We are very excited and thrilled to report to you that we held an inaugural ceremony to officially announce the opening of the NewMehan Orphanage on April 2nd. In addition to dignity guests from embassies and international community, there were also guests from many organizations including faculty from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, as well as members of the community who over the years have participated in AFCECO programs, volunteers and journalists. Of course along with the well wishers many of the AFCECO staff and children themselves attended. AFCECO Management team, Manizha, Mahbooba and Pashtana addressed the crowd, giving their prospective of being the first children to have been raised in the orphanage program. The story of our two amazing children, Negina who is the first female conductor of Afghanistan and Madina, the first oboe player of Afghanistan were profiled. Founder of AFCECO, Andeisha Farid also addressed the crowed followed by Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, Diplomatic Representative Aga Khan Development Network, Afghanistan, Counselor Philip Lupul of the Canadian Embassy and Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, the founder and director of Afghanistan National Institute of Music. The ceremony ended with great performance by our music students.

Please watch the opening ceremony of New Mehan Orphanage on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esZE7Bin_YU&feature=youtu.be

The New Mehan Orphanage is now completely setup and in full swing. The new home is big enough to house more than 80 girls; it is a 3-story building with a beautiful green courtyard and a large basement that we turned into a concert hall. The ground floor is allocated to AFCECO office, and the 2nd floor to music students and 3rd floor for the rest of students and staff. We have also special facilities in this new home, which we dedicated to some of our sponsors who have been a big part of AFCECO.

We have:

  • Terry Concert Hall is well-designed hall that has enough space for an audience of 300 where all music concerts and functions will take place. We have our grand piano on the stage. This hall is also equipped with a home cinema HD projector and professional sound system that is good for variety of entertainment activities such as movie night on the weekend. This hall is dedicated to Terry Cardwell, a long-term sponsor from Florida. Every densuing year she has given freely of her time and resources, sponsoring more children and culminating with the sponsorship of two entire orphanages. She hosted Andeisha and children from our orphanages several times at her home in Florida. She is still very active with AFCECO, helping us with writing newsletters and grants.
  • Doffie eLibrary is literally a digital library where we installed a data server connected to 12 computers with high speed Internet. There is also a working eStation that is used for eCoaching classes. This eLibrary is in honor of Doffie Rotter, whom our children call the “Mom” of AFCECO. Although she is not sponsoring any child now she still is loved and appreciated for everything she did to help and grow AFCECO. She founded AFCECO’s first library at Mehan in 2008 donating hundreds of books.
  • Matthias Art Class is a kind of art studio for our students. Today AFCECO children receive professional instruction in drawing, watercolour, pastel and oil painting. This is one way the children gain marketable skills and also reclaim their heritage and culture. We dedicated this art studio to Matthias Tomczak who has been supporting AFCECO since the beginning of our orphanages. He launched a scholarship for our graduate students and now we have eleven students benefit from this program. Matthias contributed €35,000 of his will toward Mehan Orphanage move campaign.
  • Farhana Clinic is a small clinic equipped with an ultrasound and a pharmacy. This clinic is dedicated to Farhana, our beloved student who died in her village while visiting her family. We heard she died of an illness, most probably because she had no access to health care at her home.
  • Ian Classroom is a general classroom for all tuition classes. This classed is dedicated to Ian Pounds, a volunteer from American who spent 4-years living in Mehan Orphanage and is remembered as the best teacher AFCECO ever had. He organized a 3-month fundraising trip of 7 children from our orphanages to the United States in 2011 and raised nearly $100,000.
  • Dale Computer Lab has 12 computers with necessary software. This computer lab is dedicated to Professor Dale Larson, university lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan who funded this newly established computer lab.

Please see photo gallery of all facilities at the New Mehan Orphanage on our website: http://www.afceco.org/af2/index.php/photo-gallery/newmehan And here the link of a video clip on YouTube that shows the New Mehan Orphanage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4ztIUlYHXI&feature=youtu.be

We would like to thank again all our friends who helped us with the Mehan Orphanage move campaign. This campaign started 3 months ago has so far been very successful. We raised almost 82% of the required fund, but we are still short of $13,663. One of our original sponsors has offered to match all donations made between now and June 16, 2016 up to a maximum of $25,000. You can DOUBLE your donation by giving to AFCECO prior to June 16th. Your gift of $10 can become $20 and an extra generous gift of $500 can become $1000. You can have 2x the impact on the lives of children who have known nothing but war and terror. We hope you will find it in your heart to help and will not miss this opportunity to increase the impact of your donation.