Day 7 was kind of a Great day. I think it was Day 4 that we visited all the places I wanted to go, which was fun, but Day 7 was inspiration day. In my brain I differentiate between good and Good, good is just an adjective eg, lunch was good; Good is a moral claim, it implies character, virtue; the Olympics are Good, Sylvia was Good. These were all Good organizations. On March 7 we had visits with 3 Good humanitarian agencies, in fact if I was going to chose 3 organizations to publicize it would be these three. They all do great work, have mass-appeal and really need our help. If you’ve got a couple extra bucks that you got back from your taxes you might want to send them this way.
The first was Aschiana, meaning bird’s nest. It is a school for street children.
The organization recently published some statistics finding that Kabul has 60,000 street children and the number is increasing. Due to budget restrains Aschiana can only help the neediest, so in order to qualify you must either have a disability or a single parent. This is a picture of the founder, Mohammad Yousef, with a disabled child.
Below you can see some of the art that the children have done. I think their version of the famous ‘Remnants of an Army‘ painting is even better than the original.
The kids were taught in shifts; conventional subjects and also trades including woodworking and calligraphy. Until recently they were also taught theatre and music but these programs were cut because they couldn’t afford to pay the staff.
At lunch we met with Wahid Omar from Afghans for Tomorrow. Afghans for Tomorrow is a pretty great organization, organizing educational, agricultural and health programs across the country. What was most important to us though, is that they let us stay in their guest house and provided our wonderful tour guide. Without A4T I’d never have gone to Afghanistan, and you wouldn’t be reading this blog!
Finally, we went to see Jamila Afghani of Noor. All of us were so impressed by this lady; a handicapped Afghan woman from a conservative family with a Masters in International Relations and a PhD in Islamic Studies. She has been a women’s rights activist for many years. She recently started a program which trains imams in women’s rights from an Islamic perspective. Through their sermons she hopes to inspire and educate the public.