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N.C. Lawyer Helps Program To Educate Afghan Women

NC lawyer Educate Afghan Women

By Bob Friedman

Marzia’s formal education was abruptly halted when the Taliban regained control of her hometown, the Afghan city of Herat. Through The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, Marzia left her home and her family to come to the United States and study in Raleigh at Meredith College. Raleigh attorney Kathy Worm became a host mom to Marzia and six other Afghan women attending Meredith. With the assistance of husband, Steve and son, Thomas, Worm has helped the women with everything from learning to ride a bike to tutoring to writing resumes and getting prepared for job interviews. “The seven young women from Meredith College who have become my daughters over the past six years have brought me joy beyond anything I could possibly have given them,” said Worm.

Worm is co-chair of the board of directors of the 12-year-old initiative which has helped provide scholarships and leadership training to almost 100 women from Afghanistan in colleges around the country. Among the women aided by the initiative is Adela Raz, appointed as first deputy spokesperson and director of communications for President Hamid Karzai and Wadia Samadi, an insurance industry professional at Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan who has launched Wadsam, a website focusing on news articles related to Afghanistan’s businesses and economy.

“These women have created a strong network making our vision of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan – where women participate fully in the political, economic and social development of their homeland – a reality,” said the initiative’s executive director, Christian Wistehuff

“I really believe in my heart of hearts, the way to change the world is to educate women,” said Worm. “They then educate their children and they demand better schools, better health care and better laws.”

Following graduation from Meredith, Marzia has been actively involved with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and is helping the initiative with fundraising. “I’m so proud of her because she came with poor writing skills and now she’s trying to change the world through her writing and advocacy,” said Worm. “I’m not someone with a million dollars but maybe I can change the world one woman at a time.”

For more information on the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, visit http://www.ieaw.org/.