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Help For Afghan School Girls
The Taliban, which once banned girls and women from attending school or holding jobs, is not giving up its power and influence without a fight, and across Afghanistan, it is targeting women who dare to try to make life better for themselves and their daughters.
Its goal is plain: to terrify women back into submission and ignorance... the very ignorance that leads Afghan women to torture and sometimes kill their own daughters and daughters-in-law, the same ignorance that breeds sons filled with enough hate to join the Taliban.
Fortunately, many Afghan women are standing up and refusing to be intimidated, and they deserve the support of Western women and girls, whose hardest choice before going to school might be what to wear.
'Tis the season for charitable giving, and if you would like to help the brave women and girls of Afghanistan (and the fathers, husbands, and brothers who support them), here are some places to consider donating your money.
Hope and Frustration
A Tribute to Meena
One of the oldest organizations working to improve the lives of Afghan women is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, or RAWA.It was founded by Meena Keshwar Kamal, an outspoken advocate for democracy and women's rights, in 1977, when she was just 20 years old. Ten years later, Meena, who is often known as Martyred Meena by her followers, was assassinated by unknown forces, probably the Afghan Secret Police or the followers of the fundamentalist Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
RAWA runs schools, hospitals, and other services for women and girls in Afghanistan and among Afghan refugees in Pakistan. It is also a powerful voice for democracy and social justice in Afghanistan; however, Americans should be advised that RAWA opposes both the Taliban and other fundamentalist forces within Afghanistan and the American occupation.
The International Humanities Center has partnered with RAWA to found the Afghan Women's Mission, which provides financial support for RAWA's activities. The AGM's website includes clarification on its policy towards US occupation.
Afghan Institute of Learning
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and its American fiscal partner Creating Hope focus on empowering Afghans, especially women, through education. Founded by Sakena Yacoobi, who created a network of 80 secret homeschools for girls during the Taliban years, the AIL has not trained over 16,000 teachers (70 percent of them women), provided leadership, administrative and human rights training to 5800 Afghans (80 percent of them women), and health training to 6400 women. In addition to the state-sanctioned curriculum, the AIL provides instruction on "health, peace, democracy, leadership, and being a good citizen," and offers English, computer science, and vocational skills training, including classes on carpet weaving, embroidery, knitting, tailoring, and beauty shop management.
The AIL also operates five health clinics in Afghanistan, which also offer health education classes.
Women for Women
Women for Women International
Women for Women International is an international organization that assists women survivors of war rebuild their lives through education, job training, financial assistance, and other services. Women for Women has an active and established program in Afghanistan, and also works in Rwanda, Iraq, the Sudan, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more.
Women for Women International is rated a 4 star (out of 4) charity by Charity Navigator. If you wish to support the work of Women for Women International, you can choose to donate to the organization or directly sponsor a woman from the country of your choice.
Central Asia Institute
The Central Asia Institute, co-founded by Greg Mortenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea, supports educational programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with a special emphasis on educating girls.In addition to building schools in underserved rural areas of both countries, CAI offers educational scholarships, provides stable salaries for teachers, and provides community centers for women and public health infrastructure to combat child and maternal mortality.
CAI's Pennies for Peace program educates US schoolchildren about Central Asian cultures and involves them in fundraising efforts to support CAI's activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
More Organizations Supporting Afghan Women
- Women for Afghan Women
Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is a women's collective of Afghan and non-Afghan women from the New York area who are committed to the human rights of Afghan women.
A campaign of the Feminist Majority Foundation
- Afghanistan Women Council
The main objective of the organization is to enlighten women, improve their living conditions, and strengthen their socio-economic status in society by their multi-lateral involvement in developmental activities.
- Afghan Women Skills Development Center
AWSDC is a non profit NGO providing education, shelter, and scholarships to Afghan women.
More Aid For Women
- Investing in Women for a Better World
Around the world, more and more organizations have begun to recognize that women are not only more likely than men to suffer the effects of extreme poverty, they are also the key to ending it.
- Best Value Places To Donate Money
Philanthropy with leverage is what we're after!