OUR VOLUNTEER NETWORK IN CANADA
Canadians are invited to join our national organization of volunteers and demonstrate their commitment to advancing education in Afghanistan. Our network of members promote the formation, development and expansion of chapters across Canada for education, public engagement and fundraising. There are twelve chapters and an affiliated youth group making up our network. These represent members of all ages who are taking action to support our organization and its goals.
We recognize that nurturing the development and expansion of the chapter structure is essential to the growth of CW4WAfghan. Local chapters offer our membership significant benefits including:
- solidarity and support as members
- addressing the immediate needs of the local community
- a forum for dialogue and activities
- a working environment to further the purposes of CW4WAfghan and
- expanding relationships and networks in the community and among other international development organizations and social justice groups working at the local level.
Please follow the links below for further details on how to become involved with CW4WAfghan through the formation of a new chapter or affiliated group:
- What is the CW4WAfghan Network?
- Why join the CW4WAfghan Network?
- What is a CW4WAfghan Chapter?
- What is a CW4WAfghan Chapter Charter?
- How do we Start a New CW4WAfghan Chapter?
- What are the Activities of a CW4WAfghan Chapter?
- What is a CW4WAfghan Affiliated Group?
- Chapter Charter GUIDELINES
What is the CW4WAfghan Network?
Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) is a volunteer not-for-profit charitable organization founded in 1996. There are twelve chapters and one affiliated group across Canada that make up our network. The purpose of CW4WAfghan is to advance education and educational opportunities for Afghan women and their families; and to educate and increase the understanding of Canadians about human rights in Afghanistan.
CW4WAfghan is a registered charity (#887718203RR0001). Details on this registration may be viewed on the government website: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/chrts/menu-eng.html
Our members have learned that by joining together through our shared values there is much we can do to advance our goals in Afghanistan. And there is a great deal that can be achieved without leaving Canada. Our commitment as global citizens, our actions and lifestyle choices can improve our own quality of life, can impact or inspire others in our own communities and educate fellow citizens on global issues surrounding social justice, universal human rights and effective international development policies and practices. In this way, our members engage and educate Canadians.
Our chapters, members and supporters work together to raise funds for education-based projects in Afghanistan. Since our early beginnings as a Canadian network, there have been many shared challenges, successes and lessons learned through our partnerships. Specifically, we have learned the value of listening to, and learning from, our Afghan partners and beneficiaries. We work closely together in order to understand the change Afghans seek in their lives, the role that education can play to enable that change and how both Afghan and Canadian individuals and communities can build upon their existing strengths to bring about sustainable and just societies. Background information about our organization and our history is available on our web site: Who We Are.
Why join the CW4WAfghan Network?
The strength of our CW4WAfghan network lies in the unique and diverse skills, talents and commitments of our volunteers. Our volunteers have made significant and crucial contributions to the overall success of the CW4WAfghan organization over the past decade. Our members value our ability to be open and to collaborate with others sharing similar mandates to advance education for Afghan women and girls. Together, we can demonstrate, as a collective group, the passion and commitment to our work, and share with our communities and governments the importance we place on our role as global citizens.
We are a group of Canadians taking action, in partnership with Afghan women, towards improving conditions of human rights, ending women's oppression and providing opportunities for Afghan women to live lives imbued with dignity, certainty and purpose.
Our goal is to ensure effective long-term sustainable education programs for Afghan women and their families, and to engage Canadians as global citizens.
Our CW4WAfghan members believe that individuals, as global citizens, working in solidarity, and with integrity of purpose and action, can affect positive change in the world through education and the promotion of social justice and human rights.
What is a CW4WAfghan Chapter?
A local Chapter of CW4WAfghan is a legal office, branch or arm of the overall CW4WAfghan network. Chapters are unincorporated legal entities and as such are the responsibility of the registered legal entity, the National Office of CW4WAfghan, under the direction and control of its National elected board of directors.
A group of two or more members of CW4WAfghan may put forward an application to become a formal local chapter of the CW4WAfghan network in their community, where no other local CW4WAfghan chapter exists. A CW4WAfghan Chapter Application Form is provided for this purpose.
Becoming a formal chapter of the CW4WAfghan Network involves adhering to the established charter and governance structures as part of the legal operation of the organization. This ensures CW4WAfghan will continue to function as an effective and strong volunteer members’ network, is accountable to our donors and our Afghan partners and beneficiaries, as well as meets our obligations as a legal registered charity operating under the Charities Act of the Government of Canada.
