There are over 800 Afghan founded and run “non-profits”. I have experience with these listed below.
. The Afghan Woman’s Educational Center, AWEC
, offers literacy classes, vocational training, a micro-credit program, and also a medical clinic/health education center. In addition they run a badly needed program for street children. AWEC operates in both Pakistan, where it was started by Afghan refugee women, and in Kabul. They couch their women’s rights program in Islam and so have been invited to speak in mosques! The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) sponsor their Peace Tour Project which arranges workshops and visits between women from different ethnic groups in various parts of the country.
Women for Afghan Women
does a lot of work with women prisoners and their children.They have established a family guidance center which includes a walk in center for anyone who has experienced a human rights violation as well as a secret shelter for women whose lives are in danger. WAW led the successful fight to save domestic violence shelters in Afghanistan after the conservative parliament declared them to be fronts for prostitution. WAW also operates a communityoutreach center for Afghan women in Queens, NY.
I also recommend Church World Service.
(Their entire staff in Kabul is Muslim!) They do not have their own projects but instead support local non-profits that meet their criteria. This support includes training, guidance, financial contributions, and accountability requirements. AWEC is one of their supported organizations. Tax deductible donations to Church World Service can be sent to PO Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Make the check to Church World Service, and if you want to support AWEC, then write “Afghanistan—AWEC” in the note place to the left of the signature.
Also, after spending time with and doing further research on RAWA
, The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan
, I also highly recommend them as deserving of your contributions. An excellent book about this organization is With All our Strength
by Anne Brodsky. She has spent more time with them interviewing and studying their organization in a scholarly way than anyone else. RAWA is very political and radical relative to Afghan society. They have some the clearest understanding of the global political situation of the women I met. I visited several of their social projects including a literacy and sewing center in Kabul as well as a school, clinic and orphanage in Pakistan. The women coming out of these programs have a sense of empowerment and political awareness not found in women helped by other agencies. They are also a loving and nurturing organization. RAWA members live very frugally and the money donated here is very well utilized. Tax deductible contributions to RAWA should be made out to The Afghan Women’s Mission, 2460 N. Lake Ave. PMB 207, Altadena, CA 91001.
The Afghan Women Writers Project
gives unfiltered voice to Afghan women who speak English. The women are paired with American English teachers, editors and writers to guide the budding authors as they tell their stories, whether through poetry, fiction or non-fiction. Donations go towards netbooks for those without computers. English speaking mentors are also needed. Your comments to the writers are like gold and let them know that they have an audience. I have interviewed several of the participants and their stories are eye-opening, heart warming, and offer a view into the world of Afghan women' experience that is seldom seen.
AIL is The Afghan Institute of Learning
. Recognized internationally, AIL is the pre-eminent Afghan women's NGO in education today. The main purposes of the Afghan Institute of Learning are to provide expanded health and educational opportunities in many different areas for all Afghans, provide health and educational assistance to the most needy Afghans, and foster self-reliance and community participation among Afghans. In some villages, when asked to choose a course, the women chose one about human rights. Because the curriculum is based on the Koran, these women were able to teach what they had learned to their families, and many commented on how much more they were respected and how much better they were treated as a result.
*There are many worthwhile aid organizations doing excellent work in Afghanistan. Those included here are ones I have personal experience with and can vouch for as using their funding well. If an organization isn't listed here, it is because I have no personal experience with its operation in Afghanistan.