Jan 24, 2020

Successful, Local Fundraising Efforts - Winter, 2019/2020

Dear Friends,

 

Happy New Year! It is time for our quarterly report, and for us to once again extend our thanks to you for your generous donations to Kids 4 Afghan Kids. We would also like to take this opportunity to express a special thank you to those who also volunteered their time and efforts to support our cause.

 

    This year at the Alternate Christmas Fair, we are pleased to report that $1040 was raised in total. We sold a diverse set of items, from our classic chocolate covered pretzels, to woolen hats, and corked bottle necklaces. This year, we also organized a fundraiser at Hillside Middle School, where we raised $240 dollars. We sold our holiday themed chocolate covered pretzels, K4AK stickers, and fabric bookmarks, along with a few watercolor ones. 100% of the profits went directly to K4AK.

 

    Currently, we have 56 new male students and 48 new female students that are enrolled for first grade, bringing our student totals up to 680 male students and 280 female students! We have had 31 students graduate in December of 2019! The students have already taken their finals, and the schools are now closed for the winter.

 

    The wonderful place this organization has reached today makes me feel so very proud to play a role in this change. I would have to take this back to third grade, where K4AK Founder, Mrs. N, introduced my class to K4AK, which intrigued me. As a child, it was one of the first times I have ever paid a large amount of thought to children in less developed countries, struggling with things that I had taken for granted, such as education, healthcare, or even a sturdy roof over my head. It really made me think about how lucky I really was, to be able to pursue any career or hobby without major drawbacks. This completely changed the way I look at the world, and encouraged me to pursue any major opportunities that come my way.

 

    Back then, I definitely would have given up on my somewhat mediocre artistic abilities, but I kept pushing through by telling myself how fortunate I am that I get this opportunity, and finally found my true passion in both art and criminology.

 

    Now years later, I can see how K4AK has changed me in so many positive ways as a person, and I would not trade this experience for anything else in the world. That’s why I was so excited to be able to organize a fundraiser at Hillside Middle School, in the days before and after Thanksgiving. This gave me the opportunity to spread word of K4AK, and also build connections with other students, who helped when they could, and staff members, like Mr. T, and Mrs. S, who have previously worked alongside Mrs. N, and who were kind enough to volunteer their morning hours to act as supervisors for this cause, and the wonderful Mrs. B, who, despite not knowing about K4AK prior to this fundraiser, was open to this cause and volunteered her lunch hours to supervise our stand.

 

    If it wasn’t for Kids 4 Afghan Kids, I would definitely not be in the position I am today, with a cause that I grew up alongside, and the mutual support between both sides. It feels great to be able to make crafts, and spend time working for an organization that truly makes a change in somebody's life. I owe so much to Mrs. N, and everyone who has been involved in this organization.

Oct 24, 2019

Kids 4 Afghan Kids - Another successful, quiet school year - fall 2019 update

“No news is good news.”  That English expression is often repeated in the U.S. in jest.  However, when you are operating schools that include the education of girls in a war torn, impoverished, rural area of Afghanistan, no news really is good new

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A picture taken outside the classrooms.  Children in rural Afghanistan are more familiar with fear than are most American children.  Their futures are less certain because famine, disease and political upheaval are never far away.

We are happy to report that we have just finished another very quiet school year with no violence and no damaging storms or other extreme weather conditions.  The Village continues to support the school and the education of girls.  The well continues to supply water to the surrounding area. 

As you probably know, the students at the Kids 4 Afghan Kids project often own no shoes or coats and thus we run the school year over the summer and take off winter, which can sometimes be bitter cold.  Fifty six boys and 48 girls finished first grade while 42 young men graduated from 12th grade - 38 of them have been accepted into a university!  I am waiting for a final count of the young women who graduated and plan to go on to university.  I should have that information in the next report.  However, we are proud that one of our female students finished her nursing degree to become our first female college graduate!

We certainly don’t have enough money to fund the extras students might have in the U.S.  However, the children are learning math, reading, science, social studies and languages. We also don’t have the money to move the construction projects along at a rate you might see in the U.S.   However, construction of both the hospital and the second project in northern Afghanistan continues, so we are steadily advancing toward our goals - a real hospital on our first site, and a second project site with elementary and high schools and a clinic.   

