artwork, music, and activities for and by them. “May Flowers” is open to the public and will be held at Mingei International Museum La Atalaya Foundation Theater on Thursday, May 25, from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (entry through Alcazar Garden); tickets are $100 at the door.

Flowers for the Future founder and Canyon Crest Academy history teacher Timothy Stiven, with a group of CCA student leaders, originally led efforts through Flowers for the Future to conduct a live exchange program with the Mawoud Educational Center in 2022. Their mission and collaboration was featured in The New York Times. With Mawoud recently shuttered, the revitalized mission of Flowers for the Future has transformed to raise money for tools to continue to facilitate learning remotely for all.

“May Flowers” features:

● Short readings by Afghan student poets and translators

● Self-portrait illustrations by Afghan student artists, available for purchase

● Original musical composition by CCA students in response to the poems and art

● Stitching for attendees, inspired by the current exhibition on view at Mingei: 25 Million Stitches, One Stitch, One Refugee

● Guest appearance by Distinguished Lecturer the City University of New York Dr. Zohra Saed, editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature and Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos, and Notebooks from Turkestan.

Refreshments will be served, featuring traditional Afghan dishes and drinks.

Stiven said, “Every girl deserves an education. Today we celebrate overcoming the challenges that many young women faced over the last two years, as formal education has been closed to them, and we celebrate that the learning has continued regardless of the instability.”

CCA student Emily K. volunteered to translate poetry of 17-year-old Afghan poet, pen name “Andishour” (The Contemplative One). This collaboration blossomed into a publication by the International Women’s Writers Guild. Emily, who will be curating the poetry portion of the May 25 program said, “The poems are a chronicle of daily life, and a marker of a historical turn and new diaspora. They share glimpses into my friend’s day within the current reality.”

Flowers for the Future is a non-school sponsored club run by students from San Diego, Kabul, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Boston, and Western Kentucky, who have been exchanging curricula, STEM labs, art, and poetry. Their collective goal is to help all of those who, at this time, have lost access to a regular education and give hope to those oppressed. Some of their efforts besides curriculum development include fundraising for laptops and equipment, outreach to San Diego refugees, and partnering with schools to continue the mission worldwide. All proceeds raised at the event will be handled by the Eileen Murphy Foundation and will be distributed to the club’s partners in Kabul.

The Eileen Murphy Foundation is devoted to facilitating learning exchange between regions worldwide.