Provide Care for Afghanistan's Abandoned Children

by Global Roots
Vetted
the children we support
the children we support

We are pleased to announce that we recently wired 2K to Afghanistan to pay for the winter survival costs of the 10 orphaned children and fifty impoverished families we support in Baharak, Afghanistan (including the 50 children who are fed by the Baharak Children's Garden and hen house project).

We had difficulty keeping in touch with our local manager in Baharak due to Internet and telephone connectivity issues. First of all, there is no Internet service in Baharak so our manager must travel several hours to Faizabad to collect and send messages. We are working hard to resolve this problem. Our Executive Director met with Roshan, Afghanistan's largest ISP (and the country's number one tax payer) last spring in Kabul to learn how we can connect our project in Baharak to the World Wide Web. We learned in meetings with Roshan that there is a high speed line from a hospital in Faizabad to a hospital in Pakistan and that we may be able to tap into this line for humanitarian purposes.

We also had difficulty in mid 2013 getting our bank wires to Baharak. Global Roots normally sends $1,685 per month to finance the BCG and our bourgening Foster Care program in Badakshan. Due to disruptions in service, we had to delay sending our wires until we were certain they were arriving on target in a bank account set up by our local partner to receive donations expressly and exclusively from Global Roots. The matter was finally resolved when an intermediary bank in Gemany finally figured out that the beneficiary name on the account in question was not correct. Funds were finally wired when the mistake was rectfied.

All expenditures have been carefully accounted for by our local manager Janagha.

We decided to explain the above administrative bureuacracy because it is very important for all donors to understand how careful we are with the constant monitoring of this project. Our partner promised us 100% transparency and oversight from the very beginning and, with the exception of the afforemetioned connectivity delays, he has never let us down.

We are now ready to plant our 2014 garden and provide more funds for the purchase of 20 new chickens inside our hen house. As you may know, the produce from our garden and the eggs from our hen house go to feed the ten orphaned children we support as well as the families who see to the other 50 children in this program. Because of our close relationship with the community (our exeutive director Rick Montgomery traveled to Kabul to meet with the project manager and a key village elder) last spring we are now in a position to demand more metrics so that we can measure our future success. We were able to do this with our new garden in Kenya (the Matulani Children's Garden) but is is a more difficult task in an orthodox Muslim community where there is great fear of the outside world.

Our manager Janagha will start to use proven Global Roots methodology to measure the results. How is the food we're giving the children and the tranquil, after-school moments they are having in THEIR garden affecting their lives? 

We know the answer beacuse we see it in the oversight photos and videos provided every month by Janagha but we also must be able to prove it scientifically. We have done this in East Africa -- now we must accomplish this in Afghanistan.

New developments: we are happy to announce that the mullah of another town as asked to duplicate our project in his community. The mullah is studying our demands for transparency and oversight and we expect to break ground in June. A major US company is hoping to pay for the entire cost of the project so that we can continue to finance our successful garden (the Baharak Children Garden or BCG) with generous Global Giving donations.

We are about to connect American school children with children in Afghanistan by taped video sessions. We are so thrilled that the mullah of Baharak approved such video contact. The sessions will not be scripted. It is our goal to connect children without any political or religious filter so that they can throw out any incorrect or unnecessary preconceptions they might have about an unfamiliar culture.

Our Children's Gardens persist

Our garden in Baharak will continue to feed 60 children and give the children special time to spend in a garden of their own.

We are hoping that our new garden and foster care program will serve 50 orphaned children and another 200 who are very poor.

Thank you for believing in this program and we thank you for your donation!

Global Roots

this project keeps orphaned children fed and happy
this project keeps orphaned children fed and happy
Afghan girls are the big winners at BCG
Afghan girls are the big winners at BCG
The Baharak Children
The Baharak Children's Garden

Our current Children's Garden and Chicken egg farm has reached such a level of success in Baharak, Afghanistan that other communities want to duplicate it.

Our director Rick Montgomery has been working diligently with our local partners to create a new program in nearby Faizabad. Please see the attached photos of our thriving project in Baharak. A successful meeting in Kabul last spring between Rick, a village elder and the local manaber of our Baharak Children's Garden (BCG) led to great confidence that a new project in Faizabad will be successful even if it happens right under the nose of the Taliban.

Recently, however, we have had problems keeping in touch with our local manager due to the increased activity of the Taliban in the Badakshan region. We are monitoring the situation carefully and we are praying for the local managers of our project.

If all goes well, ground will be broken on a new Children's Garden and hen house in Faizabad by April, 2014 and our next oversight mission will take place shortly thereafter.

Now is the time to protect children in Badakshan! Nothing is more important than food. A close second to food is the emotional support our children gain from time spent in our gardens and hen houses. The food we grow supports a foster care network because good families will take in children if they have food to feed them. Thanks to our gardens and hen houses our children find loving foster homes because they do not come empty handed.

