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This Episode will air at 11 am EDT on Saturday June 8th

Using 21st Century Online Learning to Teach Girls in Afghanistan with Timothy Stiven, Jasmin Azizi, and Andishvar Mohibi

Since April 2021, Timothy Stiven is leading an initiative in which high school students have been redefining the narrative of online education by teaching Afghan girls peer-to-peer over Zoom and Google Classroom. What began with 40 Afghans has now grown to 540 girls; and there are “Flowers for the Future” (FFF) branches in San Diego, Boston, Hong Kong, Tbilisi Georgia, Amsterdam, and Milan Italy — with more starting in the Fall. These branches of high school students around the world are creating courses (from World Literature to Female Entrepreneurship to the Applied Arts and Poetry) that enable Afghan girls to continue their education despite restrictions by the Taliban. For example, the Applied Arts class is taught by students in Boston; Jasmin Azizi and her fellow students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education created a VR gallery for the Afghans to upload their art and poetry. Andishvar Mohibi is one of the Afghani girls involved.

On May 28th 2024, the first FFF group of Afghans graduated with a California high school diploma granted by High Bluff Academy in San Diego.  This is the first of its kind for any Afghan girl since the fall of the last government. FFF recently received a grant that enabled us to place laptops with wifi accounts into the hands of 150 girls. They now have 500 girls ages 12-20 looking to be able to continue their education safely from home. Their goal is to see FFF grow and bloom into more cities in Afghanistan. The technology is there, all we need is the wifi, the hardware and the time zone. There is a generation of youth around the world who want to give voice to their peers in Afghanistan.

More about our guests and additional resources below the video


Readings and Resources

Episode Guests

Timothy Stiven, Founder, Flowers for the Future

Timothy Stiven has been in education for four decades teaching History and the Humanities in both elite Private college prep schools and public schools. He is currently teaching at Canyon Crest Academy, a full service public high school in San Diego. He is the Founder and CEO of the Eileen Murphy Foundation, Director of Flowers for the Future International and the Chair of the San Diego International Sister Cities Association.

Jasmin Azizi, Advisor and Developer, Flowers for the Future

In 2024 Jasmin Azizi received her master’s degree in Education Policy and Analysis from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before coming to Harvard, she graduated from Gonzaga University with a bachelor’s in Political Science and a Residency Secondary Teacher Certificate. Her experience is mainly in K-12 education policy and legislative affairs. Jasmin is a first-generation Afghan-American college graduate, which makes Flowers For the Future’s mission very personal and special to her. She joined as an advisor to develop a virtual gallery showcasing artwork created by Afghan girls to highlight their talents on a digital platform and to support FFF’s expansion.

Andishvar Mohibi, Afghani Participant, FFF

Andishvar Mohibi was born in 2005 in the center of Mazar-e-Sharif, in the beautiful and ancient province of Balkh. She completed her elementary and high school education at one of the schools in Kabul city. In 2021, driven by the strength and ambition she had to become a doctor, she joined Mawoud Educational Center. Since 2019, Andishvar has turned to writing poetry, and she has always tried to make her voice heard to represent the voices of women and girls deprived of education.