Afghan Women's Fund
Fahima Vorgetts reports on the fund's accomplishments from her recent trip to Afghanistan

Fahima Vorgetts, the Director of WAW's Afghan Women's Fund (AWF), has just returned from Afghanistan, where she achieved the following extraordinary successes with money she raised primarily through speaking engagements and sales of Afghan handcrafts. Fahima's efforts have enabled hundreds of women in Afghanistan, women of all ages and ethnicities, to become literate and self-supporting.

Women's Literacy and Self-Sufficiency Classes
· We opened four literacy classes in the Wardak Province. This involved paying the salaries of four teachers and also paying for school supplies. Once the students are halfway through their literacy program, we plan to open two sewing classes for them. This important skill will help them earn a living.

· We opened two literary classes in Mir Bacha Kot, which is an hour north of Kabul. Last year we gave winter clothes to about 100 widows and donated money to replant and rebuild their vineyards, which had been destroyed by the Taliban, thereby enabling them to become financially self-sufficient.

· We opened three literacy classes in Deh Dana, a remote rural area south of Kabul. We also opened a silk-flower-making class for women.

· We opened one literacy class and a sewing class in Qule Abchakan, a destitute area in Kabul, together with a sewing class for women

· We opened one literacy class in Karte Now, Kabul.

· We opened one literacy class, one sewing class and one flower-making class in Karte she, Kabul.


· We opened 8 literacy classes in Khairkana, a suburb of Kabul.

· We started the process of setting up a sponsorship program in partnership with another NGO, HAWCA (Humanitarian Assistance for Women and Children of Afghanistan), to benefit teachers and orphans. The program got off to a good start because we were able to provide one teacher‚s salary for three months.

· We shipped a 40ft. container of books, computers, winter clothes, and hospital supplies with the help of local Rotary Club to Kabul.

Altogether, there will be a total of 400 women receiving an education in our literacy classes, 40 women will be taught in our sewing class, and 40 women in our silk-flower-making classes. That‚s 480 women who are benefiting from the financial assistance that you, our friends and supporters, have made possible!

Financial Assistance for Indigent People and Villages
· We paid one month's worth of expenses for three widows and one destitute
teacher

· We dug an 80-meter well (about 240 feet) for the people of Mir Bacha Kot. This well will provide clean drinking water for over 100 families who live there. It will also water the vineyards, providing residents not only with grapes but also with a source of income.

· We attempted to dig a well in Khanabad Kunduz in North Afghanistan but were forced to discontinue after only 18 meters because the machinery of the company we hired for the job was not strong enough to break through the rocky subsurface. We will make another attempt in the fall when the company brings more powerful equipment.

· We gave 31 goats to widows residing in Istalif, a remote, beautiful village in the mountains of the north, which was destroyed by the Taliban and is impoverished. Last year, we promised them cows, but they indicated a strong preference for goats, which thrive in mountainous regions. Some of the goats were pregnant, so within a few weeks, there will be even more goats in the village! The widows will use these goats to sell milk and make cheese.

· We provided one month's worth of expenses for four destitute widows.

Altogether, between 13 and 31 widows received goats to enable them to be financially self-sufficient, while 4 more widows received outright financial aid from us. Over 100 families will benefit from the well we dug.

Click here to see Fahima's report from September 2003
Click here to see Fahima's report from February 2003

If you would like to donate to the Afghan Women's Fund, write AWF in the memo line and 100% of your donation will go to Afghanistan to fund projects like those listed above in Fahima's report.