Our national office and existing chapter network are responsible as a whole to nurture new chapters through collaboration, solidarity and direction at the various stages of chapter development.
What is a CW4WAfghan Chapter Charter?
Under the terms of our by-laws, “the board of directors may accept applications for chapter status and if approved, a Chapter Charter shall govern how chapters operate. This Chapter Charter is established and updated as required by the board of directors.”
A Chapter Charter sets out the specific requirements for chapter governance and operations. Chapters will be granted a charter upon approval by the Board of Directors. This Charter provides clear, transparent and effective governance for our network.
How do We Start a New CW4WAfghan Chapter?
We welcome hearing from you! A minimum of two local members are requested to join together to submit an application to start a new chapter. These members will include the Chapter Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. Further input on how best to launch a new chapter is always evolving as our members provide more feedback and ideas in this regard. Visit this page for more information on starting a chapter, and of course please contact us!
What are the Activities of a CW4WAfghan Chapter?
Chapter members work together to promote the purposes of the organization, to encourage membership growth and development, and to enhance volunteer involvement, public engagement, education and fundraising. The Chapter members work to raise funds for our specific projects in Afghanistan. Chapter members ensure that all donations are properly directed to our National Office as set out in our web site: DONATE TODAY.
Projects in Afghanistan are selected and managed by the National Office. These projects include a number of community schools, village libraries, an orphanage, as well as teacher training, literacy, English and computer classes. Projects are funded mainly by individual donations from Canadians. An important exception is a teacher-training project in Northern Kabul financed by matched funding from the Canadian International Development Agency. See HOW WE HELP for full details on the projects funded by our network of members and supporters.
Sample activities of local chapters could include organizing and hosting local fundraising events, collaborating with other social justice groups, holding regular chapter meetings, film nights, encouraging dialogue in communities through presentations for schools and community groups, providing educational resources and handouts such as newsletters, teachers’ resources and web-based information.
What is a CW4WAfghan Affiliated Group?
Should local chapters wish to work more autonomously they could elect to become an independent, legally incorporated, non-profit society or organization. This will involve setting up their own Board of Directors, by-laws and governance responsibilities. CW4WAfghan National Office will assist, where possible and appropriate, in this process. This step moves the chapter from being under the governance of CW4WAfghan National Office to being a locally governed non-profit. Not all chapters will aspire to become independent entities and may chose to remain within the CW4WAfghan chapter network.
The CW4WAfghan board may welcome new affiliated groups to join our network. An Affiliated Group Application Form is provided for this purpose. The form sets out the roles and responsibilities of an Affiliated Group with respect to activities, networking, media and communication, advocacy and other activities that will take full advantage of the strengths of our network. Affiliated Groups are independent legal entities. They may be registered as provincial non-profit societies under provincial regulations, or they may be registered as federal non-profit corporations under Industry Canada, or they may be registered as legal charities under the Charities Directorate with Canada Revenue Agency. (Note: only those organizations that are legally registered as charities are able to issue tax receipts). The operations and activities of the Affiliated Groups do not fall under the CW4WAfghan by-laws because they have their own governance structure, nor do Affiliated Groups have voting privileges with CW4WAfghan.
CW4WAfghan Chapter Charter Guidelines
CW4WAfghan Chapters. CW4WAfghan Chapters promote the goals and objectives of CW4WAfghan within Canada at the local level. Chapter members undertake activities to promote the goals of the organization by encouraging the growth and development of volunteers and members, organizing public events, educational presentations and fundraising activities.
Chapter Approval. To become a formal Chapter of CW4WAfghan, a Chapter Application form is submitted to the National Office and approved by the Board of Directors
Chapter Officers. The application shall include the names of the proposed Chapter’s charter officers, comprising a minimum of a Chapter Chairperson and a Secretary/Treasurer. These officers will commit to serve a minimum of one calendar year following the date of founding of the Chapter.
Chapter Chairperson. The chapter chairperson will manage and oversee the administration and operation of the Chapter. The Chairperson is one of two official signing authorities for the Chapter. The Chairperson will be accountable to the National President of the Board of Directors and the Chairperson or designate, will represent the Chapter at the CW4WAfghan Annual General Meeting.
