THIMUN Qatar hosted the Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan (HELA) meet and greet session on the second day of the conference. Organised by the delegates of Afghanistan, this session included a presentation about HELA, what it stands for, its goals, and recent accomplishments. The meet and greet was attended by directors from a number of countries, and was conducted by the delegates of Afghanistan. Directors witnessed an incredible presentation that tugged at their hearts, and left quite a few teary eyes. The shockingly emotional stories that were unveiled promoted promises of support and help from many of the directors.
One of the stories that brought the directors to tears was about how, two years ago, five students from Afghanistan attended a conference, and, upon returning back to the country, established an organisation to promote THIMUN-style Model UN. Today, two of those students are here, and providing an opportunity for their own students to represent the organisation – to demonstrate what they stand for.
HELA students told of the difficulties they faced, and how they joined the organization. Recently HELA sponsored a one-committee MUN conference, and for the 16 delegate spots, over 200 young Afghans applied. The strength, courage, and determination of these students was clear to everyone who heard their stories.
Mutual collaboration between the directors from the vast number of schools, along with the different organisations that assisted Hela in achieving further goals, was the fundamental aim of this meet and greet. It’s safe to say that the goal was met. Receiving assistance for delegates from Afghanistan to attend future conferences in Qatar and to organise conferences in Afghanistan itself were other goals of the meet and greet. Many teachers expressed both admiration and a willingness to get their students involved to support the fledgling organization.
One director was moved by what the delegates had to say when asked a question about how the girls made it to THIMUN Qatar. The situation was so bad that it was difficult for the girls to even step out of their houses. A girl answered the question by saying that of course it’s difficult beyond imagination, but that they need to take risks to overcome any barriers thrown at them in order to make the changes that they want to see.