EL CAJON, Calif – On Aug. 15, 2021, the world watched while the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan and the country fell back under Taliban rule – thousands desperate to get out descended on the Kabul airport trying to get aboard the last remaining airplanes.
“Only immediate family is able to come so a lot of brothers and sisters, parents are still in Afghanistan with dire circumstances,” said Dr. David Miyashiro, the superintendent of the Cajon Valley School District.
Many of his students and their families were in Afghanistan when the withdrawal and collapse occurred, and some were stuck for days and weeks, trying to flee.
Dr. Miyashiro and his team worked tirelessly at the time to get everyone one of them home. In September, school officials made their final trip to the airport.
“It was such a happy moment to have all of our students back. It was just the very beginning of what’s been hard on everybody especially those that are still in Afghanistan,” Miyashiro told FOX 5’s Misha DiBono.
The Cajon Valley School District employs many Afghan nationals who, according to Miyashiro, send most of their earnings back to Afghanistan to help keep their loved ones alive as situations in the Middle East.
“Most, if not all of them, are former operatives of the U.S. government or the U.S. embassy, working on special immigrant visas. These are people that have served our country living over there and we are in constant communication with the families that are there,” said Miyashiro.
The superintendent says that those still in Afghanistan tell him that under Taliban rule, people are desperate for basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. In September, the United Nations reported that 97% of Afghans could be below the poverty line this year.
“Dire human living circumstances,” said the superintendent. “Girls are no longer able to go to school in Afghanistan after fifth grade.”
Those lucky enough to have made it to the United States have access to housing, resources, and jobs. Their children are happy and thriving in school. A world apart from those left behind.
“It’s the heartbreak of the family they’re still communicating with, they don’t have the ability to leave. They’re sending all the money they can, all their resources home so that their families have basic survival,” said