Where to donate for Afghanistan
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Where to donate for Afghanistan
I am just sick about how the Taliban is regaining control in
Afghanistan and attacking women. I want to help somehow. I Googled
the topic and hit a large number of organizations that are
helping. How do I determine which one is the most effective with
the lowest overhead so that any contribution I make will be most
efficient? Are there any that accept handmade work, like blankets,
hats? I guess this question applies to any cause. Any ideas?
Help the women
Here is a direct method to help women in Afghanistan...
...and in many other war-torn countries:
Women for Women is a phenomenal organization that helps women rebuild
their lives. You directly communicate with (if you want), and sponsor
a particular woman or women.
I hope everyone will visit the site of this wonderful organization!
I am a hopeless knitter, but there are a number of people in my
Quaker Meeting who contribute to Afghans for Afghans. You just knit
hats or mittens, etc. and the group sends them to women and children
in Afghanistan. I have quite a bit of confidence in Quakers in
vetting these groups. Afghans for Afghans has a web presence, or you
can e-mail me, and I can put you in touch with the woman in my
Meeting who collects things and sends them on.
I just read the book ''Three Cups of Tea'', and found the account of
the Central Asia Institute's efforts to help women and girls in
Pakistan and Afghanistan inspiring.
Also, I know this isn't specific to women, but a mom in my daughter's
class works with an organization that supports orphans in
And I've also heard of ''Afghans for Afghans'', who are knitting
their way towards world peace.
FINCA and IRC (International Rescue Committee) only have overhead
fees of 5%-- that means 95% of what you donate goes to immediate
program use. FINCA gives women mico-loans to start a small business.
Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health have volunteers to
keep expenses low. Read the book about Dr. Paul Farmer in Tracy
Kidder's 2003 book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr.
Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World and you will be moved.
afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian and educational
people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets
and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the beleaguered
people of Afghanistan.
The best way to help any group of people is to support the women. In
most cultures, women are the ones who feed the kids, support the
family, and keep society running. Yet, most often, women are the
ones with the fewest rights. A wonderful organization that I can't
recommend highly enough is Women For Women International. They offer
training and financial assistance to women in war-torn countries -
helping them learn how to support their families and gain rights.
All of their programs are run by women from those counties, not by
outsiders. I have friends who have visited their programs and met the
women in the programs, and they say what they have seen is extremely
powerful. The best way to participate with Women for Women is through
a sponsoship. You pay $27 a month and they match you with a sister
in the country of your choice. Your financial support plays a big
role, but equally important are the letters you write. My friends
tell me that the women eagerly await the
letters and carry them with them at all times. Women for Women is
consistently praised for its effective use of funds and is always
ranked as one of the most reputable charities. In Afghanistan, for
example, your $27 is spent like this: $10 to the woman for cash in
hand, $5 saved for her to use to get her business running, $7 for
materials for her training, and the remaining $5 is administration
costs. That is extremely low overhead for any charity. Check out
their website for more info and a list of countries where they
I just read in the paper that 5 million (!)
people may starve to death this winter. What can we do to help? Does anyone
feel that any of these aids organizations are making a difference? I'd gladly send a check if I knew where to send it to.-- Roxane
Oxfam (originated in UK; branches in U.S. and elsewhere) is a
well-respected organization, very experienced in getting material aid to
people in need. I believe they have a program serving the Afghani refugee
camps. (I know they have a website; think it's www.oxfam.org.) There's
also Doctor Without Borders--www.doctorswithoutborders.org--who do
excellent medical work for refugees and other victims of war. The
American Friends Service Committee, the Quakers' social justice branch,
www.afsc.org, are investigating setting up a program. They are also fine
people who know their business: getting aid to people without incurring
high administrative overhead. Lastly, check out the Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan, who've been around since 1977
trying to keep feminism alive in their country, god help them:
I've e-mailed the Chronicle several times asking that they publish the
addresses of organizations doing relief work with Afghani refugees (since
they regularly print such information for 9/11 relief). Perhaps if others
also made the same suggestion, the Chron would actually do so.
Many relief agencies have activities for Afghan Refugees. Catholic Relief
Services (http://www.catholicrelief.org/ ) has a big program. They have very low administrative overhead. CARE (www.care.org) also is serving in this area. A lot of organizations are not willing to be in Afghanistan, but CARE is. Doctors without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/)
is providing medical care there.
The Afghan Coalition of Fremont along with the Afghan Women International
Organization and the Committee of American Friends are accepting donations
on behalf of the Afghan refugees in Afghanistan. They are collecting
blankets to send to the refugee camps around the borders of Afghanistan. You can drop off blankets or money November 10th and 11th (Saturday and Sunday)
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centerville Junior High, 37720 Fremont Blvd.,
Fremont, CA. You can also donate to the Afghan Widow's Project, Bank of
America: acc't # 17272-04856, which supports Afghan widows and their
Checks can also be mailed to:
Afghan Widows Project
PO Box 637
Fremont, CA 94537-0637
For more information, you can call the Afghan Coalition at 510/574-2182.
These are all wonderful grassroots groups -- no overhead, no fancy appeals, just volunteers who are working to stave off disaster in Afghanistan and
the surrounding countries in whatever way they can. If you have any other
questions about these groups, you're welcome to e-mail me.
last week people posted information on how to help Afghanistan, and
wishes that the Chron would post some info. Here is what I saw posted
in the Chron maybe that same day:
RAWA, Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, created in
1997, recently-created web site: www.rawa.org
Acting in Solidrity with Afghan People ( a group working with RAWA to
reopen their hospital in Quetta, Pakistan): www.asap-net.org
Amnesty International: www.amnesty.org
this page was last updated: Dec 16, 2008
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