Education only way to end war in Afghanistan, says young Afghan student Matiullah Wesa

just pune things app
Share this News:

By Devina Karnik

Pune : Education, is every child’s basic right. But, many children around the world still just dream of going to school. Poverty, Political issues, wars, can deny children of their basic rights. But some people still stove their best to provide children in the hardest of times.

In our interview with Matiullah Wesa from Afghanistan, who just completed his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Wadia College, Pune is an inspiration. Matiullah’s doing wonders back home in Afghanistan by providing education to children in war-torn parts of the country. Here’s what he had to say in our interview with him;

Q1. What inspired you to start up schools back in your home country?

Answer:- After the fall of Taliban in 2001, my father began to build schools for children in our village in Kandahar but, unfortunately the schools were destroyed a year later by Taliban. I moved to the city and continued my education there but, the children from the four surrounding villages, including my own, were left without school or any means of learning. I missed my friends and felt sorry for them as they did not have the same opportunities to go to school. That is when I decided to take action and began building new schools and reopening banned schools so other kids could also receive the same education I could in the city.

In 2009, I started working and helping kids by building libraries and schools, distributing books and school materials for kids and so on. It helped me cure the pain in me that I had received that day when my friends and I wept in front of our school as it was burned to the ground.

Q2. How did you carry out your plans of setting up schools? Are any organisations/NGO’s helping you with the funding?

Answer:- I started the Pen Path Civil Society in 2009, which focuses in educating young boys and girls in war torn parts of Afghanistan. Since 2009, hundreds of young boys and girls have volunteered for the education campaign that we started. We also gained the tribe leaders’ support that we used in reopening banned schools. Our main purpose is to give the equal education opportunities to all boys and girls in distanced regions. I have to mention that my family always supported me emotionally and financially to run this campaign.

Q3. What are the future plans/projects regarding the schools set up by you?

Answer:- We still have millions of Afghan children who do not go to school for various reasons. We hope that one day each and every Afghan boy and girl will be able to receive an education. Until that day I will continue building schools and libraries, distribute books and school materials and reopen banned schools. I want our kids to have the same opportunities to seek knowledge as other kids all around the world. I know that education is the best way to bring a brighter future to a nation and a prosperous life to its children that is why we work hard to spread the word and encourage others to join educational campaigns.

Q4. Has the government of your home country recognised your efforts yet? If so, have they taken any steps to support you or have they ever felicitated you?

Answer:- As we all know the on-going war in the past four decades has destroyed all the social infrastructures in Afghanistan. The Afghan government is working hard to rebuild everything from scratch which is a very difficult task. The war on terrorism is just making the rebuilding process even harder. The government is aware of our hard work, but unfortunately they either can’t, or don’t want to help us. I also believe that rebuilding the country is our responsibility as its citizens. I hope that the Afghan government can do more in rebuilding the devastated education system of our country so each Afghan child have the same opportunity to go to school and seek knowledge like all other youths around the world. The reason that we emphasize education is that we know education is the best way to reach peace and rebuild the country.

Q5. Do you have any similar plans in India? Have you volunteered for any social work in India?

Answer:- I started my campaign for education in Afghanistan and would like to continue to take our commitment to our neighbouring countries and then reach kids all around the world. I would love to reach less fortunate kids in India and help them with books, school materials and building new schools. I believe that education is everybody’s human right without any discrimination against their nationality, religion, race, and gender. I have already started my book campaign in India and plan to start with donating about 500 books to the Jawahar Lal Nehru library in the next three months. I am in the process of finding a local association and work with them in offering the same services here in India. I will continue working until every last less-fortunate boy and girl holds a book and a pen and receives their right to education.

Matiullah hopes that one day every child gets his/her right to educate. The joy that he gets after seeing young boys and girls studying in schools and learning back home cannot be expressed in words. Education is the ultimate trigger to boost your thoughts, ideas and give them the wings to be execute these thoughts into reality. He also strong believes that the only way to see an end to the war in his home country is by EDUCATION.

Matiullah’s dreams will be kept alive as he goes on to pursue his higher studies.

(Devina Karnik is a trainee journalist)