AFCECO Newsletter: March 2011
Dear Friends of AFCECO orphanages,
The month of February saw our 14 adventurous travelers return from forty days in Italy with many stories to tell. We are so thankful for our Italian friends who every year offer our children such an amazing opportunity to develop language skills and a worldliness that otherwise would never be.
AFCECO has been extremely busy planning for a fully developed extracurricular program, taking the seeds of last year’s programs and fleshing them out. With the public schools about to open their doors in Kabul and Herat, we plan to offer music courses, ballet and Attan dance classes, martial arts and a full soccer program, computer training, English language and writing classes, as well as our second annual Leadership Workshop. This year also will herald in a more advanced drama program for older children, while continuing beginning drama for the younger ones.
We are elated to report that, thanks to our dear friend Richard Riese AFCECO has now established a High School Graduates and Scholarship Fund. This is vital because our first generation of children raised in the orphanages are entering twelfth grade. We take seriously our commitment to bridge our children into adulthood on their path to becoming professionals and leaders in Afghan society. This fund will help our children with university costs. In return the children who benefit from this fund will work for the orphanages as well as give literacy classes to members of AFCECO staff who never had the opportunity to attend school.
Another note on benefactors: top delegates from Google visited Mehan Orphanage in Kabul and Nadiah Orphanage in Herat. Led by Ms. Megan Smith, a Google Executive the representatives came to see our facilities after having contributed a grant to enhance AFCECO extracurricular programs. Also, YouTube has agreed to promote AFCECO on its web site, increasing our exposure to untold thousands of people
Finally, our three superstars on their mentorship program in America have been touring the country, giving presentations and leading fundraisers for their beloved orphanages. Manizha, Sahar and Pashtana have also dramatically improved their English skills. Just a smattering of their experiences included Yale University, West Point Academy, MIT, Stanford University. University of California Berkeley, and University of New York Albany. They have shadowed judges, corporate executives, librarians, program designers, physicians, and architects. They have learned to drive a car, to swim, even to ride a horse
And all the while they have given multiple presentations, recruiting sponsors wherever they go. Thus far they have raised $12,500 for their education fund that will supply resources for their Leadership Workshop. We are very proud of our emissaries to the west and look forward to having them return at the end of March whereupon they will give a full presentation and slide show to the AFCECO communities.
For anyone interested in seeing one of their final presentations, here are the details.
• March 2: Presentation at University of California, Berkeley. 6:30 pm, location to be announced.
• March 3: Presentation at California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco 7:00 pm.
• March 5: Presentation, fundraiser at the JCCSF GALlANTER HALL 3200 California St. San Francisco 1:00 pm.
• March 8: Fundraiser, private home in Seattle, WA 6:00 pm. Email Ian Pounds for information.
• March 10: Presentation in Burk County, PA Chamber of Commerce.
• 3/14 Fundraiser / presentation at Busboys and Poets, Washington D.C. 6:30 pm
• 3/21 Fundraiser in New York City at Ceremonial Hall, New York Society for Ethical Culture, 6:00 pm
Also this month the annual sojourn to the U.S. for a few dozen of the children in need of special medical attention has begun, thanks to the ongoing and trusting relationship with SOLACE for Children. Depending on what treatments are needed, the children will stay 3 to 6 weeks in America and return in time to start up classes again after summer vacation.
We do hope some of you can make one or the other of these very special events.
Sincerely, The AFCECO staff Website:www.afceco.org Blog by Ian Pounds:http://joomtest.afceco.org/index.php/blog Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/AFCECOChildren YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/afcecochildren Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/afceco