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Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan


Below is a sample of our past projects and grants that were completed and are no longer active.



House of Flowers Orphanage

The House of Flowers (HoF) is a unique orphanage in Kabul that provides a home as well as an innovative education program for orphaned children aged 5 to 18. The House was founded in 2002 in order to help meet the critical needs of destitute children who had lost parents. Children in these situations were sometimes living on the streets or in situations of extreme poverty and/or violence. The HoF was designed to provide a safe and supportive home and a very strong and unique educational program for these children, giving them the chance to grow up in a developmentally healthy environment and also to recover from the traumas many of them had experienced. The House is currently home to 27 children, one third of whom are girls. Since 2002, the House of Flowers has operated under a protocol with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Disabled and Martyrs (MoLSADM) of the Government of Afghanistan. The children come to the House through recommendations from neighbors, family members and the MoLSADM. The staff then investigate the socioeconomic situation and assesses whether the need for a home for the child is genuine and legitimate. The orphanage was initially founded by an organization known as MEPO (Medical, Education and Peace Organization), and has been operated by an Afghan non-governmental organization (NGO) known as HEWAD since its founding.  From its inception, the philosophy of the HoF environment provided for the children has been based on Montessori learning and teaching principles, emphasizing inner development and inner strength through meeting children’s developmental needs. For example, the children at HoF are integrally involved in the House community. They have responsibilities but also freedom. They are given experience in life skills in the House to help prepare them for adulthood. They learn skills of conflict transformation, self-awareness and compassion, and also develop strong social skills. Children have joined the House of Flowers along the way, through recommendations from the MoLSADM. As the children grow older, some of them have begun transitioning out into the wider world, working part-time and earning their own money. Those who have left the House frequently return to visit, and the staff keeps close tabs on them to make sure that they continue their studies even after having left.



Using the DD Library to Support Girls' Success in the Konkor Exam 

As students in Afghanistan complete high school, those who wish to enroll in university write a national examination known as the Konkor. The pass rates of this exam are higher among male students than among females, and one reason is likely males are more likely to access preparatory classes in private institutions, as well as other means of support to prepare for the exam, that female have more limited access to. In response to this problem, The Asia Foundation conceptualized a project using a systematic, cost effective, sustainable, and geographically representative approach: Providing the opportunity for Kankor Exam preparation training to girl students by their own school teachers and during their regular study time. This activity will be launched in 300 schools across Afghanistan. In addition to supporting teachers to effectively prepare female students to pass the exam by focusing on the questions one might expect to be included in the exam, CW4WAfghan's Darakht-e Danesh Library will be mobilized to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills in teachers and students. The DD Library will make available a variety of learning materials, study guides, and interactive features that help students and teachers better grasp subject knowledge by engaging their thinking and analysis. Students in remote areas will access these tools from an offline version of the DD Library. DD Library team members will travel to the schools and support them to access and use this technology-enabled learning tool on site. Together, with the activities implemented by the Foundation and its other partners, it is anticipated that these efforts will result in a greater number of Afghan girls accessing higher education. 

With funding from: 



Fanoos/Lantern: Teacher Training for Afghanistan

The goal of the Fanoos/Lantern Fund: Teacher Education for Afghanistan Program was to provide training for 1,000 in-service teachers each year, half of whom will be female, in rural Afghanistan. The teachers registered in the program were trained in active learning methods, as opposed to traditional rote learning. Their training had a heavy emphasis on hands-on math and science as well as student-centred social studies and language learning, utilizing highly qualified Afghan Master Teacher Trainers. Upon successful completion of training, teachers are certified by the Afghan Ministry of Education and, as a result, are eligible for a salary increase as certified teachers. We worked to intensively train teachers in both methods (pedagogy) and subject matter, as a powerful way to increase the quality of the public education system, and improve learning outcomes among students. The project's goal was to raise learning outcomes by improving the quality of public secondary school education in target locations, contributing to Afghanistan’s long-term human development objectives by investing in the country’s human capital. Specific target outcomes include enhanced performance among trained teachers in pedagogical skill and in subject knowledge; enhanced pedagogical performance among trained teacher educators; participating schools equipped with resources that enable application of the training methods, including school science labs and school libraries; and the capacity development of school administrators in participating schools. The project budget was $400 per teacher trainee, which included the cost of basic training and numerous supplementary activities to reinforce the teachers’ professional development, including the equipping of all participating schools with School Starter Kits: one modest science lab and one mini library to provide the necessary resources for engaging students in active, hands-on learning. Quarterly reports are available for Fanoos. Please contact us to request a report. 

