BRUSSELS, Belgium-Among the casualties of the Afghanistan war were the hearts and minds of several young students who saw their school taken as the war continued despite the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The International School of Kabul had managed to reach hundreds of students in the 9 ½ years it was able to keep its’ doors open for education. The tireless efforts of the staff and administration to remain a beacon of hope in the midst of so much destruction finally reached critical mass. It was with a heavy heart that administrators and security officials determined the school could no longer operate and insure the safety of students and staff.
The President and Founder of NICS, Joe Hale, had this to say about the schools closure.
“The elevated threat against the school, staff and students caused us to make the most difficult of calls. The ISK staff is (and always has been) an amazing group of people! You have given your life sacrificially to these precious kids. You have shown your love and commitment over and over again. For some, this decision brings relief, for others sadness, for other a sense of guilt, and for most a combination of all of the above … I’ve never met anyone who spent significant time in Afghanistan who was not changed by the experience—in a good way. The place and people seem to have a magical way of endearing themselves to us so that we can never forget the place and the people. I know you sense that too. To all who have served during these last 9 ½ years, I thank you!”
Americans often have a difficult time understanding or empathizing with people in war torn countries because so few Americans have experienced the effects of war. The children and teachers at ISK were all affected by the war. Take a look at the sentences and pictures drawn by third grade students below.
Notice that the dreams of these students are very similar to the same kinds of dreams students in elementary schools across America might have, with the exception of one. One young student expressed the following dream. “I have a dream that one day Afghanistan will never have Taliban here and never any fight.” That should be a dream everyone can share and work to bring about.
The International School of Kabul worked as a nonprofit organization and with the sudden closure has been faced with financial difficulties. Aside from the obvious travel expenses for returning staff members, there are many other financial needs that are outstanding.
If you would be interested in helping defray some of those expenses you can contact the Kabul Crisis Fund (#021041), NICS, 3790 Goodman Rd. E., Southaven, MS 38672, or gifts can be given online: https://www.nics.org/donate/form/