Building Schools, Friendship, Hope
In 2002, Julia Bolz founded “Journey with an Afghan School.” From 2006 to 2009 AFF sponsored “Journey with an Afghan School” raising over $900,000 and partnering to build 15 Afghan Girls schools. In November 2009 “Journey with an Afghan School” moved to a new home – Ayni Education International (AEI), an international nonprofit that was directed by Julia. Ayni later transitioned to become Sahar Education. For more information about “Journey with an Afghan School” Please go to https://sahareducation.org/
During the Taliban era, girls and women were denied access to healthcare, employment, and education. Families often risked everything to protect teachers and teach girls in their home. Education and economic opportunity are key to eliminating poverty, oppression and the root causes of terrorism. Afghan leaders have consistently put education at the top of their priority list. Julia heard the plea and saw the need first hand, and has devoted her life to raising funds and building schools for the children of Afghanistan.
Julia, an international humanitarian lawyer and advocate, started serving in Afghanistan in January 2002, just months after 9/11. There, she fell in love with the Afghan people, especially the women and girls, and began a project called “Journey with an Afghan School”, with the vision to build bridges of understanding between the Afghan people and the American people by creating quality educational opportunities in Afghanistan that empowered and inspired children and their families to build peaceful, just, and life-affirming communities. Over 50,000 Americans supported “Journey with an Afghan School,” including school kids and private citizens, civic and religious institutions, National Geographic, Rotary, and community and family foundations.
Julia and her teams created a rare model of success where they built/repaired and equipped more than 40 schools that have now educated over 250,000 students. She also partnered with numerous local and international entities to develop effective and sustainable solutions, raise funds for humanitarian aid projects, distribute goods-in-kind, and provide expertise on development, legal, and human rights issues.