Nasratullah Elham is a scholarship student in Grade 12 at UWC, (United World College) here in Phuket, Thailand. Elham, (pictured at centre above on UWC Day 2018 when he was mud painting with our nursery students)

He has been at the school since he started as a National-Committe-Selected student last year. Elham was chosen because of his commitment to global peace and sustainability.

Nasratullah has quickly become an integral part of the school community and a leader in terms of local sustainability projects.

He comes from a large, joyful, but very humble family from the town of Mihtarlam in Laghman, Afghanistan.

So what’s the story?

This past summer, with the encouragement of the UWC Service Coordinator, Elham he applied to attend the UN Youth Climate Action Summit.

For those of us that didn’t know the first-ever UN Youth Climate Action Summit is taking place in New York on September 21, 2019.

Over 7,000 global applicants applied to attend.  Nasratullah Elham received the invite.

On-Demand listen to the full story here

The Plan to help get Nasratullah Elham to the USA.

Press PLAY and listen to this students story 

Press PLAY and listen to this story 

The Problem Is?

Well it’s not cash as the United Nations are funding his flight and accomodation.

However, in order to attend, Elham needs a US visa.

Let’s recap a second, Nasratullah Elham is from where? Ah yes Afghanistan.

Better get to Bangkok and apply then.

The school paid 6,000 Thai Baht and fly him and the teacher to Bangkok to stay overnight because the appointment was at 7 am. Well it was urgent!!!

Phuket FM Radio is told that on the morning of Monday, Sept 9, the US Embassy in Bangkok rejected his non-immigrant visa application. Without stating a reason and after just two questions. This decison despite having the support of the UWC school, an invitation from the UN (see above) and a US Citizen for a chaperone.

Nasratullah Elham US Embassy rejection letter
The US Embassy letter, not sure if you noticed, but No Name and No date, really?
Now it is not the position of 91.5 FM and 102.5 FM to get into visa aplications and national politics. We are after all an entertainment channel. However, we do think this case is exceptional and warrants some airtime.

UWC are telling us: 

The mission of every United World College is to use education as a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, how can we do that if our students—our future—aren’t allowed a seat at the table because of where they were born?

It harkens back to the very reason our school’s existence, to make sure birthright and socioeconomic circumstances don’t prohibit us from hearing from young leaders with the potential to impact our planet’s peace and sustainability. 

The Plan to help get Nasratullah Elham to the USA.

Politically, it is unfortunate that US-Afghan relations are struggling at the moment, but without students like Elham being given voice, those relationships have a little less chance of improving.
 
We are told UWC intend to submit another application and hopefully this will be successful. The school website is here https://www.uwcthailand.ac.th/
 
There is a Social Media campaign to lift awreness and the links are here.

Final Thoughts.

The UWC scholarship is in place until Elham gratudates, then he is elgiable (as all our graduates are) for participation in the Shelby Davis UWC Scholarship Program. This programme provides funding for students who need it to complete a four year degree at over 90 US universities and colleges, including Stanford, Yale, Princton etc.

Phuket FM Radio will follow to story and hope to report back with good news. You may follow our social media sites for this and other good news stories.

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As a floow up unfortunately Elham didn’t get his visa but was interviewed by Democracynow.org, here’s the interview