Good Teacher in Helmand

one laptop per child

One of the biggest problems in Afghanistan is that we don’t have enough good teachers, especially in the provinces, like Helmand and Kandahar. If we don’t have a teacher to help us we’ll have no doctors or engineers.

There was a woman who lived in Helmand and she wanted to start a school there. She wanted to help people, especially the girls. She had studied in Germany. She was very smart and she often talked about education and teaching. When she started her dream school she told her students that knowledge is more powerful than weapons and that they can improve their lives more with education than by fighting.

Many people agreed with her and sent their children to her school.

There was one girl who wanted very much to study in the teacher’s new school, but she couldn’t make it there each day. Her mother and father couldn’t let her go back and forth to school because they were afraid the Taliban would see her and they would kill her—because they don’t want girls in school. So the teacher helped her. Every day the teacher went to her house to help her with reading and writing.

Helmand has a lot of problems today with the Taliban. Many girls cannot attend school because their families fear the Taliban will kill them.

At times the solution is to leave. This girl who was educated by a dedicated teacher at her home no longer lives in Helmand, but with her education she was able to get a job in Kabul, and she told me her story at my neighbor’s house.

The Internet changed my life

In Afghanistan we don’t have good Internet and many people don’t know about it. These are new things—the Internet and computers. 

But for me, the Internet has changed my life. I use it for studying. If didn’t have it, I could not continue to study.  I graduated from high school so now, with my computer and the Internet, I can write and study at home with a tutor who teaches me English via Skype.

I have an online tutor and every day she teaches me English reading and writing. I am preparing for the TOEFL exam for graduate school. I also use the Internet for my research, and I can find a lot of information about whatever I want, which is such a good way to study.

The Internet connects me with all the world and I can share my ideas with all people easily. The Internet really changed my life. 

By Mahbooba

Photo from One Laptop Per Child.


  1. Elizabeth Titus says:

    Dear Mahbooba,
    Thank you for sharing this story! The internet has indeed changed lives, all over the world, and I am happy it has allowed you to connect with others and share your ideas.
    All the best,

  2. Mahbooba, I really love your story! There is no doubt in my mind that the internet changes lives. What I have found to be a real challenge for Afghan girls (and others in your situation) is the need to distinguish between “reliable” and “unreliable” sources. But I know that with your mentor’s help, you will be able to navigate those cliffs and use the internet to continue on this most exciting of adventures – the path of learning!
    I’ll be following your journey and looking forward to your next post.

  3. Arrian Gottland says:

    How can we use the Potential Internet And get more women And Kids to Education?
    Does anybody have an Idea? Maybe an app over the cellphone?

  4. Good morning from the USA, Mahbooba.

    This morning I read your essay, and this afternoon I plan to use it for a reading and writing lesson with two sisters from Kabul. They left their home and everyone they knew to move to America with their family last year. Thank you for sharing. ~~~jeanne

  5. Dear Mahbooba,
    These two stories work together so nicely. I loved reading them as a pair. Thank you for shining a light on the power of education and the ways it can be life-altering for Afghan women and for all.

  6. Mackenzie Largie says:

    Dear Mahbooba,

    When you get online imagine two lights- one light from your heart connecting with another heart- anywhere, literally anywhere in the world. Your light warms my heart! Thank you for writing.

  7. Elisabeth says:

    Dear Mahooba,
    Your pieces further illustrates how important it is that we work hard to ensure the Afghan students have access to affordable computers and Internet. Thank you so much for writing this.


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