Because of disease and famine, children are much more likely to be orphans in Afghanistan than in the US.  We care forboys in the K4AK orphanage.  Children in Afghanistan typically help with their families’ farms and households.  “Our” orphans perform similar chores around the project to learn life skills.  They also usually make an effort to befriend the younger boys. 

It isn’t considered proper for girls to live away from a family home, so K4AK has no girls’ orphanage yet.  Girls are usually taken in by another family, but we are working on gaining acceptance for girl’s orphanage to provide an option for those who have no good place to go. 

All in all, we are grateful for the lack of news!  Quiet times are when the students are able to learn and be kids.  We, and the people in the Village, are very grateful to you for providing this opportunity by supporting the school, water well, boys’ orphanage and medical clinic. These children have smiles on their faces and a hope for a better future because you chose to sacrifice and make a donation.

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A lighthearted moment waiting for school to begin. These children have smiles on their faces and a hope for a better future because you chose to sacrifice and make a donation.

As always, Kids 4 Afghan Kids is an organization of all volunteers, with no administrative expenses.  Every penny of your donation goes to purchase a necessary item.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Kids 4 Afghan Kids project!

Kathi
Parent Volunteer


Jul 5, 2019

Update Summer 2019 - Life and Death

Girls in the outdoor classroom
Girls in the outdoor classroom

Dear K4AK Supporters,

As most of you know, Kids 4 Afghan Kids is an all-volunteer organization, so, unlike many other organizations, we have no administrative costs.  That means that all of your donations go directly to the project to pay teachers, buy school supplies, repair buildings and provide food.   However, it also means that everyone at K4AK has another job, so sometimes, life, and unfortunately even death, get in the way of filing our Global Giving Report in time.  We are sorry this report is coming to you late!

We are saddened to report the passing of one of our most ardent supporters, Diann Lee Korowin.   Diann was a constant presence at the K4AK fundraisers, helping to man our booths for long hours, even when she was fighting cancer.   One of K4AK’s popular Christmas fundraisers is selling nice boxes of chocolate dipped pretzels.  Diann helped package hundreds of these boxes and she certainly knew how to make each box look pretty!

Over the years, Diann knitted hundreds of caps and scarves to send to the children in Afghanistan, and she donated many knitted goods to be sold at craft fairs in Michigan to raise money for the project.  She also knit and donated hundreds of (the world’s greatest!) dish scrubbers for sale at local craft fairs.  She bought hundreds of boxes of notebooks and other school supplies to be sent to the K4AK schools.  She also taught knitting and tutored reading to kids in Michigan. 

Diann’s influence was great.   She encouraged her daughter, Khris Nedam, to teach in Afghanistan.  As a nurse, she understood and valued her daughter’s service.  When Khris returned to Michigan and, along with her sixth grade students, founded Kids 4 Afghan Kids, her mother again encouraged her and volunteered to help every step of the way.

We will all miss Diann’s calm presence, determination and friendly smile.

On a happier note, we are pleased to report that we have an updated website, thanks to marketing students at the University of Michigan - Deaborn.  They updated our website, social media pages and even our Wikipedia page as part of a digital marketing project.  The experience was even more gratifying for us because one of the students had been involved with K4AK in elementary school.  Check out our new website at kids4afghankids.org and take a peek at our Facebook and Wikipedia page.

In the meantime, progress continues at the K4AK project.  The number of girls wishing to be educated has increased, as has the number of parents who now support girls’ education.   As a result, our girls’ school is overflowing and we have begun using an outside classroom. 

Engineers have come to examine the girls’ elementary school to decide if it is feasible to build a second floor so we can accommodate even more female students.  We are waiting for the engineers’ findings.  We will update you in the next report.

Of course, building a second floor will involve more effort, expense and fundraising, but it’s also a nice problem to have.  When Kids 4 Afghan Kids opened its first school 20 years ago, many people in the village were skeptical of, or even opposed to, girls’ education.  Although many boys started school in the early days of the project, only a handful of girls showed up.   Now, girls routinely finish 12 years of school at our project and go on to college or career training.  In fact, one of our students has just graduated from nursing school to become our first female college graduate.   We are proud K4AK schools gave her the science background, skills and confidence she needed to succeed.

All in all, an overflowing girls’ school is the best compliment we can imagine!  And, it has happened because of your support.  Thank you very much!

 
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