Oklahoma mom flies to Afghanistan, rescues members of all-girls Afghan robotics team

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An Oklahoma mother of 11 children dashed to Afghanistan in early August to rescue 10 members of the country’s all-girls robotics team as the country fell to the Taliban’s control, according to a report from the New York Post.

What are the details?

Allyson Reneau, a 60-year-old Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in international relations and U.S. space policy, flew into Qatar on Aug. 9 to see if she could intercept the girls before the Taliban could get to them.

Reneau was previously in contact with the team in 2019 when she worked on Explore Mars’ board of directors, the outlet reported.

She said that she knew she needed to do something for the promising young women, who are 16 to 18 years old, before the Taliban could do their worst.

Reneau said that she first called the office of Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe to discuss a possible intervention, but the senator — who serves on the Armed Services Committee — became inundated with requests for help from American citizens in Afghanistan.

That’s when lightning struck, she said.

“I remembered my former roommate in D.C. a couple of years ago was transferred to Qatar,” she recalled. “She said she worked in the U.S. Embassy in Qatar. … She was sure her boss would approve helping the girls. … She wrote up a request and I got all of their passports together. She went back to the Embassy at midnight and worked all night to prepare the documents [and] packets for the girls.”

Reneau said that she was thrilled to help out the girls on the team.

“It’s a very narrow window of opportunity,” she said. “I knew that if I didn’t run through that door now — it’s now or never. Sometimes you only get one chance.”

The young women were able to fly out of the Kabul airport and were transported to a “secure location” in the United States, where they will pursue higher education, Reneau reported.

The outlet reports that Reneau is still working to secure safe passage to America for 25 more girls from the team.