AFCECO has been one of the most positive and unique developments in Afghanistan’s war torn landscape. For 15 years children coming from extreme poverty, displacement, and violence have lived together in orphanages that are bastions of true democracy, places where everyone is equal and equally takes care of one another, where health and education take precedence over divisions of race and language and the climate of hatred civil war engenders.

a unique vision for the future of Afghanistan

Our History

The story of Parwarishga must begin with the modern history of Afghanistan. Nowhere, it seems has the poison of war come together with the poison of religious extremism and outdated ideology to such an extent and with such devastating effects upon children. These effects have been embedded to the point that many people claim it to be a cultural issue, that the burqa and all it represents, that the seething hatred between Pashtun and Hazara, are somehow indicative of the Afghan spirit and therefore cannot, or even should not, be tampered with. But a young Afghan woman named Andeisha Farid did not see it that way. She herself was born in war and raised in camps, but was lifted by education and perhaps more importantly a community of peers and adults striving right along beside her, challenging, reaching, never giving up hope for the dream of peace and equality and perhaps one day, a homeland.

Andeisha saw the children begging for a few pennies to buy bread. In these children she saw herself. Yet here she was, a young woman in university, a woman capable of making her way in the world. If only a small number of these children could be raised as she was raised, their influence would reverberate in each family. If these children were reflective of every race, every region, every tribe of Afghanistan and they were raised together equally, their influence would settle the inflamed passions of tribalism from one corner of the country to the other. And finally, if the girls were raised as she was raised, and the boys raised as her friends had been raised, the symbol of this “culture”, the burqa, would become a thing of the past.

It was with this belief in the power of children to change the fate of her country that in 2004 Andeisha founded her first parwarishga. Starting with limited funds she established a safe place where children could come each day. After building a reputation she became known to CharityHelp International, which developed a child sponsorship program to finance an orphanage. In short time Andeisha was able to see her dream grow. Now AFCECO runs eleven orphanages, nine across Afghanistan and two serving refugees in Pakistan, caring for almost 700 children and employing around 50 widows and scores of university students. Beside orphanages, AFCECO has implemented other services for children such as a New Learning Center, health clinics, a Leadership Academy for its older girls, karate and soccer teams for girls and boys, bringing children to Europe and the U.S. for short-term scholarships and sending sick children to the U.S. for specialized treatment.

AFCECO has blossomed into a progressive social service that is not institutional, but rather meshes with Afghan society in a partnership where all agree about the needs of the children. What it offers the world is best illustrated by a simple incident in Nuristan, an area under complete Taliban control. When four-foot eight-inch, 14-year-old Zainab arrived on a donkey to visit the village in which she was born, the elders, very aware of the AFCECO orphanage she has lived in since she was four, set her up with her own room and asked her, pleaded with her to begin immediately to teach the other children. Regardless of her notions of gender equality, her secular temperament, even at times her lowered scarf, the elders looked the other way. The fact is they perceive Zainab not as a threat, but as a tremendous asset to the village. This begs the question, what if ten Zainabs return to ten villages across all of Afghanistan. A hundred Zainabs? Or a thousand?
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About Us

The Afghan Child Education and Care Organization (AFCECO) is an Afghan non-profit organization based in Kabul.

Our Values

AFCECO’s aim is to bring up the next generation of Afghan citizens, so badly affected by three decades of war, and to help them grow into strong, productive, thoughtful members of society.

"Supporting these children is not only a gift to them as individuals, it is a gift to the world's future. Against staggering odds, they have made it this far, surviving as lights of hope through the darkest of nights. It is up to us to help them continue to shine."

- Jennifer A. Hartley, CharityHelp Board Member
The Story of AFCECO
Natalie Carney, a multi-media broadcast journalist from Canada spent one month in Mehan Orphanage filming daily life of children.
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Our Orphanages

Each orphanage houses anywhere from thirty to eighty children. The facilities are usually large houses with lawn and all the amenities that make a place feel like home. Every orphanage is run by a live-in couple, with assistance from a staff including widows who otherwise would be destitute in the streets.

Children are given a variety of responsibilities, all cleaning, cooking, maintenance and laundry is shared duty. They sleep together on double-bunk beds in curtained, homey rooms with high ceilings, four to six bunk beds per room. Initially they are assessed and treated for addiction problems and psychological illness. The children attend public schools including Afghanistan National Institute of Music. The children have variety extracurricular activities in orphanage and they are given responsibility to help in the running of the orphanage, and everyone is taught to work together as if one big family.

Our Children

Most of the children in AFCECO orphanages are orphans, victims of child labor and are from destitute families livening in remote areas who can’t afford to feed and educate them. There are also very talented children with unique skills live in our orphanages who had no access to a nourishing environment where they could grow. Most of these children have been exposed to very hostile and painful environments. They enter the orphanage in a state of wonder. This new environment is a world apart from their prior lives, a place where they can sleep and eat without fear. Here they begin a new life based on peace, love and respect. With strings attached to villages and family they are not disconnected from their country, but rather those connections are reinforced. They learn how a family can grow.

Our Sponsors

Each child in our orphanage has a sponsor. Child sponsors provide the lifeblood that enables AFCECO to do its work and to flourish.

Sponsoring a child through AFCECO is a potent act. It is an act of caring, of joy, of interconnection, of empowerment. It is an act whose benefits flow both ways.

Our sponsored children get to communicate with someone from another part of the world who has an interest in their welfare, who cares about their future and the future of their country. They have the chance to contribute to the rebuilding of their nation.

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CharityHelp International


CharityHelp International (CHI) has partnered with AFCECO since 2004, providing communications technology, development and administrative support for the Child Sponsorship Program. The program connects children to sponsors and provides frequent online communications to strengthen and maintain the resulting relationships. The children in our project with AFCECO come from backgrounds defined by decades of war and Taliban rule. The program provides food, clothing, life skills, education, and most importantly a dream and hope for a new life in an environment of gender equality, peace, and safety.

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How do you select children to live in the orphanage?
Through our countrywide network of friends, AFCECO now receives referrals almost daily. There are over a thousand children on the waiting list. If we opened ten more orphanages tomorrow, they would be fi lled in a week. The children come from the streets, from homes destroyed by war, they come from families too poor to feed them, and they come from abusive homes from which they have fl ed with their mothers. In all cases, we meet with family members face to face and discuss the long-term goals and benefi ts. Family members must agree and ascribe to all AFCECO policies, knowing that to give the world we offer takes time and commitment.
Why do you not allow children to be adopted? Are these children really orphans?
Isn’t it dangerous in Kabul and other cities? How do you keep the children safe?
What about families wanting girls back, presumably to sell them into marriage?
What happens when the children turn 18?
Where does the money go?
Do you ever lose children?
0093 0798893234
0093 0798893234

Contact us

AFCECO is an Afghan non-profit organization based in Kabul running orphanages and educational centers for Afghan orphans and street children.

H # 13, Street 1, Karta-e-Char, 1006, Kabul, Afghanistan

+93 79 889 3234

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