Empowering women in Afghanistan

by Global Hope Network International
Empowering women in Afghanistan
Empowering women in Afghanistan
Empowering women in Afghanistan
Empowering women in Afghanistan
Empowering women in Afghanistan
Empowering women in Afghanistan

Today, most of the news coming out of Afghanistan is dire. However, due to your generosity and concern, as well as the brave and faithful work of our in-country staff that chose to stay, Global Hope Network International continues to offer help and hope to the people of Afghanistan.

Conditions continue to deteriorate, and people are resorting to desperate measures. Yet, our work is continuing and growing. Even though there is still no functioning international banking system, last month, we were able to send tens of thousands of dollars to feed more than 300 families and provide them with heat in the dead of winter.  

As sharia law is applied unequally across the country, turbans are becoming more and more required. When one elderly gentleman received assistance from us, he removed his turban (an undignified gesture), bowed towards our staff, and then bowed towards the Almighty to express his profound gratitude. I can’t explain how significant this is, except to say that when our staff heard this, the story brought them to tears.  

The focus of our work is to help widows, children, and the elderly. We have become aware that many families are newly poor, as their breadwinners who worked for the previous government have fled for their lives, abandoning their families with no means of support. Thank you for partnering with us to help them.

 Thank you!

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Since the news broke about Afghanistan, people all around the world have come together to help the people of Afghanistan. 

As the days continue, GHNI remains committed to the following 3 objectives: 

  1. Alleviate the suffering caused by the collapse of the government, with a special emphasis on helping women and children.
  2. Help those who want to and have left Afghanistan.
  3. Lay the foundation, so we can continue our work of sustainable development, to help the Hidden and Hurting in Afghanistan.

Below are the various updates from the field! Because of the generosity and outpouring of love, GHNI has been able to provide more than 5,000 weeks of food to families!  THANK YOU for your support! 

Below are updates from 11/05/2021 about the work and situation in Afghanistan:

Fatima* is a widow with 4 small children, living in the remote Daikon* region. Her husband was killed by the Taliban 2 years ago, trying to defend his family & his village. With no other male supporting the family, she and her children faced starvation since she cannot work outside the house, by edict from the new regime. Hearing about her plight, Genghiz*, our GHNI staff member who chose not to leave, mobilized resources provided by YOU, to help her and her family prepare for winter. When she received the resources to help her family, she was moved to tears and thanked God for the people who provided this lifesaving help. This is just one of hundreds of families YOU have helped.

Our work in Afghanistan continues, despite obvious difficulties. Our initial goal was to provide a full week’s for food to 3,000 families. We have far exceeded our goal by providing more than 5,000 weeks of food. This is due to YOUR generosity and compassion. THANK YOU. Truth be told, we have provided 10 weeks of food to 500 different families. From our experience, we have learned that helping people at a survival rate, just for numbers sake, really benefits no one. It is much better to help a family in a more substantial way. We are trying to alleviate the suffering, in the context of a relationship.

Below are updates from 10/08/2021 about the work and situation in Afghanistan:

The Latest Good News & Bad News from Afghanistan

  • Our Women’s Empowerment Center IS STILL GOING ON, in an undisclosed area. This is actually GREAT NEWS. Attendance is down by 1/3 but girls are still coming to learn English and their Moms are learning about health issues and how to take care of their families.
  • As stated previously, people in Afghanistan are getting desperate and selling their possessions to buy food. One man offered to sell his kidney to feed his family. A former member of the Afghan Army completed suicide out of despair and fear because the Taliban are now in charge. The economy has collapsed, the UN reports that the poverty rate will rise to 97% next year unless something is done now, and there have been reprisals against those who supported the previous regime and foreigners.
  • We are still able to get money in the country to continue our work. Through YOUR kindheartedness, we have provided families with approximately 2,000 weeks of food. We are focused on helping the most vulnerable – the elderly, children and women who can’t or are fearful of leaving their homes. 

