We Changed the World
The rights and equality of girls and women are not only a moral obligation but a huge opportunity. Every safe, educated, healthy, and empowered girl or woman has the potential to transform her family, community, economy, and society. -UN Foundation
In October 2019 we completed a “small project” with immeasurable impact. Shorab is a village in western Afghanistan. Our friend, Dr. Safi Haidary, came to us with a problem. The Shorab School in rural Afghanistan, with over a thousand students in first through twelfth grade, did not have a bathroom facility. Consider, for a moment, high school girls without the privacy of a restroom. One United Nations study found that when a school had a bathroom, the attendance of girls increased by eleven percent.
Karadah Project partnered with Dr. Safi and Shindand Women Social Foundation to build a private toilet facility for the school.
Dr. Safi said of the project, “You solved the biggest problem for these girls and boys in Shorab High School.”
Help Khatera Hear
Maryam, Khatera’s mother, is a victim of a forced and arranged marriage at fourteen. The time when she should have been hugging a doll, she had to raise a daughter. Economic insecurity made this situation even tougher for her. These circumstances were challenging enough, but her story is filled with even more struggles.
Khatera, Maryam's first child, was born two months premature. She did not respond to sounds and she did not speak on schedule. They hoped she was just delayed and would improve with time. The situation continued until she turned seven when Maryam took her daughter to a specialist. The diagnosis determined that Khatera's cochlea had been affected by her premature birth. She needed a cochlea implant as soon as possible. The surgery is time-sensitive for the nine year old Khatera; as she gets older the chances for success are reduced. Cochlea surgery is beyond the capabilities of Afghan surgeons, so she will need to travel outside of Afghanistan for the surgery.
Maryam is a poor mother and lacks the funds for the surgery. For the past two years, Maryam has sought some way to fund her daughter's operation, with no success. The chances of Maryam getting the needed funding are next to impossible.
Maryam describes her daughter as an isolated and socially disengaged girl who has been deprived of educational opportunities. She is worried about her daughter’s future without an opportunity to get an education.
In spite of the current challenges, Maryam has not given up. She has sought funding from many organizations and associations, to include the government, but she has received nothing except false promises. Eventually, with the guidance of her friends, she came to the Herat (Afghanistan) Rotary Club. This club is her last hope. The estimated cost of this surgery is estimated to be $12,000, which includes travel costs and the surgery.
Karadah Project is partnering with the Rotary Club of Herat, Afghanistan to rescue Khatera from a life of isolation. Imagine what a difference it will mean to a small girl to receive her hearing. Without the surgery, she will continue to recede into a life of isolation. With a solution so close and relatively inexpensive, this would be a great tragedy to not find a way to help Khatera hear.
We started a kindergarten
What is better than training displaced women in marketable skills? A kindergarten for their children. Here's why we are adding a kindergarten to our skills training program for Afghan displaced moms.
What Do Skills Mean to Women
I began participating because my husband is addicted to drugs and I must care for my four little boys. I learned many things from the carpet weaving classes. I now know how to weave the carpet and it helps me to not have to leave my children to go clean homes. I am coming to these classes to learn skills so that I can help my family.
If their husbands are jobless, these women can support their families. Step by step the society can improve. I am an example of an Afghan woman who works. I am a widow and I have seven children. If I don’t work, who will support my family? My children go to school now because of my income.
The Hidden Internally Displaced
Refugees represent nearly a third (30%) of the world’s displaced population – people forced to leave their homes due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.
The much larger number of internally displaced people – those displaced within their home country – reached about 40 million in 2017 (over 1.8 million Afghans), bringing the world’s total displaced population to 68.5 million in 2017. (Pew Research Center)
Through our partnerships with local Afghan nonprofits, we are working with displaced and poor women in rural villages to stem the tide of refugees flooding into other countries. Through our marketable skills training, livestock projects, and other initiatives, we are helping women pull themselves and their families out of poverty.