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Women For Afghan Women-

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Once again,

Afghan Women's Fund

time to

write a progress report of our

efforts

Spring/Summer Review

it is

there

in

in

Afghanistan.

I

was

April/May of this year

and it is my privilege to tell you

2010 Kabul Province We invited shoras (women's cooperatives) from many neighboring provinces to attend a meeting and to talk about their progress, success, challenges and problems. They talked about the issues concerning marketing and helped each other by sharing their own experiences. As a result of this meeting and their solidarity and support for each other, three of our women's shoras attended a huge craft show at the prestigious Kabul Serena Hotel. Since then, they have attended other craft shows and found new markets for their products.

Mir Bacha Kot District The AWF opened four literacy classes and started a new women's shora. We donated ten sewing machines, fabric and other supplies for their products. Mir Bacha Kot now has two shoras and they are working together as well as getting support from others. The girls' high school, supported for many years by AWF, has a new nursery and kinder care for the children of the teachers and staff of the school. The nursery floor was not covered and there was no place for the children to play. We provided six pieces of carpets and school supplies for the students as well. The 7170 Rotary Club of South Central New York donated an All-Terrain Vehicle to the Mir Bacha Kot clinic. The medical staff will use the ATV to treat people living in remote areas reachable only by dirt roads. The

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what we accomplished.

hospital in Herat will also receive an ATV. We thank everyone who made these vehicles possible.

Sheikhan Clinic The clinic in the north of Kabul called Sheikhan was given supplies including 10 walkers, dental and medical supplies and painkillers. The clinic serves over 15,000 people.

Paktika Province Our meeting with the new governor of Paktika was very successful. We also met with the women's shora there. While I was visiting, the

women attended

a

craft

show and sold many of their products. Since then, they have attended a couple more shows. This shora, like many others, is in dire need of funds for their literacy and

vocational classes.

Istalif District I was optimistic for this shora and am pleased to report on their progress. They participated in a couple craft shows that we secured for them and they have already received three contracts for pottery and embroidery crafts. This shora was given a parcel of land for them to build their own center. The women will feel safe and secure and more women will come to this center to work, produce crafts and be among other women. They also intend to hold craft shows here, as Istalif is a beautiful tourist area. They are convinced that their craft shows

www.womenforafghanwomen.org

From top:

1.

Young women display their jewelry

at Serena Hotel.; 2. The doctor at the Mir Bacha Kot clinic looks over donated supplies.;

ATV donated to the Mir Bacha Kot clinic by the Rotary Club of South Central New York; 4. School girls with their books wait for Fahima 3. The

in Seyah Chob.; 5. Girls' school in Seyah Chob

village.

Spring/Summer 2010

1

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will be successful. Istalif potis

Laghman Province

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The Mandawera School in Laghman is the sister school to the Garrison Forest School in Baltimore. Our original plan was to build a brick-andmortar school for them but local Afghans and another Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) started the building so the AWF donated school supplies for all the students for one year, donated three new computers, a printer and paid a year's salary for their computer teacher. The Laghman Surk-

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From top: 6. Digging a well in Mir Taqi Shah

sponsored by Women Against War in Albany, New York.; 7. Fiberglass dome buildings being built to be used as schools.; 8. A worker in the interior of one of the dome buildings.; 9. Three finished dome buildings ready for students.

2

Spring/Summer 2010

..,... Logar Province Our Malalai School in

Maher

famous. The women here produce beautiful items with most of the works done by hand. They need funds for one or two kilns and I am trying to raise money for this project.

tery

hakan shora is also doing very well. Their products sell in the local market and they are expanding their skills of baking, cooking and beading. They need more funds for a larger shora and for supplies. We were able to form another women's shora in the Qarghayi district in the village of Transpourt. There are over 600 families in this area and most women need help. At our first meeting over 50 women showed interest in becoming part of the shora in Transpourt. Soon, over 100 women added their names to the list. We wanted to help them all so we opened four literacy classes and two sewing and craftmaking (beading) classes. Beadwork adorns dresses, pillowcases, bedspreads and many other items. In a matter of only a few weeks, some of the women received orders from a few wedding parties for their beadwork. We donated ten sewing machines, fabric, beading and craft-making equipment and school supplies for over 100 literacy class students. I would like to thank Elizabeth Roberts for her help in the initial funding of this shora. Her generosity will change and improve the lives of many Afghan women and girls.

Deh Now, built in 2008 as a middle school, has expanded to include a high school. And it continues to expand. There Ningsliar are still students who must study outdoors. Villagers decided to build two rooms, one for an office and the other for storage. We donated the construction materials and the villagers will help to build it. The construction has started. These rooms will provide two extra classrooms accommodating four classes in two shifts. For now, our problem has been resolved until we expand again. (This is a good problem to have.) We provided school supplies to the entire school, two large carpets for the office and hired a computer

teacher for the students. They are very eager to learn a new way of studying. The girls expressed an interest in solar energy for their computers. The AWF provides the fuel to run the generators for their computers but in a county with sunshine almost every day, solar energy would be very effective. It is a project the AWF will continue to review.

