TKHF’s Featured Fundraiser

We are delighted to include a new section that will appear periodically throughout the year.  We will feature fundraisers, those tireless volunteers who have sacrificed their time and energy to hold fundraisers on our behalf.  We are eternally grateful for our volunteers and fundraisers.  If you are interested in fundraising for TKHF please contact us at

Maryam Razmpoosh of Montreal, Canada held a fundraiser for TKHF where her friends were invited to enjoy an evening of dinner, games and dancing in honor of her birthday. In lieu of gifts she requested donations to TKHF.  In her invitation to her friends she included information on the foundation, her personal feelings about the plight of Afghans and the need to help them.  Her goal was to raise enough money for one shelter and through the generosity of everyone involved they were able to accomplish it!  We would also like to extend our appreciation to Maryam’s friends who made this possible: (in alphabetical order) Abdoul, Alain, Amelie, Amir Hossein, Amir Sam, Annahita, Bahram, David, Fariba, Farnaz, Francis, George, Hossein, Ilana, Jeannine, Lisa, Mahmoud, Malika, Manijeh, Maryam, Mehrdad, Mehdi, Mike, Mohammad, Nahid, Nicholas, Nidia, Nouzha, Reina, Robert, Sacha, Sonia, Sophia, Tahereh, Ted, Yasamin, Yassaman  and Youssef.

If you have held a fundraiser for TKHF and would like to share your story we would love to hear it, please contact us at

Our supporters are making a difference in the lives of women and children in Afghanistan.



© UNHCR / R. Arnold



Khaled’s Corner

Books and Movies

I am frequently asked what I am reading and watching.  See below for books I am reading currently and enjoying tremendously as well as some recommended movies.

Recommended Films:

Mother of Mine: A moving Swedish film about a boy who is adopted by a farmer and his wife during World War II.  The actress who plays the farmer’s wife is a revelation.  Bring your handkerchief to this one.

Killer Instinct and Public Enemy Number One:   These are two French films that together tell the story of the French bank robber Jacque Mesrine, who is played with tremendous charisma by Vincent Cassel.  I remember when Mesrine was killed in Paris in 1979.  He had a Robin Hood type of reputation.  The films are great, and at the center of them is a towering performance by Cassel.

A Separation: The Iranian film that won this year’s foreign film oscar.  And deservedly so.  The film, about the fallout of a couple’s decision to separate, achieves something rarely seen in films today: it gets you to care equally about all the characters and to view the events through each of their stances.  A morally ambiguous tale that will stay with you.

I’ve Loved You So Long: A French film starring the amazing Kristen Scott Thomas, who is British but is fluent in French, and in my view, even a better actress in French.  This one is heartbreaking, about a woman released from prison, trying to start a new life and keep her troubled past secret.  She is terrific in this one.

Queen to Play: another French film, this one with the great Sandrine Bonnaire as a maid who discovers an innate ability to play chess.  Also stars Kevin Kline, who is quite good in French.  The film is about chess, yes, but also about class, money, and the human need for companionship.

Recommended reads:

Aerogrammes, by Tania James:  One of the best short story collections I have read in years.  The stories are funny, tender, and always full of humanity.  The first three stories are knockouts.

A Good Fall, another terrific short story collection, this one by Ha Jin, the author of Waiting.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli, by Andrew Sean Greer: This is not a new book, but it’s lovely and moving, about a man who ages backward –born old, becomes younger and younger.  It has the same conceit as the Brad Pitt film, but is far more effective and emotionally rewarding.  The final few pages are so beautiful.

Recommended bands:

Sigh No More, by Mumford and Sons; Folk music with a rich, pounding sound.  The songs, many of them about disappointment, self-discovery, start softly and build thrillingly to a full chorus made of guitars, banjos, violins, drums. My favorite new band.

Recommended downloads:

My Mom, by Chocolate Genius:  A devastating song about a man who has come home to visit his dementia-stricken mother.  See if you can stay dry-eyed through this one.

Khaled speaks at UNHCR World Refugee Day events

Each year on June 20th the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day (WRD).