Below are updates from 09/24/2021 about the work and situation in Afghanistan: 

Our efforts have been focused on the elderly, handicapped, and children.

With your generous donations, we have been able to give each family the following items: 

  • 110 pounds (50 kg) of flour
  • 55 pounds (25 kg) of rice
  • cooking oil,
  • tea, and sugar

Below are updates from 09/17/2021 about the work and situation in Afghanistan: 

  • Through your generosity, we have gotten tens of thousands of dollars into the country to help hundreds of families.
  • We need to strike the balance getting as much money in as possible, without arousing the suspicion or wrath of the Taliban.
  • Several of our vulnerable staff wishing to get out are stranded, along with hundreds of thousands wanting to leave.  We hope there will be a break in this stalemate soon.
  • We are helping several former staff and partners, both inside and outside the USA, who were able to evacuate before airspace was closed, by filling out Priority Immigration Visa Applications, recommending/offering homes to settle in, and with requests like new eyeglasses, running shoes, and art supplies.
  • The UN and other aid agencies warn that one million Afghan children are at risk of starvation and death if their immediate needs are not met.
  • Until the end of today - Your gift to help displaced families in Afghanistan will be matched! Gifts up to $50 USD will be matched 50% through GlobalGiving! It costs $40 to feed a family for 1 week, but with this match you can help feed almost 2 families! 

Below are updates from 09/10/2021 about the work and situation in Afghanistan: 

  • Today, out of the blue, we received a call from a former employee of GHNI who was being “processed” at a military base near Washington DC. He safely got out, along with the 4 people in his family.
  • Several former employees, and partners were able to escape, but we still have some vulnerable current staff, mostly women, children, and religious minorities that haven’t been able to leave yet.  Some were within 50 yards of Abbey gate at the Kabul Airport right before the attack and are on the manifest of the charter flights that haven’t been cleared to take off. We are very concerned about them. We will update as soon as we know they have gotten out. 
  • There is currently no functioning banking system in Afghanistan right now. However, we have been able to send funds to help and feed hundreds of displaced families. Although our fourth transfer of funds hit a snag, we were finally able to get the relief money to those who need it most.  We are working on using multiple streams to get funds into the country. THANK YOU for your generosity! 
  • We are anticipating a burgeoning refugee situation as desperate people who are fleeing Taliban rule spill over into neighboring countries. Our staff and partners are already helping them in those countries. 
  • We have been in contact with our staff at the Women Empowerment Centers and hope to resume very soon. We will know more once the situation on the ground is clearer.

Below are updates from 09/03/2021: 

  • Because of the generosity and outpouring of love, Global Hope can feed over 2,500 families. THANK YOU for your compassion and concern.
  • We have started to send in our first finances to help buy relief supplies through non-traditional methods. All banks have been closed for 3 business weeks, already.
  • All Afghan airspace is closed. We are still working on evacuating several vulnerable staff and their dependents.
  • We are anticipating a burgeoning refugee situation as desperate people who are fleeing Taliban rule spill over into neighboring countries. Our staff and partners are already helping them.

Thank you for making it possible to give Help and Hope to the people of Afghanistan!

If you would like to donate to displaced families and those who have traveled outside the country, please click here. If you would like to visit the Afghanistan Disaster Response, please click here

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So far, the first Women’s Empowerment Centre (WEC I) has had a good impact on their community. About 50 teenage students are learning English, and 40 women have finished their literacy lessons.

 We wanted to celebrate World Women’s Day at the Women's Empowerment Centres and graduate the women from their literacy class. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, our government partners asked us to temporarily close both centres.

 The last thing that we could do at the WEC was to teach the students how to prevent and protect themselves from the novel coronavirus outbreaks. Actually, we were the first organisation to tell people about the virus in Bamyan. 

