Defying the Taliban Threat
The overwhelmingly positive impact of the Godah project on the community’s educational system, advancement of women’s opportunity, and a dynamic shift in conservative traditions was not free from challenges. In June 2005, arsonists, largely suspected to be Taliban insurgents, set fire to the Godah School, destroying the tents and equipment.
Despite the brazenness of this act and the potential of future attacks, the community remained steadfast and vigilant in their commitment to supporting the school. Demonstrating volumes of resilience, students continued to show up for class and lessons were conducted under a tree outside. Below are testimonials from two of the school’s youngest pupils. Their understanding of the importance of education belies their age:
"The Taliban could be against girl's education but we want to study."
--Latifa Naseem, 3rd grade
"Only give us a rug to sit on even if it is in the sun so that we can study. Those responsible for the fire are the enemy of knowledge and education."
--Parvin Shehzadeh, 3rd grade
US-ARC, along with the generous help of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, quickly mobilized and replaced the tents and equipment. However, this tragedy reinforces the urgent need to build a permanent school. We will continue supporting the Godah Project along with our implementing partner Global-ARO with fundraising, technical assistance, and capacity building, so that young girls and women can receive the education they so desperately desire.