As we head into the July, I am amazed by the strong and moving pieces submitted by our writers, and tended to with grace and skill by our mentors. This past month, Seeta sends us a moving piece on a wedding she attended in which the bride must wear a burkah instead of a gown; Freshta wrote a touching piece about school childrens' resilience; Shogofa pens a tribute to the power of friendship; and Seeta, again, tells us the emotional story of a mother longing for the son who was taken from her by her husband's family.
AWWP continues to grow. We have a new board member: Vic Getz, Phd, who is IN KABUL and is a gender specialist and runs the AfghanGenderCafe.org. We are looking to bring on 2-3 more board members over the next 6 months.
We also have a new AWWP staff member in Kabul with Tina Singleton, who will be working on expanding our program on the ground. When not sucked into AWWP, Tina is the Advisor for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Kabul.
AWWP welcomes accountant, Ghelda Noor, who has extensive experience working with NGOs and is generously donating her time to organize our books as we race towards 501c3 status and continue to grow.
Some of the photographs taken by our Afghan women during their photography class with Anne Jones are up on our site. Take a look at the images captured by Seeta and Zariasht of womens' lives-they show a side of Afghanistan that we rarely see in the news.
- Thanks to author and AWWP mentor Melissa Pritchard, we have launched a new Sr Airman Ashton Goodman grant in honor of a US servicewoman killed in Afghanistan while trying to improve women's rights. All donations will be spent directly on efforts to improve Afghan women's literacy. http://www.awwproject.org/help-our-women-writers/ashton-goodman-grant/
-Looking ahead, we are planning two more theater performances! Hopefully in San Francisco and Boston. We are currently looking for venues and directors so ifyou have any ideas on this please contact Creative Outreach Director Jeff Lyons-- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hesitantly, Friba approached the front of the class. "I have decided to punish you to remind you not to forget my lesson," the teacher said. "You are not even prepared to give me yesterday's lesson, but you can make noise in the classroom." Then she turned to me. "Freshta, give Friba a slap on the face."
The Afghan Women's Writing Project was begun as a way to allow the voices of Afghan women - too often silenced - to enter the world directly, without any mediation. This project is possible only because of the outstanding American women authors and teachers who generously donate their time and energy as mentors. Additionally, the tireless contributions of these volunteers: Jeff Lyons, Creative Outreach Director StefanCooke, Webmaster and website designer
Jordan Schneider, Online Magazine Editing Coordinator
Elisabeth Lehr, Workshop Program Coordinator
Rachel de Baere, Online Magazine Poetry Editor
Tahmina Popal and Tina Singleton, Liaisons in Afghanistan Kathleen Rafiq and Heidi Levine, Photography Valerie Wallace, Online Communications Coordinator
Our inspiring partners are SOLA and the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation; please visit their websites.
Online Donations for Afghan Women Writers:
Many of our students and women writers, especially outside of Kabul, cannot get to an Internet cafe due to security considerations. A laptop at home and a jump drive would allow them to write their pieces, and then ask a male relative to send the work at an Internet cafe. A $20 donation will buy a flash drive and $500 in donations will buy a laptop for our women writers. No contribution is too small. Thank you for considering it.
The Afghan Women's Writing Project has filed for non-profit with 501 (c) 3 status. Your donation is tax deductible.