In 2011, building on its nearly 20 years of experience in India and Nepal, GoodWeave expanded to Afghanistan. The needs in Afghanistan are a natural fit for GoodWeave’s services – the carpet sector is the country’s largest legal source of employment and a third of elementary school-aged children work, including many who are sold into bonded labor, sexual exploitation and early marriage.
GoodWeave USA’s program in Afghanistan seeks to end child labor in the handmade rug industry and to provide educational opportunities to South Asia’s “carpet kids.” Their work in Afghanistan will focus on preventing child labor and trafficking in Balk Province, Afghanistan. The TKHF grant will support GoodWeave’s educational program, which will include a combination of early childhood education, rehabilitation for former child laborers, vocational education and school sponsorship for at-risk kids in Balk Province.
TKHF and our grant are featured in one of the articles in the GoodWeave Spring Newsletter.
Global Fund for Women (GFW)
Global Fund for Women’s (GFW) goal is to help advance women’s rights by making grants that support and strengthen women’s groups around the world. They mobilize and redistribute resources that enable women to develop creative solutions to local, regional and transnational challenges. They pride themselves on bringing grantees and donors together in an international network that promotes women’s action for social change, equality, peace and justice worldwide.
GFW has assigned our recent grant to their grantee, The Afghan Women’s Educational Center (AWEC). AWEC was established in 1991 by a group of educated Afghan women who rallied together to address the lack of facilities for Afghan refugees in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area.
It was the first non-profit organization to mobilize scattered refugee women in and around Islamabad. AWEC’s mission is “promoting human rights and gender equality, while working towards the abolishment of any kind of discrimination and violence against women and children, through raising awareness and advocacy, social service delivery, and capacity building, self sufficiency and sustainable development initiatives.” The group has activities in five main areas: women’s empowerment, education and capacity building, women’s rights protection and promotion, promoting democracy and peace building, and organizational development.
AWEC’s activities primarily include providing and improving education, particularly for street children; providing literacy classes, health care, counseling, legal support, and income generation opportunities for women; creating community centers; holding peace, gender, and voter awareness workshops; and supporting Afghan civil society groups. The TKHF grant will specifically help support the teachers at the AWEC support center in the 4th and 16th district of Kabul. The Support Center provides non-formal and civic education to street working children.
Trust in Education (TIE)
The first project Trust in Education (TIE) undertook was to raise funds to aid in the construction of a secular school for boys and girls in Lalander and underwrite its operating costs for a period of three years. Construction of the school is complete and it is a valued source of education for the local community.
Based on the success of its flagship effort, TIE has identified opportunities to assist Lalander with its economic development. Projects to be supported include micro-credit loans, agricultural and irrigation improvements, and other projects identified as high-impact by local leaders.
Over the years TIE has supported street children through Aschiana, funded seedling programs and a wide variety of education and empowerment programs. Most recently, TIE has worked with Jack Howell on the construction of solar ovens. Howell and TIE volunteers constructed 100 solar ovens that were shipped to Afghanistan along with 850 solar cook kits developed by Solar Cookers International last fall. Their solar program is kicking off now (they took the winter off for obvious reasons) and they have had some success in getting Afghans to adopt solar cooking. To date roughly 150 solar cook kits have been distributed, with the remainder to be distributed throughout the summer once the families have been trained. TIE determined that they would outfit an entire refugee camp with the ovens. The families that have already received training will receive a second oven and will provide training to the remaining families forming a self sufficient program. We should note that the solar project would not be possible without the generous donation of reflective coffee bags provided by Peet’s coffee in Lafayette, Pleasant Hill and Alamo (all in California). They have provided over 6,000 bags that form the reflective material for the solar cookers and reduce the materials costs to less than $4 each!
Grace Magney, an American living in Afghanistan, has worked with solar for years and was kind enough to help demonstrate TIE’s solar ovens to families living in refuge camps. They cooked a full meal and enjoyed a delicious lunch at the end of the demonstration! The other photos show additional refugee families getting solar cooking lessons at the TIE office.