| Mar 24, 2005

Feature article, March 25, 2005

Feature article March 25 2005

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Canadians 4 women of AfghanistanEducation Elevates a Child, a Community, a Nation

This non-profit organization, with 14 chapters or affiliated groups across Canada, supports numerous projects in Afghanistan. One of the chief projects is the hiring of teachers, at a cost of $750 Canadian per year. There are numerous schools (e.g. Shuhada Schools) and our project is especially supportive of remote and rural schools. We also support other projects such as an orphanage, resource centres, and a centre for street children and women.


Snapshot of one of our schools: Jaghori School: Each day 1,950 girls attend in one of two shifts. The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; the second shift is from 1 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. Many children walk for many hours to come to school. Class sizes range from 60 in the primary grades to 45 in the senior classes. Often the teachers are not much older than the senior students, and the standard for instruction falls far below Canadian standards. Nevertheless, they are educating a legion of young girls who are learning to read and write. Deb Ellis, Canadian childrens author, tells us that the ability for a young girl to write her name automatically makes her less appealing as a child bride.

How do we know where the money goes? First of all, our organization is entirely based on volunteer time. The president, Janice Eisenhauer, works full time for the organization on a totally volunteer basis. We have on the ground partners in Afghanistan with whom we communicate on a regular basis. Corporate sponsors recently sent Janice to Afghanistan to observe the projects and meet with the partners. One of our members is working in Afghanistan, for another agency, and she also reports back to us. Finally, our partner for charitable donation status is Rights and Democracy, a government-backed agency with stringent guidelines for any charitable funds being sent out of Canada.

The local scene: We have an active local chapter which has raised over $17 000 in its first year. Many teachers and administrators are members or supporters. For further information or to get on the email list, contact Madeliene Tarasick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 375-8290 (evenings). The national website is w4wafghan.ca

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