AFGHANISTAN EMERGENCY INITIATIVE

Women protesting the killing of three female Afghan aid workers in 2005. Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair.


DONATE NOW to protect Afghan families in grave danger.


In our current phase of its emergency response, TYTW is focused on in-country initiatives addressing the dire crises of food insecurity, livelihood options for families, and education for girls, serving thousands. To date, TYTW has also facilitated and played a vital role in several hundred extraction operations, succeeding in the safe passage and evacuation of nearly 900 high-risk Afghans.

 

In August, 2021 in Afghanistan, decades of advances by women in areas of education and government, sports and every other notable profession were wiped out almost immediately. Girls were told to leave their classrooms and forbidden from education; women were ordered home from work. Months into the Taliban’s takeover, the list of human rights violations against Afghan women and girls continues to grow.


Noor Nisa, about 18, was pregnant; her water had just broken. Her husband, whose first wife had died during childbirth, was determined to get Noor Nisa to the hospital in Faizabad, a four-hour drive from their village in Badakhshan Province. Photograph by Lynsey Addario.


Parwana Food Security, Livelihoods, and Education Programming 


As media coverage of Afghanistan fades into the background, conditions continue to worsen and millions of Afghan families face starvation. Restrictions on banks and rising food prices have left families financially strapped, forcing families to make unimaginable decisions – selling their possessions, organs and sometimes their children – to be able to afford food. The United Nations warned that a million children could die without further intervention. With 95% of Afghans not consuming enough food, the likelihood that more girls will be sold and married is unlike anything we have seen in decades. 


Named after nine-year-old Parwana Malik who was sold into marriage in late 2021 and freed by TYTW, our Parwana Food Security & Livelihood Program feeds roughly 370 families (more than 2700 individuals) per month. Our direct assistance also includes infant supplies, blankets, coats and coal depending on need. We partner with locally-based and operated organizations like LEARN Afghanistan, Aseel, Zamir Foundation, Noor Safa Coordination Rehabilitation and Learning Organization (NSCRO) and a country-wide network of volunteers, employing a holistic community approach to our forced and child marriage interventions. 

 

TYTW’s livelihoods program provides a series of economic development projects to create long-term financial security for families of vulnerable girls. By equipping families with the skills and resources to realize their basic needs, families can provide for their daughters and keep them safely out of child marriages. This program also provides continuous sensitization outreach and dialogue on the importance of protecting girls and communities from the negative repercussions of child marriage. We capitalize on the existing skills, talents, and interests of each respective applicant and family, with directions including wool spinning and dyeing, saffron processing and selling, seamstress programming, shopkeeping, poultry management, and STEM vocational training, to build design and coding capabilities. The program provides startup capital, training, materials, and business referrals for beneficiaries.


Girls’ Education Threatened 


The Taliban currently has banned all girls from post-primary schools. Yet we know that education is the single-most effective preventative measure against child marriage.


Therefore, in addition to TYTW’s current programs that support more than 525 secondary school-age girls in Kabul, we are rapidly mobilizing our local teams and partners to expand remote education solutions throughout the three provinces where we work, and further strengthen protective resources to keep girls from violence.


We have partnered with LEARN Afghanistan, led by Pashtana Durrani, which emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math for girls. It also provides mentorship, skill-building, and capacity building courses. LEARN’s STEM courses are designed to train girls for a future technological world, using digital design platforms like Canva, Vyod (a whiteboard animation platform) and other 2D animation websites.

 

In Pakistan, we work with numerous evacuated, vulnerable Afghan refugee families to protect them from gender-based violence, with our programming and services including case management, food security, livelihood support, transitional housing, family sensitization against child marriage, and mental health support.



Members of Kabul University's class of 2010. The women pictured are graduates of the department of language and literature. This graduation was held under tight security at a hotel in Kabul because of an upsurge in terrorist attacks. Photograph by Lynsey Addario.


Background: TYTW’s Afghanistan Emergency Initiative


TYTW immediately engaged in an emergency initiative to arrange the safe evacuation, and other emergency services, for nearly 900 high-risk female Afghan activists, journalists, and their families. High-risk Afghans supported by TYTW include girls at risk of child marriage, women’s rights activists, journalists, translators, television reporters, humanitarian aid workers, prosecutors, and other high-profile women trailblazers. TYTW has provided facilitation of visas, air and ground travel, security assistance, securing letters and required documentation for individuals at risk, safe housing for those at highest risk, case management and referrals, medical services and support with basic necessities such as food, baby care products, hygiene products, and clothing. 


TYTW has also made emergency grants to local, vetted Afghan organizations aiding women and girls, including the Afghan Women Network (AWN) to help support safe houses that are protecting women targeted by the Taliban, and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a legendary political/social organization of Afghan women working toward freedom, democracy, and women’s rights since 1977. We support The Khadijah Project, which helps with women’s home, food, medical needs, education (through university), mental health, and soon will add employment-search support. We also support Srow Zar, which provides seamstress training and livelihood opportunities to young women. 


Please consider making a donation to the Afghanistan Emergency Initiative today