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The Office of the President at ASU support program helped 61 Afghan women with financial support

Over two years ago, the Taliban overthrew the government of Afghanistan, and since then nearly two million Afghans have fled Afghanistan, most to nearby countries. But more than 90 thousand immigrants have come to the United States. Among them are 148 women from the Asian University for Women  who fled Afghanistan but are not able to go back to Bangladesh, and among them are 61 women now studying at Arizona State University. The Office of the President at ASU created a support program for Afghan women in 2021, which helped 61 Afghan students with financial support. 

148 Afghan students from the Asian University for Women made it out of the country. At Fort McCoy, they were among 13,000 Afghans undergoing processing for resettlement. Since the summer of 2022, more than 76,000 Afghans have been brought into the country. 

The situation in Afghanistan forced scholars, professors, and students who were in danger to flee.

The Mayo Foundation was established by business owners Simer and Vicki Mayo with the  focus on issues related to food insecurity, at-risk children in the US, international refugees and global access to high-quality healthcare. 

Vicki and Simer Mayo acted quickly when they got a call in August 2021 from the Asian University for Women (AUW), a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh, asking for assistance in relocating 173 Afghan girls. Vicki the founder of Mayo foundation said of the program: 

“The Mayo Family Foundation's commitment to providing humanitarian aid, especially to the 147 young Afghan women rescued from the Taliban, is guided by a steadfast belief in the transformative power of education and support. With over 15 years of experience in child welfare and a personal history of adopting abandoned teenage boys, the foundation is driven by a mission to ensure that every child, regardless of their circumstances, has the

opportunity to thrive. The foundation aims to empower these young women to build a new and promising chapter in their lives by offering case management support.” 

Human rights have historically been violated and there have been harsh restrictions when living under the Taliban administration, especially for women. The Taliban's rules have changed throughout time, but their 1996–2001 administration offers insight into the difficulties and struggles that women in such a setting confront. It is crucial to remember that the historical background of this description is used, and that any shift in the Taliban's policy could cause the situation to change. 

Many of the young women have experienced trauma as a result of their experiences in Afghanistan. Guldista Iqbal said she was almost overwhelmed by memories of how the Taliban abused Afghans. 

“Attempting to block out the intense flashbacks that were threatening to overwhelm me, I closed my eyes. My thoughts turned the place into a haven, a blank canvas filled with scenes I wanted to take away. However, memories — especially the bad ones — do not forget easily. There are many different reasons that can impact people's emotions towards the Taliban. Strong negative feelings toward the Taliban are expressed by many people and communities for a number of reasons: Abuses of Human Rights: These include limitations on the rights of women, censorship of expression, and severe penalties for alleged transgressions of their interpretation of Islamic law.” Iqbal said. 

Related to the all supported and worked that the Mayo foundation team and the founder did she mention also.

“Inspiration to contribute to positive social change and address systemic issues often arises when reflecting on my journey — from overcoming challenges to achieving success. I am propelled to take action by recognizing the need for systemic improvements in child welfare and social support systems. Whether through supporting foster youth aging out of the system, championing the Court Appointed Special Advocate program, or leading initiatives like the Keys to Success Program, my endeavors are fueled by a dedication to creating lasting, positive societal changes and fostering a more inclusive and supportive community for all,” Mayo said. 

It is not only about restriction and limitations on women but one man too is applying on both gender is the enforcement of a strict dress code. The imposition of a strict dress code, including the mandatory wearing of the burqa, limited women's ability to express themselves through clothing. Failure to comply with these dress code regulations resulted in severe consequences.

Maliha Wafi is an AUW student studying majoring business administration and said. 

“The world has expressed disapproval of the Taliban for mistreating women. During their previous rule, women's liberties and mobility were severely restricted, they were denied access to school and employment, and they had to adhere to rigorous attire regulations. Significant limitations on women's and girls' mobility existed. In addition to the infamous "chadar" (burqa), which was mandatory and severely restricted their visibility and mobility, they had to leave their houses with a male relative in tow,”

Like the Mayo foundation there were other people too who made this journey happen. And one of those people is Pamela Delargy ASU was appointed as a committed resource and promised help. Pamela DeLargy of the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation. 

“In terms of prep, ASU and IRC cosponsored you all and so shared responsibilities for all that had to be done in terms of housing, meals, transport, healthcare, etc.," she said.

Along with the Mayo foundation and Pamlea Delvay there is one more person Troy Campbell, Associate Director, for the Advancement of Student Initiatives who said ASU's diverse community has welcomed the Afghan women. 

“I am happy and so blessed to work in a diverse place like ASU where I help people and communities better understand and handle the difficulties of a globalized environment in an increasingly interconnected world," Campbell said. “By promoting a more accepting and tolerant culture that recognizes and celebrates differences, diversity helps to enrich cultural experiences. People's shared values, beliefs, customs, traditions, language, arts, and social behaviors are all included under the umbrella term ’culture.’ It is a constantly changing and dynamic facet of human cultures that makes me happy and felt blessed to be.”

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