Humanitarian Programs

The launch of Life & Cope

The launch of Life & Cope is a response to the growing needs of the Afghan Community in this area. The first talk series took place in October 2015 on the topic of "migration" and its impact on immigrant families. The presenter was Dr. Nahis Aziz. Our team believes that bringing awareness to our community regarding critical challenges and relevant issues can breed resolution and unity.

Here is a brief report by Voice of America: http://www.darivoa.com/audio/2983305.html

Winter Coat Drive (Afghanistan)

A-AWA launched its first Coat Drive in 2010. Since then it became an almost annual event enjoyed by A-AWA volunteers and community members to make donations in cash and in material in form of winter clothes for school age children. A-AWA has been able to help some street children as well as a number of different schools such as Mirmun Orphanage and Avicenna in Kabul and one school in Jelalabad. Each Coat Drive has benefited from discounts obtained from local stores like Macy's, Walmart and Goodwill. The Winter Coat Drives have received much support from a number of partners who have provided free transportation such as Paxton International and DynCorp International. Ms. Fouzia Amiri and the Sela Foundation have been great partners inside Afghanistan managing distribution along with other A-AWA's dedicated volunteers. A-AWA has also tried purchasing winter clothes from within Afghanistan to promote local businesses and avoid transportation costs. The purpose of program is to allow Afghan community to have a safe and direct channel to take their small part in helping the most vulnerable populations inside Afghanistan. This program has depended on members' donations and not other funding resources that many may compete to tap in to - However small in its scale compared to the need on ground, it is an effort close to the hearts of A-AWA's members  and volunteers.

Microfinance (Afghanistan)

Widowed women were taught to sew in a classroom setting (30 women every 6 months). The curriculum included a graduation certification and a sewing machine! Graduates used their newly earned skills to provide for their families by earning income as a seamstress or by making clothing for their children. This project continued for 2 1/2 years (November2012 to May 2014) with the help of dedicated volunteers like Ms. Malal Nezam and Ms. Rohina Baseer Panah. Currently the program is inactive due to lack of sustainable funding.

 

 Women Health Promotion (Afghanistan)

A-AWA is reviewing its involvement in a possible project promoted by honorable Mrs. Shinkai Karokhail as she is attempting to advocate for breast cancer awareness in Afghanistan.

Women Empowerment and Support Programs:

Women Support Groups and Senior Circle (VA, USA)

The Senior Circle started as the first organized program/service offered to the community by AAWA, back in 2010 under the supervision of Ms. Nillab Pazhwak and Ms. Mariam Rusta. It has helped AAWA grow as an organization and find recognition within the community. The program has resulted in regular meeting opportunities for the members to avoid isolation and improve their well-being through socialization and awareness. Most participants enjoy the special time with their family member who provides them transportation or build a new relationship with the volunteer assisting them. The gatherings have also turned to a place where AAWA-members can meet, network and stay up to date with AAWA's  activities and other community services or events. This has resulted to form an "all ages" support group since 2012. Programs have included relaxation sessions, laughter therapy, book club, guest speakers, and informative sessions covering health issues and cultural celebrations.

Women's Leadership Development (VA, USA) 

A-AWA is offering opportunity for internship, mentorship, and powerful volunteer positions that has promoted leadership skills. A-AWA's active members and contributors set a positive example for other community members who are looking for role models and venues to get involved.  

Youth and Adults Enrichment Programs:

Language and Cultural Awareness classes(VA, USA)

Under Ms. Nooria Faryar's supervision, A-AWA educational program has been operating since Fall of 2012. The program started as a pilot project, holding language classes at Dr. Behsudi’s office and moving quickly to classrooms at Northern Virginia Community College with a total of more than 100 students so far served.  The program objective is to provide instruction of the two national languages of Afghanistan and cultural arts to Afghans ages 6 and above.  Survival English communication skills for seniors and Dari for non-native speaker adults are also offered.

Adult ESL classes (VA, USA)

Survival English communication skills for adults and seniors are offered as requested.


Community Services:

Resettlement Services to Refugees and Newcomer Families (USA) 

AAWA has received increased number of cases in need of settlement services such as  translation, cultural interpretation, housing, referrals and informal counseling. AAWA has been able to find and organize volunteers to help these cases.

AAWA's role is to welcome new comer families and other refugees to the Afghan community and offer some basic support by finding volunteers to arrange for home visits, and help with family's needs related to school issues, parenting, budgeting, job search, health and nutrition. Recently, A-AWA has been approached by mainstream community organizations to help with a wave of new Afghan refugees. A-AWA is especially working with the women in these families trying to support their smooth adaptation and settlement. Since September 2014, in partnership with LSS/NCA, a new support group is formed for new comer families.

Emergency Assistance to Vulnerable Families (USA)

A-AWA has been fortunately involved in helping a number of single Moms challenged by serious illness. This support was possible through A-AWA members' donations and other community members trusting A-AWA. The lives of children in these families have been improved due to the financial and emotional support offered to them under most critical circumstances.

Community Networking and Advocacy (USA)

A-AWA continues to receive requests from various community organizations and groups to help in promoting their programs and activities through AAWA's large electronic network to spread the word e.g. Sham-e-Orphan, Education for Better Tomorrow, AAMPA, etc.
Civic Engagement Services [Civic participation education , Voter registration education and drives, Community advocacy and engagement education] (VA, USA)

This service has been under review as A-AWA is trying to strengthen its role in the larger community by raising Afghan community's voice and helping them be more participatory in social and political activities.