We are delighted to introduce you to the second ever class of students at the daycare center you so generously support! We just received the adorable full roster and thanks to you, 36 boys and girls ages 2 to 6 are now getting a hot daily meal, basic lessons and structured playtime. The curriculum includes Math and Dari in the morning and dance and sports in the afternoon.
The community continues to embrace the Center, coming together recently to celebrate the "graduation" of the first class -- almost all of whom have gone on to the next level of schooling. This is precisely the point of the Center – to give vulnerable children an educational foundation and to give their mothers time to concentrate on their handiwork, earning more income to be reinvested in their family.
Abida, one of the teachers, is delighted by the change she sees in the kids. "When they came here first, they couldn’t even talk. They were very shy. They didn’t want to see or talk to anyone. They didn’t know how to sit or how to eat. But now read poems in front of everybody."
Thank you for helping us welcome the new class and we look forward to sharing more pictures and anecdotes during the coming year.
Five-year-old Sharifa is one of the 30 children who is directly supported by the daycare you helped bring to Balkh, Afghanistan last summer. Sharifa, whose name means "honored", is the only child of her laborer father and carpet weaver mother. If not for the daycare, she would likely be at home all day and given hashish as a sedative so her Mom could be productive on her loom.
This practice, while tragic, is all too common in Afghan weaving villages. According to the recently published article linked to this report: “The most important material in carpet making in Qalizal [Afghan village] is not wool, but hashish.” This is why building a daycare center in an area known as the ‘Burgh of the Weavers' was critical.
We recently spoke to the parents of students in the daycare to see how their kids' behavior and learning has progressed and the broader impact the center has had on the entire family. Sharifa's parents proudly shared that she has learned to eat food with her right hand, is incredibly polite, and is very interested in her lessons. And apparently, she takes really good care of the notebook, pen and school cloths that your donation helped provide.
Sharifa is one girl and this is one daycare, but we hope you know the true power of this program. Just a couple weeks ago, on October 11, we observed the International Day of the Girl. This day is gaining in popularity because of Malala Yousafzai, the inspiring Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education. You are part of this growing movement and helping us reach into these remote villages where girls like Sharifa would otherwise have no access or opportunity to learn.
On behalf of Sharifa -- thank you and happy belated International Day of the Girl.
Thank you so much for all your GlobalGiving support to GoodWeave’s Rescue Bring a daycare to Balkh province, Afghanistan project. I wanted to send you a quick note that we are entered in GlobalGiving’s 2013 Photo Contest in the Give Hope category. The winner will receive a $1,000 bonus to support their work and will be featured on the GlobalGiving homepage for a full day.
The voting takes place now until Monday next week (July 29) at noon EDT. With your vote today, we can help rescue, support and provide education for even more exploited child weavers. Please consider leveraging this moment and vote today.
GoodWeave Executive Director
With Father's Day approaching, we wanted to share this recent photograph taken outside the daycare center in Balkh Province that you generously support. Many of the fathers of the young kids came to visit one afternoon. We found this image heartening, especially to see the gesture of support from fathers towards their daughters who are learning to read and write.
We also want to convey this feedback directly from Fatima, a weaver and the mother of four-year-old Arif: "His father is so tired when he reaches home, but still would ask Arif to read some of the poems or sing the songs that he has learned at the center and that gives him lot of satisfaction and starting laughing and feels so good and then kisses Arif and pray for him and for all of those who has made this possible for Arif and rest of the kids at the center.”
As we celebrate Dads, please know that you have the sincerest gratitude and prayers from Arif's father Noor for making this daycare possible.
Thank you - and Happy Father's Day!
P.S. Be sure to click on the link to hear the class's adorable rendition of the Afghan National Anthem!
You may not know this, but there is someone else who has been moved by our work in Afghanistan and joins you in supporting this daycare project. Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, is also a philanthropist and humanitarian determined to see a new day for his homeland.
He recently wrote a special piece for GoodWeave called Cultivating Hope in Afghanistan. There is one line in particular that touched us, and we wanted to share it with you:
It is audacious to aspire to end human rights abuses in an unsettled nation, but GoodWeave’s progress in just one year proves to me that where there is a willingness to try, much can be accomplished.
Indeed, much is being accomplished. The daycare project is progressing, having a profound impact not only on its 40 young students, but also their families. Here is what the mother of Noria shared with our project coordinator:
Honestly speaking, sometimes we learn new things from our six-year-old child! Even the rest of our kids have been positively influenced by Noria, and seeing her got our relatives interested in sending their children to schools or centers like this in their own communities. I now have peace of mind.
Thank you for being audacious with us and for being willing to try with us. We could not do it without you.
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GoodWeave Executive Director