What's the best message to send to the Afghan girls' robotics team?
July 10, 2017 8:19 AM   Subscribe

The U.S. denied an Afghan girls' team a visa to participate in a global robotics competition. I think that Afghan girls being interested in science and development is exactly the sort of thing we should encourage, and I want to send the team a letter to let them know there are Americans who support them. Maybe include a good book on robotics or engineering in the package. What's the best way to show my support?

The basic story is here, and there are more details here. The competition is in Washington, D.C. this They had to travel across the country twice just to send their visa applications, and they had to overcome countless obstacles including convincing their very traditional families to permit these girls to travel to America. But in the end, it was America that stopped them.

This is the team's page on the First competition's Web site.

The Afghan team was able to enter the competition with the help of a nonprofit called the Digital Citizens Fund. This is their contact page, although I can't get the infoboxes for sending a message to work.

This is the first year for the competition, and there's about 160 countries competing. The only other nation denied a visa was Gambia, and I haven't found how to contact their team yet.
posted by Jacob Knitig to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'd contact the Afghan consulate nearest you as a starting point.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:37 AM on July 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

The first thing that popped into my head was Malala Yousafzai (you probably remember her as the Pakistani girl attacked by the Taliban) and her Malala fund. I've seen a lot of people call on her to take up the robotics team's cause. You can contact Malala through the fund, or directly on Twitter.
posted by rada at 10:04 AM on July 10, 2017

Have you tried emailing Digital Citizen Fund or contacting them via their Facebook page or Twitter account?

The NGO might not have a lot of capacity to send on a book to the team for you but I am sure a donation to would be most appreciated. There's a donation page on the website.

If you wanted your personal contribution to have a multiplier effect you could organise a small fundraiser for the NGO in your network/community. That would a) raise more money and b) raise awareness. They say $500 would help them buy a computer. That might be a nice achievable goal for a sponsored run or a yard sale.
posted by bimbam at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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