They met at least 100 Americans as part of the Bpeace program when they apprenticed in the U.S. in 2011 in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Professional Fellows Program
Bpeace CEO Toni Maloney's letter to the graduating Afghan Fast Runners:
"My last trip to Afghanistan was in May 2010 when I met you all for the first time in Mazar-i-Sharif. Since 2004, I had never been anywhere in Afghanistan except Kabul. We arrived in Mazar on a Friday and it was so beautiful and quiet. As we walked onto the grounds of the Blue Mosque, we were so happy to be in an Afghan city with such promise.
"I knew from the very beginning that you were stars.
"Tahera, you were good enough to host us at Balk BDS. I will always love the story you shared with us of how you inspired all the women in your family to try and work outside their homes.
"Rassoul, you represented the first time we accepted an employee of one of our Fast Runners. Mobina believed in you as you helped launch a second radio station.
"Zarguna, you brought everyone to your salon, and you transformed Soraya into a Bollywood queen. Everyone recognized your talent. At Bumble & bumble in New York, your trainer Sarah still asks for you. Today, you have grown from nine female employees to 65. We have been a witness to you opening multiple beauty salons, writing Afghanistan's first beauty book, and launching a women-only fitness center as well!
"Azimi, you were our first Fast Runner in technology. A pioneer for Afghanistan and for Bpeace. By advising you, we learned all the problems Afghans have with business partnerships, and as a result we wrote a Partnership Growth Guide and partnership agreement template to share with other Afghans. When you visited the U.S., everyone was so impressed with your professionalism.
Zabi flies high as our most successful Fast Runner.
"Zabi, you showed us how fast you could take a few small pieces of new knowledge, and grow your construction business and many new jobs. And you made us smile, whether on Jake Lindsay's golf cart when you apprenticed at CCI Construction, or boxing at Mendoza gym.
"Zabi, you grew the number of your employees nearly sixfold. Back in 2010 you had only 17 employees, today you have 96! You've constructed schools, justice clinics, security stations and so much more.
"All of you represent the business talent that is the best hope for Afghanistan to grow and create a brighter future for your families and your children.
"We spent a lot of time together. First in Mazar, then in the U.S, and then in Dubai because the security situation made it too unsafe for Bpeacers to come to visit you in Afghanistan.
"I hope our journey together, especially with the U.S. Host Companies, and the Bpeace members and volunteers, has shown you the strong belief the American people have that Afghanistan can succeed.
"Our Chief Program Officer Marla Gitterman and Balki from 3D Consulting in Mazar, work very closely to bring you the best advice possible. Marla is your champion, your biggest fan, the most important person at Bpeace who insures you receive the highest quality services it is possible for us to offer.
"We are all so very proud of you. This is not goodbye, because we believe once a Bpeace Fast Runner, always a Bpeace Fast Runner. Today is just a milestone to recognize how hard you have worked and how much ground we have covered together.
"I hope we can embrace one day again in person. You have touched our hearts and have made many memories.
"May God watch over you and your families."
Bpeace Co-founder and CEO