October 1, 2003 - Walla Walla Union Bulletin: RPCV Cheryl Ray is the director ofa scholarship program to bring Afghan graduates to the United States

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Afghanistan: Peace Corps Afghanistan: The Peace Corps In Afghanistan: October 1, 2003 - Walla Walla Union Bulletin: RPCV Cheryl Ray is the director ofa scholarship program to bring Afghan graduates to the United States

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 12:17 am: Edit Post

RPCV Cheryl Ray is the director ofa scholarship program to bring Afghan graduates to the United States

RPCV Cheryl Ray is the director ofa scholarship program to bring Afghan graduates to the United States

Despite dangers, woman heads back to Afganistan
Walla Wallan Cheryl Ray is the director ofa scholarship program to bring Afghan graduates to the United States.

By Kathleen Obenland of the Union-Bulletin

Driving from Pakistan into Afghanistan with armed guards to ensure that she reached Kabul alive, Cheryl Ray wondered what she was doing.

In the year and a half she has worked in Afghanistan since then, the question has returned frequently for the Walla Walla woman. But she knows the answer.

``Never in my life will I have this opportunity - knowing that if I work really hard and I get this figured out, I can affect the lives of millions of women,' Ray said during a recent trip home to check on her house, visit friends and reassure relatives.

Ray has had a long love affair with Afghanistan.

Ray served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1971 to 1972, and liked the country so much she stayed on as a businesswoman dealing in carpets and antiques until the Soviet invasion in 1979.

In 2001, long after Ray moved to Walla Walla, a friend from the old days called, asking for a favor. Mary MacMakin, the director of Parsa, a non-governmental humanitarian organization in Afghanistan, had been kicked out of the country by the Taliban. She asked Ray to go back in to check on the organization's programs.

Ray spent a week there and was nearly jailed before fleeing the country on the eve of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But a few months later, she was on her way back to Afghanistan to work for Parsa. She also joined the staff of Sima Samar, the Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs.

While on Samar's staff, she was sent to Washington D.C., to lobby Congress, and obtained a pledge for $2.5 million to create women's development centers in Afghanistan. Fourteen of those centers are now open.

``There are millions of widows because of the war,' she said. ``That has created a crisis for families trying to take care of them, but it also creates an opportunity for them to be allowed to do something on their own.'

The centers deal with nearly everything ranging from teaching business and job skills to providing vaccinations.

Ray now is the director for the Fulbright Scholarship program in Afghanistan, which is processing 40 scholarships to bring Afghan graduates to the United States. She also is a consult-
ant for some American companies now operating in Kabul, including Land O' Lakes.

``Reconstruction is big business,' she said.

Money is rolling into the country for reconstruction from the United States, non-governmental organizations and businesses, but the Iraq war has taken its toll, she said.

``It devastated things politically,' she said. ``Americans have to start to understand when we do something in that part of the world, everything is linked.'

Many people in the Middle East believe that the United States is a pariah bent on colonization, and see the Iraq war as further proof of that, she said. It as given the Taliban political fuel to regroup and recruit in the religious schools.

It has changed a great deal since her visit in 2001, when the people seemed mired in despair.

``There was no work, no hope, no future,' she said. ``It was the most hopeless thing I'd ever experienced.'

So much reconstruction is happening in Kabul that streets are crowded by piles of brick and other materials. Some women are slowly entering the workplace. Families who fled to Pakistan are returning.

``They have hope,' Ray said.

Ray said she will probably remain in Kabul for at least a few more years.

``It's really fascinating,' she said. ``It's so engrossing. The work is really exciting in that it matters so much.'

