AFCECO November 2016 Newsletter
Dear Sponsors and Friends,
November has been an overwhelmingly busy month with all the programs happening both for the children and staff.
We are very happy to announce that we have activated the Italian section of our website. Again, our special thanks go to Elisa Ghazi our sponsor who did the translation from English to Italian. AFCECO has many Italian sponsors who have hosted our children and provided ongoing support of our efforts. We hope this change to our website will enable them to better understand the impact they are making and how they can continue to support AFCECO. While Elisa was in Kabul we really had an amazing time. The children especially enjoyed pizza day with Elisa where we cooked pizzas for all the children.
All of the orphanages children completed their final exams on December 5th. Unlike the previous years, unfortunately we will not be able to keep most of the children at the orphanages during the winter period. Due to our budget deficit we will be sending them to their villages for the long winter break. As you are aware we tried many ways to cover our budget deficit. We contacted embassies and also many other organizations and individuals but we were unable to raise the money needed. Therefore, as we had planned earlier, we must reduce our costs in winter by canceling all educational programs we previously held during the winter break and by sending all boys and perhaps few girls to their villages in the coming winter break. We will also reduce the staff.
As a reminder we have launched another campaign for orphanages sustainability funds for 2017: AFCECO Orphanage Sustainability Fund. To date we have raised only 20% of the funds needed to eliminate our expected 2017 budget deficit. We are in negotiations with our landlord regarding changing our payments from a single payment to multiple payments through out the year but if these discussions are not successful we will need an additional $40,000 by the end of January. If we are unable to obtain the funds we will move to a smaller location and many of our children will not return after their Winter Break.
We are also working on a big fundraising concert, which is planned for December 22nd. Artists performing include Sahar Ariyan and Rashid Aria, Melody String Group, winners of Afghan Star, which is the equivalent of the US show, American Idol. If you are using Amazon for your holiday purchases please remember to use smile.amazon.com after setting up CharityHelp as the organization you would like to support. Amazon gives a percentage of the amount you spend to the organization you choose to support.
As you know, CharityHelp has changed its donor management software to ReachApp. We understand that in past there have been significant problems with the old system but the new software seems to be more efficient and convenient with much better tools. If you haven’t updated your payment information in the new system we encourage you to do so as soon as you can.
We hope you received our letter regarding our recent high school graduates. We continue to celebrate this significant milestone. The graduates will spend the next few months preparing for the Kankor, which is the University entrance exam. They will sit for the exam on March 10th.
As a part of @GivingTuesday, several of our sponsors have shared their AFCECO giving story on #mygivingtuesday. It is way for people to share their stories of how they were inspired to support charitable efforts in hopes that others will also be inspired. So far three of our sponsors have shared their stories:
Steve Skulmoski: https://www.facebook.com/afceco/posts/1278878612173240.
Please read their stories, vote by “liking” it using the like button at the bottom of the story, and share their stories with others. The top 6 vote getters will receive a grant up to $10,000 for the organizations they support. We are expecting one another story from one of our sponsors in the next few days. If any of you would like to share your story as well please feel free to do so. The stories can be submitted through December 31st using the following link: https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday/app/1160921547334883/?__mref=message_bubble.
During this Holiday Season we reflect on all we have accomplished together and how grateful we are for your continued support. We wish each of you a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season.