 After that, the students became very serious and sensitive about the pandemic. They decided to call a community meeting to teach people how to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. They acted out scenes to communicate these lessons. Two other Transformational Community Development (TCD) stories were also performed by the students. So many villagers attended this important presentation.

 We hope to bring smiles and hope to the hidden people after the government allows us to restart the centres.

 Thank you!

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International Women’s day was celebrated at The Women’s Empowerment Centers in Afghanistan! 

At The Women’s Empowerment Center in central Afghanistan, our government partners attended the event and spoke about the importance of this day. Many people read encouraging articles and shared their talents along with other entertaining activities. 

Deeba* is one of the students in our English class. She read an inspiring article at the event. Just like Deeba, many others also read their articles. Additionally, it was the first time that a young boy sang a rap song for the people. Many people clapped and cheered! The youth union in the village asked us to continue having this celebration each year.

It was the first time we celebrated International Women’s Day in East Afghanistan and we were so excited about how many people were able to attend.

Aina* is one of our English class students at the center. She prepared and read an article about how inspiring women are and also helped other classmates sing a related song. Aina is a model student who also likes to play volleyball in the schoolyard, and she encourages other girls to get involved in many of the activities. 

In the area, we are still facing resistance towards sending girls to school because of traditions. We are trying to spread awareness and continue to help women at the center by teaching them hygiene, Birth Life-Saving Skills (BLiSS), and how to support themselves. We are encouraging parents to allow their daughters to attend school!

Transformational Community Development Update: 

At the centers, we are continuing to 

  • Education - Women were given a book about BLiSS (Birth Life-Saving Skills), focusing on maternal and infant health, especially during the time of pregnancy and after birth. Students are also learning English, progressing month after month! 

At the center in East Afghanistan, we distributed masks, soaps, notebooks and other stationery to the women and students. Meanwhile, the other neighbouring villages are also interested in Health lessons. We went to remote villages and distributed Birth Labor and Life-Saving Skills (BliSS) books and other awareness lessons about COVID-19. 

Some villagers had concerns about the second wave of coronavirus. The awareness booklets were distributed to all the women and students at the Empowerment Centers.

Wellness - Football and volleyball are sports that the girls enjoy as they get exercise, learn teamwork and enjoy the camaraderie. They also hope to compete with other girls in the area. 

  • Income Generation-In addition to providing vegetable seeds to have enough food for themselves, we are encouraging the women to sell things at the market to generate income for them and their families.

We are grateful for all our donors and supporters who make this work possible! 

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We are excited to share that centers have reopened! The government announced that schools would be closed for four months because of the cold season and the second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks. Although this is a very difficult situation, it also meant that students could safely attend the Women’s Empowerment Center.

Asmaan* is a 23-year-old English instructor at the Women’s Empowerment Center (WEC). She is excited to have the opportunity to teach her students English back to back! We are excited to see the progress she will make. The students are also learning about Transformational Community Development, which includes health lessons one day a week.

English class and Health lessons are also going well at the Women’s Empowerment Center—East (WEC2). We were able to distribute notebooks, pens, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes for each of the participants, and the women and students were so grateful.

We are also working to empower all of the girls physically. They now have a volleyball team and play inside the school yard. We encouraged them to be active when we started WEC2. We bought them a ball and also gave the students support by cheering them on! 

Traditionally, the people did not allow their daughters to attend English class and play sports. WEC2 is bringing about change (transformation) in this and the surrounding communities.

The winter season is the best time for the girls to come to the center because the schools are closed.  They are passionate about coming to WEC2 every day to learn English. They love learning TCD lessons about sustainability, community ownership, and hygiene. 

We are excited to see the growth in all of these students. Thank you for all of your support! It is because of you that we are able to reach the people in this community!

*For purposes of safety and wellbeing, “Asmaan” is a pseudonym for the individual involved with this project.

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Organization Information

Global Hope Network International

Location: Orlando, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GHNI
Project Leader:
Jeffrey Latsa
Orlando, FL United States
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