Afghan Women's Fund
Report: Spring/Summer 2006
I apologize for not sending a Spring report earlier, but I was waiting for some details from Afghanistan so that I could send accurate information. Before I started to write the report, I made another trip, so here I am sending both the reports together. If anyone wants pictures, please let me know.
•After several weeks of legal work and negotiations with the Ministry of Education, we surveyed a site for the new girls’ school, found an engineer, and signed a contract. This school will have 20 classrooms, 10 bathrooms, and a modern layout for 1200 girls.
•We visited the women’s shura (union) that we formed and discussed their needs.
•We visited the women’s shelter and arranged therapy for all the women.
•We helped a local newspaper run by handicapped women by providing memory sticks so they do not have to take their laptops to the publisher.
•We helped pay for the medical bills of a woman who was gang-raped.
•We helped start a Rotary club in Logar, which includes several women members. The president, Nurzia Charkhi, is an activist. With the help of the Rotary club, we surveyed the village and found 16 orphans to sponsor.
•We visited several girls’ schools to find sponsor schools for them in the USA. Without a school building the girls must spend their days studying in the open fields, no matter how bad the weather. We gave them school supplies and carpets so they will not have to sit on the dirt.
•We gave $6000 to an AWN Kabul project to establish 4 literacy classes through a women’s committee center and youth group center. The money would cover the teachers’ salaries, fuel for the classes, stationary, heaters, carpets, fare from Kabul to Bamyan and back, and more.
•In the districts of Mir Bacha Kot, Saray, Farza, and Kamari, we opened a total of 11 women’s literacy classes with 20-25 people in each class. We also gave school supplies to the school in those areas.
•We sent 2 villagers from Mir Bacha Kot to English and computer classes. We are trying to find them computers so they can teach other villagers to speak English and use computers.
•We paved an alley and installed drainage for villagers in Saray so that they can walk around their neighborhood easily, especially in winter and during the rainy season. The alley serves 400 homes.
•We dug a well at a school in Farza that provides clean drinking water to 3000 students and 78 homes and irrigation for the surrounding community.
•We took 8 orphans from Kabul into a program that will provide for their monthly living expenses.
•I visited the site of the girls’ school in Salihabad with Dr. Anne Brodsky, who has been a strong supporter of WAW. The foundation had been laid and workers were busy trying to finish the school.
•However, a serious problem developed. When the neighboring villages of Neysan heard about the school, they threatened to disrupt construction if their village did not also get a school. The school in Salihabad is within walking distance of Neysan, but a river runs between the villages and there is no bridge. After negotiating with both villages and the Ministry of Education, we decided to also build an 8-room school in Neysan. Although both villages have agreed to donate supplies and workers to the construction process, we will need an additional $105,000 to finish both schools.
•The girls of the Salihabad school were grateful for the school and brought gifts and letters for the Ellis School in Pittsburgh, which is their sister school.
•We gave 2 suitcases of medical supplies and medicines to a local clinic.
•We gave 5 film cameras and 1 video camera, donated by Tom Ritter, to the women’s shora (union), so they can learn photography.
•We continue to support the 16 orphans.
•We dug a well in Logar for clean drinking water and irrigation that will serve over 500 families.
•With the help of the Rotary Clubs of Annapolis and Bladensburg, we dug 2 wells for clean drinking water and irrigation that will serve 700 families. One of the conditions of these wells is that the farmers stop growing poppy.
•Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Maryland helped us to buy school supplies for the Mandawar Girls’ School.
•We helped form a Rotary Club.
•We dug 2 wells in the villages of Surkhakan and Sangar for over 500 families for clean drinking water and irrigation with the help of CREST Malaysia.
•We started 9 literacy classes in Kabul and 1 jewelry class in Mir Bacha Kot.
•We gave school supplies to a school and medical supplies to a clinic in Mir Bacha Kot.
•We brought gifts and cash from Xhevrije Shela and Batya Yasgur, friends in America, to Gulsoma, a battered orphan who was featured in the media few months ago.
•We sent a 40-foot shipping container filled with generators, computers, warm clothes, and medical supplies back in November and have had a lot of trouble getting it to Kabul. We have received word that it is on its way. The generators will provide 7 villages with around 400 homes each with electricity.
Without your support over the years, I could not have done the work that must be done to give a better life to the women and children of Afghanistan. Thank you also for you trust in me. It inspires me to continue my mission.
For more information, please visit the website for Women for Afghan Women: http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org.
If you want to help, one or more of our projects please make a check to:
978 Yachtsman Way
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Board Member, Women for Afghan Women
Director, Afghan Women’s Fund