Rahila Muhibi, Afghanistan
"UWC educates young people to make this world a better place"
Rahila and her family escaped Afghanistan in 1998 and moved to Pakistan as refugees and was awarded a scholarship to attend Pearson College UWC in 2003.
“I was taken aback by the confidence UWC shows in its students” Rahila explains. “My previous interrupted schooling in Pakistan didn’t hinder my experience. The teachers at UWC had no hesitations in enabling me to learn in exactly the same way as the other students, many of whom were the smartest students in their home country and had come from better educational systems and peaceful environments. Every moment for me was outstanding because every day I would learn something new from this diverse and transformational student community.”
UWC gave Rahila the opportunity to work to resolve some of the issues which marred her own upbringing. In 2007 she was awarded $10,000 after submitting a proposal to return to Afghanistan and implement the first Afghan Youth Summer Camp for Peace, teaching other young people the same values and conflict resolution skills that UWC had taught her. Later that year she founded the 100 Mothers Literacy Program to teach young mothers from Dari, one of Afghanistan’s most remote areas, to read.
Since graduating from UWC Rahila has continued to excel herself academically. “Coming from Afghanistan with little English and a limited educational background it wouldn’t have looked likely that I would achieve what I have, UWC has definitely been the stepping stone behind my many successes” Rahila says. “In Afghanistan it is young males, as opposed to young females, who are more likely to receive the educational opportunities that could offer them a better future.” By actively encouraging and supporting young girls in selections in conflict and post conflict countries, UWC aims to redress this balance to ensure both genders are represented amongst future leaders.
Having just graduated in Political Science and International Studies from Methodist University she now plans to study a Masters in Human Rights Law at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. “For a girl to graduate from university then pursue a Masters degree and find the time to do some volunteer work on the side, may sound very normal to a western audience. However for a girl who has lived through what I have lived through, who’s biggest aspiration might be to become a housewife, this really is a big achievement.”
Rahila’s aspiration is to return to Afghanistan one day and help to develop her home country. She is very aware of the crucial experience she has gained whilst at UWC. “Without the opportunity to attend UWC I would have never been able to follow the path I am on, the path I have always dreamed of,” Rahila enthuses. “UWC educates young people to make this world a better place. It provides opportunities for young people, many of whom could have never have even dreamed of getting such an amazing education.”