There may be no force more powerful than the maternal instinct. So when the Taliban extremists took Afghanistan again, an Oklahoma mother who had come to think of some talented Afghan girls as foster daughters moved heaven and earth to help them get to safety.
Harvard graduate Allyson Reneau has 11 children of her own, but there was still plenty of room in her heart for members of the Afghanistan female robotics team, also known as “the Afghan dreamers.”
Reneau and the united group came together in 2019 when they met at a Humans to Mars summit based in Washington DC. (Having nine biological daughters probably helped.)
In the weeks leading up to the recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Reneau became increasingly concerned about the well-being of girls. Unable to shake the fear that the Dreamers were in imminent danger, Reneau was frustrated by the lack of cooperation in his home country of the United States to ensure their safety.
Rather than wait, he decided to head to the sanctuary country of Qatar, hoping to use the connections he had there to help speed up a rescue. In conjunction with the parent organization Dreamers Digital Citizen Fund (DCF), and the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Reneau was able to pull some strings and get the exit process in motion.
Soon enough, 10 members of the robotics team between the ages of 16 and 18 were boarded on a commercial flight. (Some team members and the girls’ families have not yet left Kabul. Efforts are underway to secure their relocation).
After hearing from the girls to tell them that they had left Kabul, Reneau was overwhelmed with excitement.
“I got a text message from one of the girls saying, ‘We did it.’ All the excitement of two weeks of work and constantly bumping into a wall, burying your feelings and putting up with your feelings for girls, hit me at once, “Reneau said. Business Insider.
Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, a DCF board member, says that while it took the combined efforts of various entities to secure the girls’ release, she attributes her own determination and self-determination as a key factor in the successful outcome.
“In the end, the girls ‘rescued’ themselves,” Brown told NBC News. “If it weren’t for their hard work and courage to pursue an education, which put them in touch with the world, they would still be trapped. We need to continue supporting them and others like them ”.
Since their arrival in Qatar, the girls have received numerous scholarships from several prestigious universities in the United States, and Reneau is confident that they will make the most of those opportunities.
“For the first time in their life, I truly believe that they have the freedom to choose and be the architects of their own destiny and their own future,” Reneau told Insider. “For me it is a liberating feeling to know that they can go somewhere and educate themselves wherever they want.”
And isn’t that what every loving mother wants for her children?
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