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Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Purpose of Breaking Bread?

The overall purpose of Breaking Bread is to raise funds to help pay salaries for Afghan teachers, to equip schools with basic educational resources such as library books, and contribute to an overall higher quality education for Afghan women and girls. Breaking Bread also serves to empower Canadians, as global citizens, to be actively involved in advancing basic human rights for women and girls.

How can I be sure that my donation is safely invested given the insecurity throughout the country?

Many of the teachers funded by Breaking Bread are working in small, community schools, often located in remote areas with little access to funding from the Afghanistan Ministry of Education or other sources. We work directly with small, grassroots women’s organizations (we call them our Afghan partner organizations) that run these schools or hire teachers for literacy, English, computer and other specific education programs that benefit Afghan women and children. We have been working with these women's organizations in Afghanistan and in Pakistan since 1996. The women involved have shown themselves to be honest, courageous, and resourceful in aiding Afghan women during very dangerous turbulent periods in Afghanistan's history. They have given the time and attention to building strong relationships within their own communities, which means a higher level of security and support for these schools and education programs.. And they continue to be the best source of knowledge and expertise in how best to meet the needs of Afghan women and girls within their own communities. They have struggled against overwhelming odds to establish these viable and sustainable programs in education and have fostered a growing civil society in Afghanistan. We are very proud of the opportunity to support their work, and are pleased at the clear results of our investments in education to date including the thousands of children who have graduated because of the increased numbers of teachers employed, the hundreds of teachers who have found employment through this initiative, and the higher learning outcomes that come as a result of better access to educational resources such as school libraries.

How do we ensure our Breaking Bread donations go towards teachers to advance human rights for women and children in Afghanistan?

All of the funds from Breaking Bread dinners and events held in Canada (100%) are remitted to pay the salaries of teachers and as of January 2009, funds are also supporting teacher training, and educational resources such as librarians, library resources and other educational materials. It is important that our beneficiaries are paid for their teaching and also learn improved teaching methods and have adequate resources for their classrooms. Our Afghan partners submit an annual proposal and budget on the funds required to carry out their work. Once our CW4WAfghan Projects Committee has approved the proposal and budget, we prepare a contract that clearly stipulates the total funds being provided, the dates of the funding and other important safeguards to ensure that the funds are used as intended. We advance the funds directly from our bank account in Calgary to our partner’s bank account in Afghanistan. Mid-way through the contract, the partner is required to submit an interim narrative and financial report, prior to receiving the next installment of funds. Upon completion of the term of the contract, our partners submit a final narrative and financial report documenting how the funds were spent, outcomes of the activities, and lessons learned. The partner also submits to us all original receipts for expenditures. At that time we will submit the final advance of funds and await a new proposal and budget for the next term. Our dedicated national staff team in Kabul also regularly monitors and evaluates the projects and reports to our Project Management Team on a regular basis on all projects.

Are the schools and literacy projects monitored and evaluated?

Yes, we have regular monitoring and evaluations undertaken of the various schools and projects. Whenever possible, our CW4WAfghan Canadian volunteers and our Country Director in Kabul and her team keep in close contact with our Afghan partners and schools to ensure the best use of our Breaking Bread fundraising.

If the $75 is a prohibitive amount for donations, can I still host a potluck dinner?

Yes, please do host a dinner or event to support Breaking Bread! The $75 donation was a suggestion for ten guests. Each Breaking Bread dinner or event strives to raise approximately $750 - $1,500, the approximate salary for one teacher in Afghanistan six months to one year. We do understand that this $75 amount is not manageable for all donors, however, we encourage and welcome everyone to get involved. We will accept all donations, but require a minimum contribution of $30 to issue a tax receipt. There have been some very creative events in addition to the potluck dinners hosted for Breaking Bread over the many years, including birthday parties, school events, swim meets, large public events, Afghan cuisine demos and much more.

Why is the fundraising goal based on an average Teacher’s Salary of $750?

CW4WAfghan set the figure of $750 as a fundraising target for Breaking Bread in June 2002 at the beginning of this fundraising initiative, when this amount was the average annual salary for an Afghan teacher (though with some variation across provinces and our different partners). Until 2009, the average salary of the teachers being paid under Breaking Bread ranged from approximately $25 to $350 per month. In 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) raised teacher salaries to a target base salary of an average of $120 per month for teachers. Since then, most of the small schools and programs we work with are gradually also raising salaries to reflect the government target amounts. For more information about teachers’ salaries in Afghanistan, please read our fact sheet on The Teacher Shortfall (click here).

Can I receive a tax receipt?

CW4WAfghan is registered charity (887718203RR001). Tax receipts will be issued for donations $30 and above. Please make cheques payable to CW4WAfghan. Our financial statements are audited annually and we adhere to set by-laws and other best practices and procedures for non-profit organizations.

Is there any time limit for the PotLucks? Can I hold mine later this year or next?

There is no fixed termination date for this project. The potluck dinner fundraising has become an ongoing process and people hold Potlucks all through the year, winter, spring, summer, and fall ---- year after year. They are a lot of fun, easy to pull together, and the funds generated by the dinners are making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Afghan women and girls --- providing them with hope and opportunity.

As we are operated by volunteers on a zero administrative budget, we are relying on word of mouth, listserves, and media to spread the word. Breaking Bread started in 2002 and each year more and more Canadians learn about the project and become involved. Our goal is to ensure that women's groups dedicated to educating Afghan girls get the funds they need, for teacher training and to hire more teachers for women and their families. It's a huge job since the female illiteracy rate in much of rural Afghanistan is over 90% ---- one of the worst in the world.

The success of our Canadian support to Afghanistan relies on our long-term and sustainable commitment to the Afghan people. Please consider hosting an event on an annual basis!

For further information, please call 403 244-5625 or email

PDF icon Breaking Bread FAQ (2011)307.28 KB

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
PO Box 86016, Marda Loop, Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2T 6B7

t: 1 (403) 244-5625

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