Utah Teacher Says Family Of Former Student Stuck In Afghanistan
Aug 17, 2021, 7:57 AM
(Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)
DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — A Utah woman says the mother of a former student reached out to her for help, saying she and her four children are stuck in Afghanistan.
Grade school teacher Kassy Stevens said the texts started coming in on WhatsApp Monday morning.
“Hello, Mrs. Stevens, I hope you are doing well (and) you are healthy along with your family” the first message began. “As you may be aware of the inconvenient situation in Afghanistan, which has made us worry a lot, and I’m stuck here with my family due to no further flights back home. I was wondering if you could help me with the extraction of me and my kids and my family.”
Stevens said she was beside herself.
She had read the headlines and reports and had seen videos on social media documenting the Taliban takeover and she suddenly had a familiar connection to the events.
“It’s just sad,” she said. “It just hit home.”
Stevens declined to name the family citing safety and privacy concerns, but she said the woman, a Utah resident, had apparently been visiting the country with her four children, ages 9, 8, 7 and 4.
The teacher said she passed along the information to the U.S. government, as requested, but was told the woman must simply fill out an online form and wait for instructions.
“What I also found out is it’s $2,000 or more per person to get out of there,” Stevens said. “Who is to say how long they’re going to have internet or cell phone service while they’re there?”
Stevens hoped she could make a difference by making the contact and the family’s situation public in hopes that the right people will see and learn about it.
Her husband, Michael Stevens, also said he had started a fund through his nonprofit, John 1:8 Ministries, and an account at America First Credit Union in an attempt to supply financial aid to people like the woman who reached out to his wife.
“These are people from the U.S. and we need to rescue them,” he said.
Ultimately, however, the couple hoped the family that had reached them would find their way safely out of Afghanistan.
“Hopefully anybody higher up will hear our story and her story and that it will be more of a reality that we can get them home safely,” Kassy Stevens said.