Chapter Treasurer. The Chapter Treasurer shall manage the financial activities of the Chapter, including forming the budget, preparing financial reports, paying Chapter bills and accounting for program revenue and expenses. The Treasurer is one of the two official signing authorities for the Chapter. The Treasurer shall submit, on a quarterly basis or as requested, an accounting of all financial transactions of the Chapter.
Chapter Secretary. The Chapter Secretary keeps minutes of all Chapter meetings. Chapters shall hold a minimum of three meetings per year, bringing together local members. The Secretary shall prepare an agenda detailing the business and purpose of the meeting.(The Treasurer and Secretary positions may be held by one member.)
Year-End Reports. Each Chapter will provide the National Office with regular status reports, as requested, detailing the operational and financial status of the Chapter for its fiscal year, Sept 1 – Aug 31. Minutes of all Chapter meetings shall be appended to these reports.
Number of Members. There must be a minimum of two active CW4WAfghan members in order to form a new chapter. The proposal to found a new Chapter should be accompanied by a list of potential active members.
Chapter Operating Plan. Each CW4WAfghan Chapter will engage only in activities that promote the purposes of CW4WAfghan as set out in the by-laws. An operating plan for the first year of the Chapter should be prepared as part of the Chapter application. This plan should include a schedule of the Chapter’s proposed meeting dates and a list of activities and goals to be considered by the members during the first year of operation.
Location of the Chapter. A location may be designated as a city, a multi-city "area" (i.e., the "Okanagan" area in BC) or other specific geographic location not currently represented by a Chapter.
Chapter Name. A unique Chapter name must be proposed (i.e. Okanagan Chapter) that reflects the geographical or functional nature of the Chapter.
Mailing Address. The Chapter must include an address for receipt of all CW4WAfghan correspondence. This may be a Chapter representative’s residence or a post office box. Our National Office web master will create an email address [CHAPTER-NAME]@CW4WAfghan.ca, and this address will be linked to an email provided by the Chapter representative. This Chapter email will be publically available and will appear on CW4WAfghan literature, handouts web site and other media.
Bank Account. Upon approval of the new Chapter charter, the Chairperson and Treasurer will open a bank account for CW4WAfghan Chapter. Copies of monthly bank statements shall be included in financial reports to the National Office.
Approving a CW4WAfghan Chapter. The board of directors will accept a motion recommending that an application for chapter incorporation be considered. Following discussion, the directors will vote on the motion. A simple majority of the directors is required accept the application and grant a Chapter Charter. Immediately upon incorporation, the Chapter name and contact information will be included on the Cw4WAfghan web site and materials. Should the application fail, the applicants will be supplied with the reasons for the Board of Directors’ decision.
Chapter Operations. Chapter members shall review the CW4WAfghan By-laws that set out the legal requirements for the organization. In addition to the By-laws, CW4WAfghan’s Operation’s Manual documents best practices for managing the operations, ethical standards and finances of a local Chapter, including its relationship with the National Office and the CW4WAfghan network. The Chapter Executive is responsible to ensure that the Chapter adheres to these legal and operating principles. This Operation’s Manual sets out specific information to support in all aspects of the work of the chapter members, including financial management, media and communications and chapter activities.
Chapter Operations Review. The operation of each Chapter shall be reviewed annually or more frequently as deemed necessary by the National Office. This review will examine how the Chapter is representing the mission, vision, charter and goals of CW4WAfghan. The review will also examine Chapter’s operational and fiscal responsibility, and its adherence to the principles and practice of good governance as established and approved by the CW4WAfghan network.
CW4WAfghan Chapter Application Form (Download the APPLICATION FORM.)
Proposed Name of Chapter:
(eg: CW4WAfghan Okanagan Chapter)
Name of Applicants [Officer Position]:
eg: Mariam Smith, Chairperson
Description of Geographical Region
Contact email for local chapter
Contact phone number (internal use only)
Please submit with the following:
- How did you hear about CW4WAfghan?
- What drew you to this issue?
- Are there others in your community with whom you may collaborate?
- What events, activities and or initiatives might interest you?
- What is your short- and long-term vision for a chapter of CW4WAfghan in your area?
- Do you have any specific goals and/or objectives for starting a chapter that may vary (or not) from those already established?
Short Bio of Applicats