There are a TON of great charities supporting the people of Afghanistan…I’m hopeful I’ll get many more suggestions. But for now, these are my favorites:
Afghans4Tomorow – An organization working to rebuild Afghanistan, through health, education, and agriculture projects…such as a training program to make fuel briquettes (as an alternative to increasingly scarce wood) and the first Science Fair in Afghan history!
OLPC Afghanistan – The One Laptop Per Child vision…to create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power computer…is compelling. The OLPC hardware and approach are less so. But for now, OLPC seems a good way to move the children of Afghanistan into the digital age.
Pakistan Flood Relief – Pakistan is the home of Al-Qaeda, a strong Taliban movement, nuclear weapons, and now, the largest humanitarian crisis the international community has ever faced. Much of the country remains flooded, but even when the waters recede, disease, and hunger remain…along with radical insurgents, who are only too happy to take advantage of the chaos. Support to Pakistani children today–clean water, safe sanitation, vaccinations, protection from violence, and nutrition–will save Afghan lives in the future. And likely, American lives as well.
Skateistan – The world’s first co-educational skateboarding school, and arguably the coolest charity in the universe. Their video, Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul, is a great intro…you’ll understand why it earned “Best Documentary” and “Best Photography” awards at the LA Skate Film Festival last month.
Turquoise Mountain – An organization dedicated to regenerating historic urban areas in Afghanistan and renewing traditional Afghan arts and architecture. Interestingly, it was established by Rory Stewart, Member of the British Parliament and author of my favorite book about Afghanistan, The Places In Between.
Women of Hope Project – Setting women free from poverty and oppression is a TALL order in Afghanistan, but Women of Hope is making progress. Their embroidery project, for example, gives women the opportunity to sell their embroidered goods at Coalition bazaars throughout Kabul. The income, though meager, means their children can attend school instead of having to work.
Bottom line: Charitable organizations are making a difference in Afghanistan. You can help.
* Photo by an unknown NTM-A volunteer
** Photo by Uggi Kaldan, at Reklamebilleder