Global Roots is currently seeking major funding from several Western European governments who left Afghanistan after a very frustrating experience with NATO. We are also seeking funding from US Aid. Time will tell if large grant giving organizations can see the value in our grassroots, locally led strategy.

Thank you for your help and for sharing our belief that the best aid programs begin with the feeding of a needy child -- and that it's best to teach a child how to feed him or herself or at least empower local caregivers to get the job done in the most sustainable manner possible.

BCG -- a sustainable way to feed Afghan orphans
BCG -- a sustainable way to feed Afghan orphans
our thriving children
our thriving children's garden

We are pleased to report that all is going well with our Children's Garden and Foster Program for orphaned children in Northern Afghanistan.

Recently, we requested accomodation at Kabul International Air Base from the US Air Force and our request was granted by the commanding general Stephen Shepro.

GR founder Rick Montgomery and senior program manager Travis Gearhart were greeted upon arrival at Kabul International Airport on April 13 by Lt. Colonel Howard Gentry and a security team. General Shepro invited the GR representatives to dine with him and his executive team on Saturday night. This dinner provided an opportunity to discuss a wide array of topics including a shared belief that more small humanitarian projects must be initiated in the earliest stages of future low-intensity conflicts.

On Sunday Montgomery and Gearhart connected with General Assaduhla of the Afghan Air Force for an impromptu inspection of a K-12 school that the General's wife had raised funds to build. During his time with General Assaduhla Montgomery explained all of the due diligence, transparency and oversight that would be required for GR to oversee the rebuilding of the general's childhood school. Montgomery had planted the seed for the project during his first mission to Afghanistan in 2010.

On Monday, Montgomery and Gearhart met with a village elder of Baharak and two of the 50 children supported by GR's Baharak Children's Garden and foster program. Important agreements were made which will result with increased care for more orphaned children.

Review of achievements:

  • GR reps Rick Montgomery and Travis Gearhart met with a village elder of Baharak and the project's local manager Janagha Jaheed in Kabul. All oversight objectives were achieved.
  • GR connected with the COO of Roshan, the telecommunications company and largest single tax payer in Afghanistan. Roshan agreed to help GR resolve project-related connectivity issues.
  • GR made progress in expanding its foster care network from Baharak to Faizabad.
  • GR also made important on-the-ground contacts that will make possible a post-2014 delivery network for its Badakhshan projects.

We are very proud that we were able to travel back to Afghanistan this year to make sure our projects are moving forward smoothly and without corruption.

Our meeting with the village leader from Baharak was so successful that we are now looking to create a new children's garden and expand our foster program network to Faizabad.

meeting one of the orphans we support in Kabul
meeting one of the orphans we support in Kabul
meeting village leader from Baharak in Kabul
meeting village leader from Baharak in Kabul
new boots and jackets for Afghan orphans
new boots and jackets for Afghan orphans

Recently we wired $4,800 to support 51 children, including ten orphans, through the cold winter. The support will be divied out by project manager Janagha Jaheed. Part of the funds were used to by boots and jackets for the ten orphans we support. Other funds will be used to buy food and books.

The winter funds were made available by our Children's Garden program. Our garden in Baharak, planted over a year ago, now sits under a layer of heavy snow. It won't bloom again until March. Because there is no need to fund a frozen garden we were able to divert the $1,685 we give every month to a three-month winter survival program.

In other developments, we are pleased to report that our friend General Assadullah of the Afghan Air Corps has asked for our help to revitalize his childhood school. We will send a team to Afghanistan in the spring to mentor the general in the realm of humanitarian giving (due diligence, oversight and overal transparency) and we will also travel north my MI 17 helicopter to inspect our projects in Baharak.

We hope to relaunch our Children's Home, the Light of Pamir, in April. The home suffered a temporary setback when a US serviceman went on a killing rampage in an Afghan village. Fortunately, after a great deal of careful communication and the example established by our successful Children's Garden in Baharak (near Tajikstan), the local cleric has once again approved our three-year old project.

Links:

our children
our children's garden in Baharak

As you will see from the photos below, our Children's Garden is blooming and hundreds of orphaned, abandoned or extremely poor children now have haven to visit where they can learn, heal and grow.

The vegetables from our garden are given to the children for home consumption.

We are now breaking ground on a chicken egg farm that will also be tended by the children. A handwashing station will be built next to the chicken egg farm.

We are also talking about a "Girl's Garden" where all girls who participate will receive books for school and scholarships for advanced education.

another shot of our garden
another shot of our garden
 

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Organization Information

Global Roots

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.globalroots.org
Project Leader:
Rick Montgomery
Seattle, WA United States

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