We Have Been Busy

posted Sep 9, 2011, 10:29 AM by Terry Dougherty   [ updated Sep 9, 2011, 10:45 AM ]

Update from Tony Agnello

Sept. 9, 2011

Among our most important purposes is to continue to facilitate peaceful and constructive dialogue about Afghanistan as we honor our commitment to the Third Goal of Peace Corps. In addition to numerous published articles, film presentations, public appearances and community reports  about our host nation by our members, the following is a list of projects and partner organizations that Friends of Afghanistan is currently working with or has supported during the past year:

Considering a Sixth School: Our leadership has actively promoted the construction of five schools three of which have been exclusively for girls with the others allowing girls in split session. We have assisted student and community groups in fundraising and connecting with partners in Afghanistan capable of implementing our projects in country.

School of Leadership, Afghanistan: Friends of Afghanistan tangibly supports SOLA, which provides vocational and educational services to returning exchange students and other bright young Afghans. The students work with SOLACE & the AWWP (below) and other organizations while they study English and prepare scholarship applications. SOLA has opened a women's dormitory where women from outside Kabul can come and study in a safe environment. SOLA‘s Director is Ted Achilles who is the 2011 recipient of Friends of Afghanistan’s Starfish Award (type Rostam Starfish Initiative into Google) serves as a field officer and is our chief representative in Kabul.  http://www.sola-afghanistan.org/

      SOLACE for the Children, brought thirty four Afghan children to the US for medical treatment. Interested in establishing your region as a satellite center? SOLACE is administered in Kabul by SOLA Director Ted Achilles. See http://www.solaceforthechildren.org

      Starfish Initiative: Friends of Afghanistan has supported mini grants and the purchase of modestly priced products that can offer sustainable income for families and support for small communities. Visit the Starfish Initiative page on this site.

Distance Learning: FoA has contributed to the purchase of computers and equipment needed to establish a international communication system and a Distance Learning platform for SOLA Students in Kabul, connecting them with American female students for dialogue and peer tutorials. This physical plant will serve as an Internet Café for women.

      Afghan Women's Writing Project is developing the writing of Afghan women throughout Afghanistan for publication in the USA. The women write in English and are supported by published American authors via an online classroom developed by FoA and administered in Kabul through SOLA. Satellite programs for other cities are currently in the planning stage.      http://awwproject.org

      QU QU QU BARG-E-CHINAAR Children's Songbook: FoA purchased 35 copies of RPCV Louise Pascale's song books for the Afghan children receiving medical treatment in the USA through the work of SOLACE and SOLA. FoA plans continued support for Pascale's effort and has selected Dr. Louise Pascale to receive our 2011 Third Goal Award. All income from US sales goes to publish a Farsi version of the book for free distribution in Afghan elementary schools. 14,000 of these books have already been distributed in Afghanistan. Louise was the first RPCV ESL teacher for SOLA students while on sabbatical this past fall, from her teaching duties at Lesley College. http://www.facone.org/musicshop/afghan_book.htm

       Pennies for Peace Contact tony@afghanconnections.org for information about the Windom Elementary School project in support of Greg Mortensen’s CAI efforts. Mortensen wrote Three Cups of Tea and has recently released Stones into Schools.

These programs provide opportunities for American organizations to assist the women and children of Afghanistan and oppose the extremist philosophies that oppress them. For more information to start a program to help Afghan students send inquiries to 

Friends of Afghanistan at the following email address: tony@afghanconnections.org. Be sure to put your organization and/or your proposed project in the email title line.