Thursday, January 28, 2010

From Tony: Message of FoA Projects

Salam Friends,

Here's the access to the Starfish Initiative page that you requested. Click here. Send this link to your network and enjoy the apocryphal story of young Rostam the great hero of the Persian speaking people and by acclaim, of the peoples of Central Asia, as a caring child "Making a Difference" in his world.

The message is very simple. Essentially, our Friends of Afghanistan organization often in conjunction with my Orchard Park High School Educational Outreach students, can reach directly into Afghanistan and assist individuals. That is the essence of our Starfish Initiative making a difference for people one individual at a time. In the spirit of this program, we have five built schools, supported educational and vocational organizations put in a well and water supply system for a school, sent funds to purchase a sewing machine for a destitute woman enabling her to support her family, and now we are the visible partner in an effort to rescue a woman who is scheduled to be sold into a marriage by her brothers against her will. (Google: LA Times, I Am For Sale...Who Will Buy Me.)

Regarding our current capital projects, we are focusing on supporting the construction of a dormitory for girls in Kabul and finalizing what we think is Afghanistan's only Internet Cafe built exclusively for women. We have purchased and / or facilitated purchases of more than a dozen computers for this project and through our web master and technical guru Terry Dougherty FoA has been a primary consultant during every phase of development for this unique project. We have even arranged to send Terry to Kabul to oversee the final details of construction and assembly of this high tech project.

Last year we kicked off construction of the Internet Cafe in Kabul with almost $6,000.00 of seed money and we have already set aside another $5,000.00 of funds generated by students for our gender equity educational initiatives exclusively for the completion of this window out into the world for Afghan women and girls. This facility will serve as a computer work station and Distance Learning Center for SOLA, the School of Leadership Afghanistan, and will serve double duty as the hub for the AWWP, the Afghan Women's Writing Project.

In fact, concurrent with this communication, we are setting up a video conference capability that will enable Afghan women and girls through SOLA and the AWWP to meet the intrepid young humanitarian girls of the OPHS Educational Outreach organization who have been such reliable supporters and enthusiastic advocates for this gender equity educational project. All of our officers are Seniors and have been working in support of this project for four years. They are tentatively scheduled to video conference with the girls in Kabul late next week and are as excited as I have ever seen them regarding this opportunity to actually see the product of four years of loving labor in service to their sisters in Afghanistan.

We are also supporting SOLACE for the Children which brings War Wounded Afghan children to the US for medical treatment. Discuss forming a strategy for Buffalo becoming a satellite community for this vital program. We would have to locate doctors and hospitals willing to offer pro bono service and groups willing to support the costs for room, board and travel for the injured children. There are a lot to discuss but that's the synopsis of our major efforts to assist women and children who without our concern might remain hopeless, voiceless and marginalized within their own country.

Re: you other question, Friends of Afghanistan (FoA) is the official Alumni organization for the returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs)who served in Afghanistan. FoA is a national organization of RPCVs and I am the current President of that national organization.

Also, the Buffalo area RPCVs are planning a series of events during national Peace Corps Week in March featuring Afghanistan as our country of service. I'll update you about with the details so you can share it with your network of concerned citizens.

Peace, Tony


1 comment:

cameron said...

Keep up the good work!
If anyone wanys to learn more about Rostam: go to http://www.The