Young Afghan refugees pose with notebooks donated to them after attending a class at a makeshift school at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin on September 21, 2021. Photo Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Nilab Ibrahimy

HeroesSociety USA29. November 2021

Refugee Women Help Hundreds of Children Receive Education

Three Afghan refugee women who are temporarily living on the Fort McCoy military base in Wisconsin, United States, took it upon themselves to create a school after seeing young children aimlessly spending their first few days at the camp.

Rise Again school is currently educating over 200 students each day, thanks to the three women, Nilab Ibrahimy, Batool Behnam, and Sepehra Azami, who created a two-month-long curriculum — including Mathematics, English, U.S. culture, and Afghan culture — and asked for and received charitable donations for school supplies such as notebooks and pens.

“We are some of the lucky ones who got out and we want to give back to society,” says co-founder Batool Behnam, with Sepehra Azami adding that it felt “unacceptable to do nothing.”

Over 53,000 Afghans are housed on military bases across the United States after fleeing their country when the Taliban seized power in Kabul. These three women have certainly made the future a little brighter for the children in Fort McCoy, but their impact doesn’t stop there: word of the school has spread around bases, and talk of opening more schools in other refugee camps is now underway.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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