Fun and Entertainment Have Never Been as Essential in Afghanistan as they are now!
Our activities are extremely important for girls who have very limited choices. Having a place where they feel they belong and can freely spend happy times together with many social and entertaining activities is so important and it is a vital source of hope and joy. Our Herat center provides facilities for 300 underprivileged girls and boys every day, with a minimum of 70% being girls.
All Temporary Suspended Activities Are Restarted:
We temporarily suspended our activities for a couple of weeks because of the new restrictions on females´ work and education in Afghanistan. Later following the Ministry of Education's decision to allow girls to attend primary school, we restarted our activities with some modifications and restrictions. We understand the importance of considering various issues, including security and cultural, social, and religious sensitivities in all our activities. Our flexibility, creativity, and deep community integration are some of the main strengths that help us find the best solutions for the communities we serve. We are committed to continuing our work despite all challenges making a positive impact on the lives of children and youth in Afghanistan.
Youth Network &Youth Committee:
One of the results of the national workshop in November was the establishment of a new Youth Network Committee. The committee consists of 5 youth members (including female) representing 26 team leaders in 11 provinces (Kabul, Nangarhar, Bamyan, Khost, Herat, Laghman, Balkh, Ghor, Helmand, Daikundi, and Konar). The committee members are elected by the 26 team leaders and have regular weekly online meetings to improve the team leaders´ activities, resolve problems, and also represent all the team members. The Committee with our online supervision and support is now gradually taking over more responsibilities in organizing activities independently. We are very happy to see how the network is expanding and its members are improving so rapidly and believe the model is a perfect fit for Afghanistan in these actual circumstances.
MMCC´s Family, Values & Pedagogy:
MMCC is not only an organization but first of all a big family of all who experienced the healing power of laughter, educational entertainment, and social engagement in the most difficult circumstances. MMCC´s family consists of the children, youth, team leaders, colleagues, volunteers, and our global network of friends who keep believing in our work and supporting us in various ways. Regardless of MMCC´s own organizational capacities and possibilities for implementing any activities in Afghanistan we would always be committed and stand by our family in Afghanistan with our values, pedagogy, approach, and accumulated knowledge and experiences of healing joy and your support.
We highly appreciate your contributions and your efforts in spreading the word and this link on your social media: www.globalgiving.org/projects/BackToLife
We apologize for the delay in updating you about the progress in our work in Afghanistan. We have been extremely overloaded with additional work of adjusting ourselves to the new situation and developing the most effective way of continuing and expanding our work in Afghanistan. The good news is that now we are active in 22 locations in 9 provinces with various social, educational, and entertaining activities for hundreds of children implemented mostly by our youth team leaders.
MMCC´s Herat Center: Our Herat center has become a source of hope and fun for hundreds of children, especially girls. This center, with your financial support, keeps creating a beautiful, joyful, productive, and healing environment for children, especially girls. Here you can see some photos and read a newly published article from Charlie Faulkner, of “The Times” who visited our Herat center: Circus School Gives Afghan Girls Laughter In Dark Times: https://mmccglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Times-scaled.jpg
Youth Network: Besides the very successful Herat center´s activities, we now facilitate, supervise, and support 21 super active youth team leaders in 9 provinces who are running weekly social circus activities for almost 1000 children. The 9 provinces are Kabul, Nangarhar, Bamyan, Khost, Herat, Laghman, Balkh, Ghor, and Konar. The activities include various social circus and social games as well as different arts and social skills. The 21 team leaders independently work closely in and with their own local communities and are supervised and mentored by our higher management.
Championships & Competitions: Neither we nor probably anyone else would have imagined that it could be possible to gather 60 children and youth champions from across the country for a 6-day circus festival in this new era of Afghanistan. Despite the challenging conditions, this was a magnificent week for all of the children, youth, and staff to reunite and celebrate their National Festival and Championships again. First, our 16 team leaders organized regional juggling and jump rope championships in 8 provinces during August, and then the winners came to Kabul for the National Championship and Festival. Due to the current political situation juggling competitions for the girls were instead held in our Herat center while in Kabul 2 days of the festival were dedicated to girls from the Kabul IDP camps. More than 200 girls thereby participated separately in both Juggling and Jump Rope competitions.
Creativity in Emergency: Children solve some of the new problems of lack of equipment through their creativity. Many of our friends used to visit us in Afghanistan and brought different circus equipment and especially juggling balls and clubs. Now as we are almost totally isolated, the kids and the youth leaders, and even smaller girls from the IDP camps have started to make their own equipment (attached photos). The team leaders make “Made In Afghanistan” juggling equipment and we also tailor "Made In Afghanistan" parachutes for children's social games.
