We travel regularly to Afghanistan to bear witness to the realities on the ground, to see first-hand the challenges Afghan women are facing, and to understand what we can do to serve.
One of the primary tenets of our work in the world as independent citizen diplomats is that by showing up to places of conflict, what is “ours to do” becomes clear. We overcome the sense of helplessness that is such a debilitating a side effect of global media. And we demonstrate that there are Americans willing to listen.
We have met and talked with scores of women and men living and working in Kabul as well as Taliban controlled provinces like Khost, Wardok and Laghman. We have come to believe that the future of the country lies in the hands of the women doctors, teachers, business women, local leaders, lawyers and activists who are working tirelessly to build a country based on human rights and economic development.
Our work in Afghanistan currently takes three forms:
We raise money for Afghan grassroots projects. We give the money through our Flow Fund with no administrative fees. In addition to funding small projects we also fund individual Afghan women and men that we know personally and trust to dispense funds directly in those places we cannot visit.
Elizabeth is now working with a small group of women advocates and funders to host a Women’s Regional Summit to give a greater voice and opportunity for cooperation to the women of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. In October/November 2010 she will visit these countries to begin setting up the regional network that will develop the project and create the agenda.
We encourage people to go to Afghanistan and see for themselves what is happening there and find what they are called to do. For help or information about such trips, email email@example.com.
What can we do in Afghanistan?