CCA students continue mission to support students in Afghanistan

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

After forming in 2021 to support students in Afghanistan, a club of Canyon Crest Academy students has partnered with students in Hong Kong and plans to continue expanding.

The club, Flowers for the Future, quickly mobilized last summer to support students in Afghanistan after the Taliban regained control. The regime change was especially oppressive for the country’s girls.

“In January, things became more organized and we started discussing plans to formally continue their education and how to better supplement their education,” said CCA student Angela Aguirre, the president of Flowers for the Future. “We created Flowers for the Future as a club that stemmed from the Eileen Murphy Foundation.”

The Eileen Murphy Foundation was created last year by CCA history teacher Tim Stiven to facilitate fundraising for a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, that he and his students began communicating with. They’ve been holding Zoom meetings about one or two times per month. Students from Hong Kong have joined the Zoom meetings recently.

“The differences between us are not that big, and people need to realize that,” Angela said. “There’s not that much of a gap between Afghanistan and the United States. It’s an ocean and a few thousand miles.”

In addition to lessons in biology and other school subjects, the students in the U.S. and Afghanistan have also held a book club featuring titles such as “The Kite Runner” and “The Outsiders.”

“Having these discussions about the themes of the book and what’s going on in our lives and just in general has been a great experience to connect with them,” said CCA student Emily Khossravi, vice president of Flowers for the Future. “They’re so inspiring and the fact that they are working so hard to continue their education, we want to support that as much as possible.”

Art and poetry have also been prominent aspects of the program.

In a New York Times article profiling the CCA club, Najibullah Yousefi, the principal of Mawoud Learning Center in Kabul, said “we are so happy we are not alone in this world.”

“There are some beautiful minds on the other side of the world who are concerned about us,” Yousefi told the New York Times.

CCA student Karthik Jandhyala, who works on outreach for Flowers for the Future, said the group’s goal is to create a “united front in this fight to preserve education in Afghanistan and other places across the world.”

Their future plans include an inaugural gala in June.

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