WRD was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. 1

This year, as part of his talk with the UN press core, Khaled spoke about the refugee issues and importance of WRD in his own life.  Read what Khaled said about refugees and his own personal connection with WRDSee Khaled’s video for the UNHCR’s 2012 WRD campaignSee Khaled’s interview with BBC’s Jane O’Brien.

1 –  UNHCR site

Upcoming Events with Khaled

Khaled will be a featured speaker as part of the Harker School’s speaker series in San Jose, California on November 30th at 7:30 pm.  Khaled will speak about his foundation in an event that will be moderated by emmy award winner, Cheryl Jennings from KGO Channel 7 ABC news.  Tickets are available now both for the event as well as a private reception with Khaled.


Our Grantees


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.

Photo by Beth Huber, courtesy of GoodWeave USA © GoodWeave

© GoodWeave USA

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.








SOS Schools Soar – Notre Dame Marist Academy Raises Funds for Shelters, Saving Families in Afghanistan!

Notre Dame Marist Academy (NDMA), an International Baccalaureate school located in Waterford, Michigan, raised $3,250 for the SOS program.  Through the amazing efforts of the children, their educators and a wonderful and very generous matching donation from an anonymous NDMA family member, NDMA was able to save families from the harsh and unforgiving elements in Afghanistan.  Now two families will no longer have to fear they will lose their oldest or youngest members to the unbearable heat or frigid cold.  We were so inspired by their work we wanted to share their story. We hope you find it as inspiring and heart warming as we do.

On Setember 21st, International Day of Peace or World Peace Day, NDMA kicked off their year-long SOS service leaning program with an inspirational assembly where they first learned about Khaled, why he wrote his novels and the current situation in Afghanistan with regards to refugee homelessness.  Students made class kites, but also worked on individual kites where they completed the quote, “ I will create peace in the world by….”.  They completed the thought with their own commitment and then hung their individual kites to create a mural.  Their theme of peace and taking action by caring for others was repeated at a second assembly that marked the official launch of their SOS fundraisers.  During the assembly, audience members viewed photographs of Afghan children and their current living conditions.  Photographs of Afghan women and children living in tents, structures made of cardboard and damaged homes struck a chord with many of the students.  Students were then told if they were able to raise $2,000* as a school, they could provide an Afghan family with a new home.

Each grade was asked to create a fundraiser for the SOS program.  A thermometer was displayed so that students could watch their progress in terms of the dollars raised for the SOS program.  All of the students demonstrated leadership and selflessness by rising to the challenge of funding a shelter for a homeless Afghan family.  The fundraisers the students devised by grade are listed below.

  • JK- Lollipop sale (end-of-year)
  • K- Lemonade and hot-chocolate stand (winter and spring)
  • 1st- Candy Grams each month
  • 2nd- Christmas cards and gift tags
  • 3rd- Photo Booth- around Valentine’s Day
  • 4th- Movie Night at Marist with concessions
  • 5th- Cookie Sale

Please join us in once again congratulating and thanking the students, staff and parents who worked so hard and made these events so successful!  We at TKHF are so very grateful for everything you have done!

A very special thank you to Ms. Emily Giacona for spearheading the SOS Program at Notre Dame Marist Academy!   Ms. Giacona kept the students motivated and shared their progress in a monthly journal with fabulous pictures and wonderful news.

Ms. Giacona, the students and everyone involved at NDMA were instrumental in making a difference in the lives of families halfway around the world.  Through their efforts, their ability to translate caring into action, families will be saved from the harsh elements and unthinkable sacrifices that are sometimes made when living without suitable shelter in Afghanistan.  We hope they recognize the difference they have made, as we certainly do.

*At the time of the assembly the cost of the shelter was $1,500, due to fluctuating materials costs and foreign exchange rates the cost of a shelter is now $2,000.


© Notre Dame Marist Academy

© Notre Dame Marist Academy

© Notre Dame Marist Academy

© Notre Dame Marist Academy

© Notre Dame Marist Academy