Get the all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan to the U.S. for their competition!
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It is unacceptable that six teenage girls from Afghanistan who had planned to come to the U.S. to compete in the First Global Challenge robotics competition this month, have been forced to cancel their plans after they were denied visas to enter the country. Forbes reports that the girls braved the 500 mile trek to Kabul from their homes for their visa interviews not once, but twice, in the hopes that their visa petitions would be approved, only to be denied.
The girls are now finishing their ball-sorting robot that will now travel to the U.S. without them to compete against 163 other machines from around the globe. Originally their raw materials were held up in customs for months this spring, amid fears over ISIS' use of robots on the battlefield.
They didn't give up, they designed their own homemade motorized robotic machines while they waited for customs to clear their parts. Just three weeks ago, those supplies cleared customs, and the team finally started working on their official FIRST robot, with remote programming help from a few robotics grad students at Carnegie Mellon.
“We want to show the world we can do it, we just need a chance.” Fatemah, 14
The U.S. State Department must allow these girls to come to the U.S. and compete with their robot. We must show that we value girls and women and female entrepreneurship, empowerment and innovation. Please help get the all-girl Afghanistan robotics team to the U.S. for their competition by not only signing this petition but contacting your Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators from your state.
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