Impact Study on Open Education Resources in Afghanistan

In early 2015, CW4WAfghan was awarded a research grant to study the impact of open educational resources (OER) in Afghanistan, by the Wawasan Open University in Penang, Malaysia, which is coordinating a series of OER impact studies. These together with the series of OER adoption studies coordinated by the University of Cape Town, form the Research on OER for Development (ROER4D) programme. ROER4D is funded by Canada’s International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). As defined by UNESCO, OER are “any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them.” OER can include lesson plans, courses, textbooks, storybooks, images, maps, activities, teacher guides, and a variety of other materials. CW4WAfghan is among several grantee institutions focusing on education in Asia, Africa or Latin America and experimenting with the use of OER to strengthen the quality of teaching and learning. The ROER4D programme aims to provide evidence-based research to help understand with what impact and under what circumstances the use of OER can best address the demand for accessible, relevant, high-quality and affordable education in the Global South. The study allowed CW4WAfghan to measure the impact of the educational resources in the Darakht-e Danesh Library and to understand how exposure to the materials changes teachers’ knowledge and pedagogical skill. CW4WAfghan’s Executive Director, Dr. Lauryn Oates, was the Principal Investigator of the study, which was published in 2016. Please contact us to request a copy of the study.



The Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies (KIMS) in Kandahar City is committed to promoting the participation of women in the economic, political, social, cultural and civic life of their country, and is provider of employment-oriented education that has created significant change for students in Kandahar, particularly women. The KIMS project promotes economic independence and social stability for 175 women and their families in Kandahar. The Professional Education Development project provides 10 months of scholarships for 175 women to attend training in English, Communications, Journalism and Computing. Training includes computer skills, business communication and English language, organizational behaviour, leadership, human resoures and conflict management, and fundamental accounting principles. There is a significant need for professional education and economic development, particularly for women in southern Afghanistan. Illiteracy in Kandahar Province is estimated at 71.7% in Kandahar Province (according to the Ministry of Education), the average family income is estimated at just $37 per week and 32% suffered from some form of food insecurity (Danish Refugee Council, 2013). The high rate of illiteracy and unemployment have contributed to the continuous subjugation of Afghan women. 



Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) was the first partner for CW4WAfghan in 1998. The initial grant of USD $2,500 helped cover the rent for their offices and women's resource centres in refugee camps. Following that, funds were provided annually by CW4WAfghan for many projects with AWRC. AWRC was founded in 1989 to address the urgent needs of Afghan refugee women. AWRC’s stated vision for their organization is to work towards “a future where Afghan women are active agents of positive change in their community and country”. AWRC serves women and children in the provinces of Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Laghman and Ningarhar. Their main programmes include Community Mobilizations & Advocacy, Education, Community Empowerment, Supporting Civil Society Organizations. CW4WAfghan also helped to re-establish their offices in Kabul in 2002, to expand their activities and establish a suboffice in Laghman and funded a community library in Kabul. Most recently, AWRC was an implementing partner with our the CIDA funded Excel-erate teacher training, which ended April 2013.



The Afghan Children’s Songbook This CW4WAfghan-funded project provided funds towards the printing and distsemination of 5000 copies of the Afghan Children’s Songbook to schools, orphanages and women and family centers across Afghanistan in order to strengthen cultural ties, preserve these important traditional songs and enhance basic literacy. Primary beneficiaries of the project are young Afghan children, ages 4-9, in pre-schools, elementary schools and orphanages across Afghanistan. 

The Roqia Center conducted a literacy program for couples in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Kabul and Balkh provinces. The program brings adult couples to a fourth grade level of literacy and arithmetic within one year, and  empowers women and men alike, often healings family relations. The Roqia Center has also added components to the program that have increased students’ other skill sets, such as knowledge of their rights, constitution, democracy, hygiene, family dignity and family planning. Funding under CW4WAfghan’s contract covered the costs of two seven-month adult literacy courses for couples in Mazar-e-sharif and also funds for the Roqia Centre's 2012 operating and orphanage expenses.

Afghan Women’s Welfare Development (AWWD). Annual funding was provided for English and computer classes in Peshawar, Pakistan and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, beetween 2005 and 2012. The classes were designed to empower Afghan women, make them self-reliant and improve their social and economicalal status. The project provided training for 500 women in both Peshawar and Jalalabad. The stated organizational goals of AWWD are 1) to provide opportunity for Afghan women and girls to have access to new technology in order to find employment and further access to information; 2) to help Afghan women with developing special skills and new sources of employment, and 3) to enable Afghan women to be actively involved in the reconstruction of their country.

The Nazo Annah Library and Internet Cafe Library program was managed by Noor Education and Community Development Org (NECDO) and designed to enable and empower young women through access to literacy and education. NECDO programs include: awareness-raising in gender, human rights, and children’s rights issues; English, literacy, and health; vocational training and special classes such as sign language and other programs for disabled women. CW4WAfghan grants supported the NECDO Library between 2005-2012, which was a resource centre for library users within the community and provided a community meeting place for teachers, members and their parents. Donor funds also supported a portion of staff salaries and resources at two small community libraries in the provinces of Ghazni and Nangarhar.

Shuhaha Organization, founded by Dr. Sima Samar, received financial support from C4WAfghan for various projects between July 2001 and 2012. The most recent project, the Shuhada Girls’ High School in Ghazni province, os now fully registered with the Ministry of Education in Kabul and the government is covering salaries for teachers at this school.