Winter on the way: We are now preparing for the winter by providing and distributing winterization packages which include food and warm clothes as well. We are so grateful for all the sponsors in particular those monthly donors who make it possible for us to plan ahead with confidence. We hope more people join our “Sharing” campaign, especially as monthly donors to help many more children and families in this coming winter. We hope to bring more food and fun to many more children and families with your help in spreading the word and sharing this report and this link: www.globalgiving.org/projects/Sharing in your network and on your social media.
MMCC continues & sustains its operations on Afghan hands with a new strategy by supporting the youth to continue activities and keep being a source of joy & fun for millions of children & youth.
Thanks for your support and your generosity especially in these difficult times.
Spreading the word and sharing this report and the "BackToLife" link helps us to do much more and much better for many more children: www.globalgiving.org/projects/BackToLife
Now more than ever, Afghan children need fun!!!
We continue all our daily social circus activities in our Herat center for up to 200 girls and boys in two different shifts. Besides social games and collective joyful social circus activities, there are school subject classes and also lunch is provided for the students.
Apart from regular weekly social circus activities for 500+ children in 6 provinces, we have had 12 events, performances, and competitions in the last few weeks. These activities were organized for hundreds of children, youth, and parents in 8 communities in 6 provinces. The competitions were conceptualized, developed, and managed by 10 youth team leaders and have had various forms and subjects such as juggling, funny balloon games, talent show, poetical contest, acrobatics, and tug of war (rope pulling).
We keep adjusting ourselves to the new situation and try our best to modify and develop our activities to fit the new requirements. This is a long process but at the same time very essential.
As you know Afghanistan is now suffering very severe starvation and food shortage. MMCC has distributed 1000 happy food presents for children which included some children´s favorite items such as dates and cookies as well. These packages have been distributed in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Khost, Bamyan, and Ghor, in a total of 11 locations. We identified the underprivileged families to receive these presents for example in some of the IDP camps. The distributions were organized and managed by our youth team leaders, and supervised and monitored by MMCC staff in Kabul and the provinces. Usually, the adults receive any distribution items but this time the happy kids themselves received the presents and proudly brought them to their families. The distribution events had entertaining social games and social circus activities which made it all more like a celebration. You can contribute to the food campaign by donating or sharing: https://globalgiving.org/projects/sharing
Thanks for your support.
In the last few months, Afghanistan has been facing many radical political and security challenges. This new situation has naturally affected our organization and activities while we tried our best to reduce any danger for our children and colleagues. MMCC minimized its activities during this turbulent time until we finally obtained the required permissions from the new government to restart our activities. Some of our activities however need to be modified and adjusted according to the new rules and regulations.
Our winter program in Herat province is now providing both educational classes, entertaining activities such as social circus and social games, and also lunch. This winter program has nearly 100 girls and 70 boys and is running in both morning and afternoon times.
MMCC has just accomplished its belated annual Juggling championships in Kabul, Herat, Ghor, Bamyan, Nangarhar, Balkh, and Khost. Hundreds of children and youth took part in numerous workshops, championships, and performances. This time the championships and the way we organized them were more decentralized and mostly carried on by the youth themselves. This year most of the presents and awards for the winners were food items as Afghanistan is suffering a tragic food shortage and starvation.
Besides our “Back To Life” activities to bring and maintain fun and joy for children and youth, we have also started a new campaign. In this campaign “Sharing” we support the underprivileged children and vulnerable families by providing food & winterization packages, lunch, and food supplements while mobilizing the youth to create joyful activities and bring hope into their communities. Here is the link you can read about it and watch the photos and could also share with your network to get more support: www.globalgiving.org/projects/Sharing
Thanks for your support & Happy New Year
Thank you for keep supporting our activities in Afghanistan in these difficult times.
As you know the security has radically deteriorated in the last few months. People are worried about the withdrawal of international forces and the political instability which makes the future uncertain. Millions of children are abandoned from a happy, joyful, and constructive childhood. Our work in Afghanistan is now becoming even more challenging and at the same time much more essential in bringing hope and keep being an inspiration for children and a reminder of peace, joy, and laughter.
As an increasing number of internationals are leaving Afghanistan we are asked if we leave Afghanistan too. The response is NO. We will NOT leave the children at such a crucial time and are modifying our activities and management systems to guarantee the continuation of our work. These modifications, adjustments, and adaptations are what we have always been doing on smaller scales, and we would naturally keep the same strategy to cope with any new radical changes in the situation.
Here some good news from Afghanistan:
The pandemic and the recent decrease in the international engagement and interest in Afghanistan, and deterioration of security, and the pandemic all together have reduced our funds drastically. We are now more than ever relying on our fans and friends to support our work. Here are 3 additional ways you can support us:
1- Joining, & Promoting our social media: www.facebook.com/MMCCGlobal & www.instagram.com/MMCCGlobal & www.linkedin.com/company/MMCCGlobal
2- Sharing this report & fundraising link with your networks: www.globalgiving.org/projects/BackToLife
3- Making your own fundraiser (for MMCC´s BackToLife campaign) in a few steps by this link: www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers
Berit and David
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