Since opening a school for girls in eastern Afghanistan, Parwin Wafa has been insulted and threatened, and lived through the kidnapping and brutal murder of her 17-year-old son.
But, Ms Wafa says, this has never made her reconsider her decision to devote her life to educating the children of warlord-ruled Laghman province. “Despite the dangers, something had to be done, and the light of education had to be turned on,” she told TES, during a visit to Britain last week.
“It’s through literacy and education that we can eradicate poverty and eliminate all the social problems in my country.”
Ms Wafa was brought over to Britain by Amnesty International. During her time here, she met politicians, union officials and schoolchildren.
“There are three important areas in which Afghanistan needs assistance in Britain: school buildings, training the teachers professionally and equipment and teaching materials,” Ms Wafa said.
She has previously travelled to Sweden, where she set up a twinning programme that enabled Afghan schools to use teaching resources that follow the Swedish curriculum. She now hopes to establish a similar relationship with British schools.
A full interview with Ms Wafa will appear in tomorrow's TES. Read the magazine on your tablet or phone by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Subscribe to the magazine here. Or pick it up in all good newsagents.