Sher Mohammed looking out his Bloomington apartment window

Through our Afghan Women’s English Language Learners (AWELL) program, we built a friendship with Sher Mohammad, his wife Nilofar, and their family.

Sher Mohammad and his 13-year-old daughter were in Afghanistan visiting family during the takeover of the Taliban in August of 2021.

5-year-old Maryam and Molly, an Afghan Women’s English tutor

His green card helped them escape, but his family hardly felt relief. Their concern for their loved ones back home, and their angst over the future of their homeland are an ever-present worry.

Molly, an AWELL tutor has been in friendship with Nilofar for two years, and spent much of those late-summer days pushing aside their English lessons, and offering a comforting presence to the family.

“I cry when I think of all they have sacrificed to be in America. It’s really important that we welcome them,” said Molly.


I cry when I think of all they have sacrificed to be in America. It’s really important that we welcome them.


This sentiment causes Nilofar to cry and Molly consoles her.

Molly tutors three Afghan women in their Bloomington apartments

“I look forward to when Molly comes. I am happy I can learn English from my teachers, they are my friends,” said Nilofar.

Molly and her co-tutor Flo have gotten to know a community of Afghan families who all live in the same Bloomington apartment complex, and now tutor three Afghan women in their apartments.


I am happy I can learn English from my teachers, they are my friends.


“They are very dear, kind, wonderful families. They’ve opened their homes, they’ve prayed for us. They have welcomed us as well,” said Molly.

Sher Mohammed said, “My family is happy that the teachers are helping my wife a lot.”