AFCECO Graduation Story 2016

Dear AFCECO Sponsors and Friends,

Amidst of all the horrifying news you hear daily from Afghanistan where girls are subject to all kinds of violence, here at AFCECO we have a different story to tell you. We are super thrilled to let you know that we have 18 high school graduates this year! This is by far one of the greatest AFCECO’s achievements. For all of the 18 high school graduates it has been a life changing event in their lives. Their success of graduating high school is not only an important milestone to cross over but it is also a right they gained through their continued struggle for years in such a hostile circumstance.  It is these moments that we see the result of the work we all do collectively.

You wouldn’t imagine how excited and happy our girls and boys are. Each of them describe their stories of the past and their present. All of them tell that words can’t express the excitement and happiness they are experiencing. As Gulalai one of the graduates tells

“in fact this is by far the greatest moment in my life”

and Hamida, another gradates tells

“I sometimes ask myself how my life would have shaped if I did not join AFCECO orphanages”.

 

Of course, all of this would have not happened without your generous support and you should be all very proud of your involvement in this sacred mission.  These boys and girls will remain grateful to you for the rest of their lives.

Our very special thanks again go to Allyn Rosenberg for his contribution towards the university preparation expense of his sponsored child, Frishta and Terry Cardwell for her generous contribution towards nine other students which helped all of the graduates take the necessary preparation for the “Kankor” a university entrance exam. Twelve of the students will be taking the university entrance exam in the next two months.

We are thankful to our partner, Afghanistan National Institute of Music–ANIM, who has been very supportive of our music program in the last few years. Six of our graduates are from ANIM this year who are also the first generation of musician graduates at AFCECO. We appreciate and support all the hard work the entire ANIM faculty is doing.  

To celebrate this special moment AFCECO held a graduation ceremony for the boys and girls on December 8th. The ceremony included the telling of some of the student’s biographies, music and dance and distribution of gifts to the graduates. We also portrayed the girls’ and boys’ lives through their pictures since when they first joined the orphanages in videos. Here are the videos of some of the students:

Nazira: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Qszbo5EhA

Gulalai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks1iKsVoTqw

Huma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzU5q9qzXdY.

Mohsin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7g8laXOfoc.

Qodrat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8OZttzvr0k.

Madina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPj7QOkyz6c.

Ahmad Zia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t7eE8v7VYg

Shafia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_IxSRBX3E.

Sami: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGKhvcKXlMY.

Roeen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D2p7A2KTNA.

Razma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRhVUdIXCv0.

Frishta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvUCpPGeTsA.

Hamida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOTx296JZUE.

You can also view the pictures of the event at AFCECO Graduation Ceremony Photos.

Your support, both emotionally and financially, have helped raise hundreds of strong and ambitious girls and boys with an acute awareness of equality and the power of education. The success of AFCECO and the investment of those who sponsor our children can be judged by how these girls and boys are raised. They are the true hope for Afghanistan. These children grow up with equality and a true Liberal Arts education that will lead them to think critically about every deed they become involved in.

In order to make sure that we continue the same path for the other children in our orphanages we need your support today. Donations can be made at this link: AFCECO Orphanage Sustainability Fund.
Warm regards,
Pashtana Rasoul
Executive Director
Afghan Child Education and Care Organization-AFCECO

Carol Sullivan’s Story

Pashtana

AFCECO is an Afghan registered Non-Profit, that is funded through Charity Help International here in the United States. AFCECO’s mission is to educate Afghan leaders of tomorrow through placement in orphanages that stress tolerance and equality for all.

My association with AFCECO goes back to 2005, when I chose a young girl named Pashtana from a photo of children needing sponsors in war torn Afghanistan.

Pashtana and her younger siblings had roamed the alleyways of Peshawar selling water in order to earn money for their family. Her father had been captured by a Jehadi war faction and murdered. When AFCECO founder Andeisha Farid visited the refugee camp in which Pashtana was living, she was chosen for the child sponsorship program. I loved Pashtana the moment I saw her photo.

Eleven years later, Pashtana and I now have the longest sponsor/child relationship in the organization, although she is no longer a child. Through AFCECO, she has matured into a university educated, amazing woman. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had to be a part of her life!

Pashtana

In 2011, she and I actually met. Very few child sponsors ever get to meet their child. But, Pashtana actually spent several days at my home in Seattle. It was a dream that came true for both of us.

In 2014, Pashtana was named Chief Operations Manager for AFCECO. She travelled with AFCECO music students to Europe, the Middle East, Turkmenistan and Turkey. This past summer, she was chosen to become the Executive Director of AFCECO. What an amazing journey from street child to business executive! What a thrill for me to have had a small part in that journey!

Over time, I have also had the pleasure of helping in other ways. I have sent books for a new library, money for a new van, and money to move the orphanage in Kabul to a safer location. My daughter has gotten involved and has sponsored several children – including Pashtana’s younger sister. And, I have also sponsored several additional children myself.

My daughter and I have both discovered that much greater rewards come from helping others than from purchasing “things” for yourself.

Note: This story was written by Carol Sullivan in support of AFCECO for #MyGivingStory contest in 2016.

  • MUSIC SUPPORT FUND

    We have 40 amazing talented young female musicians in our orphanages. Please join in this chance to nurture something so positive in our children and consequently Afghanistan.

  • CHILDREN ARTWORKS

    Please consider purchasing one of these very expressive and unique works of art produced by our very own students from the orphanages. You can also make a donation to the Art Program.

  • SPORTS PROGRAM

    Sports have become a major element to our children’s program. For our Girl’s Football Team, we have a trainer from the Afghan national soccer team working with our students at the American University field.

  • OUR ORPHANAGE

    For 13 years children coming from poverty and violence have lived together in orphanages that are bastions of true democracy, places where everyone is equal.

  • DANCE PROGRAM

    Our girls at orphanage express themselves by practicing dance, an art that is still prohibited by societal norms in Afghanistan. Our children practice Attan, Afghan traditional dance, as well as ballet, western classical dance.

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