Afghan Women’s Organization (AWO) managed the Omid-e-Mirmun Girls Orphanage, a small children’s centre established in Kabul in April 2003 with funding from Canadian donors raised through the CW4WAfghan volunteer network. This supervised children’s centre cared for approximately 30 orphaned girls between the ages of 4 to 16. CW4WAfghan donors proudly provided support to these girls for a decade.

Nazaneen Jabar khel Education and Health Centre (NEHC). In collaboration with the Oakville-based, Canadians in Support of Afghan Women (CSAW), CW4WAfghan supported NEHC for several years. NEHC is a registered education facility for Afghan children. The school built in a village in Nangarhar Province in 2009 by Calgary volunteer, Ash Khan, was transferred to the Ministry of Education who now has responsibility for paying the school’s operational expenses and teachers’ salaries. CW4WAfghan has also funded salaries for teachers at the school for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, which was eventually closed by NEHC after the return of the refugees to Afghanistan.



The Afghan Women’s Education Centre (AWEC). CW4WAfghan partnered with AWEC between 2004 and 2010. Projects included classes for Afghan refugees in Pakistan at a refugee school. AWEC is a non-governmental, non-political, indigenous Afghan women’s organization. Funds were also provided for teachers’ salaries and other costs associated with the Center for Women and Street Children in Kabul. This Centre worked with vulnerable women and children in order to give them options to improve their lives. Young children are provided with informal education in order to re-integrate them into the formal education system. Children older than 14 were also given vocational training. Beneficiaries received health education, support group and individual counseling where necessary.

Shuhada Organization: CW4WAfghan began its partnership with Dr. Sima Samar in July 2001 through funding support for a mobile health clinic. Later that year, Dr. Samar was awarded the John Humphries Freedom award by the Montreal-based organization, Rights & Democracy. CW4WAfghan assisted with a tour across Canada to provide the opportunity for Dr. Samar to meet Canadians and raise awareness of the human rights violations in Afghanistan. All funds raised on this tour were directed to her non-profit organization, Shuhada Organization (SO). Shuhada operates schools for girls and health clinics in many of the provinces of Afghanistan as well as in the refugee camps in Quetta, Pakistan. For over ten years, CW4WAfghan provided annual grants mainly towards a health clinic and later to sustain teacher salaries at a girls high school in Jaghori district of Ghazni Province. The school eventually was taken over as a public school and salaries paid by the government. Our final grant in 2011 helped to establish a small library, science laboratory and a tree plantation. A total of 2,988 female students benefited as well as 51 teachers.



The Women Activities & Social Services Association (WASSA) was established in 2002 in Afghanistan, as an independent women’s organization in Herat province, committed to seeking ways to empower women in Afghanistan. WASSA aims to promote women equal participation in socio-economic sectors of the country. WASSA works directly with communities in order to bring change in social attitudes within  communities. Funding from CW4WAfghan supported a library in Herat as well as communication tools, to redesign their website and to cover expenses relating to printing costs for the WASSA fact sheet, brochure, calendar, annual report, procurement folder and newsletter. These communication tools better equipped. WASSA to advance their goals and objectives.

Aschiana Centre. Provision of school supplies and lunches for orphaned and vulnerable children at the Aschiana Centre. This Afghan NGO provides basic education and vocational training to over 6,000 street working children in Afghanistan. The children’s fathers are either deceased or disabled and their mothers do not work outside the home. As the main wage earners for their families, the children work six to seven hours a day and are unable to attend regular Afghan school. Support from CW4WAfghan was provided in conjunction with the Friends of Aschiana in Helena, Montana.

Help for Poor Women Organization (HPWO). A livelihoods initiative to generate income through production of wowen-made jewelry. Funding support was provided by CW4WAfghan for computer, office equipment, monthly expenses.



Help For Poor Women Organization (HPWO) received funding support from CW4WAfghan in 2009 for assisting with operation expenses including computer, office equipment and monthly administration expenses.

Afghan Canadian Community Centre. The Afghan School Project is a Canada-based grassroots initiative to establish and operate a post-secondary school (the Afghan-Canadian Community Center or ACCC) in residential Kandahar. The school provides hundreds of male and female students with the opportunity to receive locally-provided vocational training, internationally recognized post-secondary education and the Internet (300 female and 100 male students in Kandahar. This school changed its name to the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies in 2013, and we were pleased to contribute $25,000 to their current programming supporting female students, in 2014.


2004 - 2005

Afghan Women Skills Development Center (AWSDC) an Afghan NGO providing community women development programs. Their goals are to promote solidarity among the Afghan women and empower them to improve their quality of lives to achieve their rights, to take active part in the process of meaningful and sustainable peace and development of Afghanistan. Grants from CW4WAfghan provided funds for activities in a women's shelter including adult literacy training, women’s networking and internet.

Afghan Women's Network (AWN) was created in 1995 to represent individual members and Afghan women non-government organizations to work collaboratively  to build capacity towards their participation in rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country. Funding from CW4WAfghan between 2004 and 2008 provided for training workshops focusing on issues relating to effective communication, women's leadership, awareness raising on the rights of women and children, conflict resolution, and peace building.

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

t: 1 (403) 244-5625

Registered Charity #887718203RR0001

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