In Mir Taqi Shah we dug a well for irrigation and clean water with the help and sponsorship of Women Against War in Albany, New York. The AWF and villagers are most grateful to this organization. A donated generator will pump the well water. We also built three fiberglass dome buildings to use as a school. The domes measure 19 feet by 19 feet

and will accommodate 30

students. We provided school supplies for 150 girls and over 50 women. The domes will be the first girls' school of this village. The women are eager to form their own shora but for now they are coming to literacy classes. The domes will also accommodate the new shora. Last year we donated seeds to the village and this year they are proudly showing their crops of vegetables, some of which were unfamiliar to them. They loved them.

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The Sher Mohamad Khan School doing very well. We carried letters from the students at the P. B. Smith School in Warrenton, Virginia, to the Sher Mohamad Khan School. The girls were excited to receive letters from America. This school still needs security walls and we hope to raise money for them.

Herat Province The Herat Zenda Jan shora grew so large that it needed to divide into smaller ones. Although they are under the supervision of the "mother" shora, they have their own work and projects. The shoras continue to produce silk and embroidery and work at tailoring, baking, jam-making and canning. The AWF has helped them over the years to grow and slowly learn new skills and are now contracting with some other women's businesses.

is

Wardak Province We visited the very rural and undeveloped village of Seyah Chob. The villagers needed clean drinking water and water for irrigation. A generous group from Butte, Montana, is sponsoring this village and helping to raise the funds to dig the well. With their help, we hope we can bring changes to the lives of these impoverished people.

In The USA You may not always know exactly where your money and efforts go but I guarantee you that you have helped and given hope to many Afghans and without you, they would still be living in dark, in agony and in deprivation. You have provided for these less fortunate for years and this is why my phone rings all the time from Afghanistan. People want to be helped, they want to change their lives. Others have seen your generosity and they too want a better life for themselves. My goal for the next few months is to raise funds for: a kiln for the Istalif women's shora security walls for our Logar School literacy classes for the women in Asad Abad and a community well a well in Seyah Chob along with the help of our Butte, Montana, friends I will return to Afghanistan in August and will write another report when I return. Your support inspires me, gives me hope and empowers others. Many blessings to you and please continue to support me on this journey.

The village men came and asked us to help their women too. The only girls' school is located in an abandoned rented home. The students sit on the ground in a building without doors, windows or electricity. The AWF donated six carpets for the girls' school along with school supplies and blackboards. Asad Abad is another village in the province of Wardak. By mid-May, little water is available as the spring runs dry. They, like the village of Seyah Chob, also need a well. On our visit, men and some of the women of this village asked for our support, as they knew we have helped others. The women want to learn some skills and asked for literacy classes and the men were supportive. I promised I would work hard to raise money or try to find a community in the United States to sponsor them.

-Fahima

Please read more about our work at www.womenforafghanwomen.org.

Fahima Vorgetts directs the Afghan Women's Fund, which operates under the auspices of Women for Afghan Women, a 501(3) organization headquartered in New York.

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11

Photo 12

Vorgetts

Board Member, Women for Afghan Women Director, Afghan Women's Fund (fahimawaw@yahoo.corn)

Photo 13 From top. 10. The remote village of Seyah

Chob.;

O

Please visit Fahima's website, ValleyCaravan.com, to see and purchase some of the crafts Fahima has brought back. All sales benefit her projects in Afghanistan.

Photo 10

To support our projects, please send a tax-

deductible check to: WAW / AWF c/o Mary Ellen Bobb 978 Yachtsman Way, Annapolis, Maryland 21403 (maryebobb@comcast.net) AWF operates with an all-volunteer staff. Newsletter Staff: Editor: Stephanie Kalinich; Designer: Maribeth Kalinich

www.womenforafghanwomen.org

11.

Women in Seyah Chob washing

12. Carpet donated by AWF for the library in Seyah Chob.; 13. Women receive sewing machines in

clothes at the spring.;

Transpourt.

Spring/Summer Review

2010 Spring/Summer 2010

3

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Women For Afghan Women Left: Fahima

Afghan Women's Fund

distributes

Women for

AV.

books and

supplies to

Spring/Summer Review ""`"--,

2010

-.arm

students.; below: Fahima Vorgetts.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Once again,

it is

time to write a progress report of our

efforts in Afghanistan.

I

was there in April/May of this year

and it is my privilege to tell you what we accomplished.

WAW / AWF Women for Afghan Women

978 Yachtsman Way Annapolis, MD 21403 www.womenforafghanwomen.org RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

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AWF Summer 2010  
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