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Story Source: Walla Walla Union Bulletin

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Service; COS - Afghanistan; Scholarship Programs



By Khetab Habibi ( on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 - 3:13 am: Edit Post

I am Khetab Habibi, a boy from Afghanistan and now I live in Kabul Afghanistan.
I am 18 years old and I am graduate of Amani high school at Kabul.
I am very intelligent student and I like studying very much.
I just demand from you if there is any scholarship for Afghanistan students please inform me.
I am ready for any kind of exmas and I am sure 100% I can pass any kind of exams.
as there is no best place for studying in our country, there for, I want to study in some where else and I want higher education.
I want to pass my life just and just in higher education and I am a diffrent human from the others. please.. just once give me a chance then you will see!!!
ok any way I wish to receive a positve answer from and and have a good time,, bye bye!!

By aziz (host-84-11-5-140.customer.teleport-iabg.de - on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 7:43 am: Edit Post

by Aziz ul haq
hello dear sir . i realy apprcieat ur job on peace corps in such a condition that no one try to do it except ur organization.
dear sir iam a graduated student from kabul afghanistan. now i dont have chance of studying in afghanistan if there is any chance for me to have a scholarship from ur organization

By s_samim_samim ( on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 8:22 am: Edit Post

hi sir
i am sayed samim and now in kabul. i have got gold medal in biology national olympiads in afghanistan between 1200 students and i have also joined IBO 2005 (international biology olympiads) in beijing and now i am going to join IBO 2006 in Argentine. I am also trainer for IBO team and i have marked A+ in all my exams. i know Dari,Pashtu,Urdo,English and Turkish.
as you know that Afghanistan the condition is bad for studing so i wish you could help me in having scholorship to study abroad for university .

By osnieh mohammadi ( on Friday, July 20, 2007 - 9:44 pm: Edit Post

dear sir/madame
i'm an afghan girl who would like to continue her studies in field of genetics but i don't know how i can achieve it.i already have bachelor degree in midwifery.tel meif there is possible approach for me.

By Anonymous (host-84-11-26-130.customer.teleport-iabg.de - on Thursday, August 02, 2007 - 12:41 am: Edit Post

Hi my freind
my name is mohammad hasan
I'm a student in herat university in science facultay of herat univeersity. and i'm in third year. Ihad marked in these 3 years A. i know english but not very good. and now i have first grade in my class. i also had atrip to germany for 22 days by daad.
so what do i want?
i hoopesome one could help me for a scholarship.

By Anonymous ( on Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 3:50 am: Edit Post

Hello sir

I am so much in need of scholarship to continue my higher education abroad. I can't afford to cover the expenses by myself and on the other hand the situation in afghanistan is getting worse and worse day by day. There is political instability and no quility teaching in the universities due to lack of resources including human resource, financial resources and teaching aids etc. Kindly email me back at (afghan_image@yahoo.com) if you can provide me with scholarship opportunity to continue my higher education. ,,,,,,, Thank you and looking forward to hearing back from you.

By mustafa (3-152.io-global.com - on Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 12:35 am: Edit Post

TO whom it may concern!
I, Mohammad.Mustafa "kamal" completed faculty of languages and literature at Kabul University in 2006,in fact I received my BA degree and now i want continue my higher education. I respectfully suggest to provide a full funded scholarship to me.I would be really delighted.,,,,,,,,I look forward to hearing from soon.
E.mail-ID mustafa_kamal_2007@yahoo.com

By obaid ( on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 10:21 am: Edit Post

Dear Sir,
Due to high respect my name is obaidullah from khost Afghanistan, I m a student of BBA(hons) in International islamic universit Islamabad (Pakistan).as it is my last year i want to continue my study. As an Afghan student my financial status is very low and i cant maintain my study. As afghanistan is passing through very bad situation i want to get high education from abroad that i will participate in the reconstruction of our country and can able to play my role as a teacher to bright the future of next generation of Afghanistan, So please kindly dear sir grante me any Scholership in the feild of business Admanistration for master Degree I will be very thankfull to You sir.

By hamiduddin ( on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 3:21 pm: Edit Post

I am hamiduddin I want to study in united state, canada,london etc i graduated from 12 class
plz help me my economicis is very weeek
my phone is 0093-798500935

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