Afghan Women’s Educational Centre is committed to promoting human rights and gender equality, working towards the abolishment of any kind of discrimination and violence against women and children through:
- Awareness raising and advocacy
- Social service delivery
- Capacity building, self-sufficiency and sustainable development initiatives
- Afghan women empowerment program (AWEP)
- Education Program (EP)
- Women’s Rights Protection and Promotion Program (WRPPP)
- Promoting Democracy and Peace Building Program (PDPB)
- Organizational Development program
Afghan women empowerment program (AWEP)
- Strategy: Organizing and mobilizing women and youth groups for an empowerment process through community based activities and approach.
- Projects: Women mobilization, income generation, formation of women forums and councils, right awareness, capacity building and Gender.
Education Program (EP)
- Strategy: Ensuring protection and support of child rights; Collaboration with different government departments on education, rights and development issues and capacity building.
- Capacity Building – Line Ministries, Civil society, NGOs
- Informal Education establish children centers, literacy classes, Awareness raising of women and children’s rights, vocational training,
- Formal Education- basic education, establishment of formal schools
Women’s Rights Protection and Promotion Program (WRPPP)
- Strategy: Mainstreaming gender relations through sensitization for reducing gender based violence and to ensure gender equality and equity.
- Networking /alliance building, media relations, women protection/shelters, legal referrals, awareness on rights, women right, campaign, researches, lobby advocacy, women protection/shelter, legal referrals, role of media
Promoting Democracy and Peace Building Program (PDPB)
- Strategy: Enhancing and expanding women’s participation in decision making in democratic structures and processes; conducting training in conflict management and peace building; Creating awareness on democratic for youth and women:
- Projects: Awareness, formation of shuras, election campaigns, lobbying ,rights, media, campaign, lobby, strengthen democratic institutions, research, establishing forums, work with religious leaders and institutions, networking/alliance building with leaders.
Organizational Development program:
- Capacity building of staff, policy changes, strengthen management system, socialization of new vision/mission/code of conduct, appointing qualified and experiences staff for the right positions as per organogram, setting up staff motivations practices. Fund raising action plan (link with private sectors), appointing fund raising and marketing person.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF AWEC
AWEC was established in 1991 by a group of educated Afghan women who rallied together to address the lack of facilities for Afghan refugees in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area. It was the first non-profit organization to mobilize scattered refugee women in and around Islamabad. The Center provided a place for women to meet, as well as offering classes in literacy, tailoring, English language, women’s rights awareness, computer training and typing.
It soon became evident there was also a lack of educational opportunities for refugee children, and so AWEC formed the Shahid Wali Khan school (SWK) offering primary education. This has since also becomes a high school for female and male students. AWEC was also able to eliminate violent text from SWK’s curriculum.
The next few years saw AWEC consolidate its services in Islamabad as well as play a key role in the formation of the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) in Islamabad. Since then, AWN has gone on to be active not only in Islamabad but also Peshawar and Kabul engaging mostly in education projects.
In 1997, AWEC collaborated with the National Bureau of Sustainable Development (NBSD) to form the Center for Street Children and Women in Peshawar. NBSD had past experience of working with street children and AWEC had experience of working with women. This center was established to respond to the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees, particularly since 1995, in the Peshawar area. It was designed as an integrated program aiming to work with families; targeting not just street children but also their mothers. The children are provided informal education so as to re-integrate them into schools, whilst their mothers are given the opportunity to learn new skills to increase their chances of creating income for themselves and their families so that their children do not have to work.
Women who participated in the vocational training programs were also given literacy and health education classes, and given the opportunity to participate in support groups to discuss problems and support one another. Adolescent boys received vocational training such as welding and carpentry and children at the school were given a stipend for the loss of income to their families.
The center also offered a health service which has since been expanded to provide counseling and more recently to include a reproductive and maternal health service which supplies both direct medical care and health education to the Afghan and local Pakistani population. Since its inception the center has helped hundreds of women and children to improve their lives and improve their opportunities for a better life in the future. AWEC has recently duplicated this center in Kabul, where it is envisaged that the experience of successfully running this project in Peshawar will enable us to provide an extremely valuable service to the needy women and children in Kabul
Since the establishment of the CSCW in Peshawar, AWEC has been involved in projects that benefit the community such as organizing psycho-social and community mobilization programs in refugee camps in the Kurrum agency; and in collaborative work with other Afghan Women NGOs. For example, AWEC collaborated with AWRC and AWWD in a program organized by InterSOS.
Direct relief was distributed to thousands of refugees in the Afghan Relief project in early 2001, and funds are still distributed as received to support local schools and needy individuals in early 2003. Examples of how the donations are used include paying for teachers and resources for refugee schools, providing cement to a school in a refugee camp, and supporting schools that work with girls. AWEC has also supported 20 boys in receiving English classes, as well as educating boys on using computers.
AWEC has been active in collaborating with other agencies and women in the establishment of networks and groups, from being involved in the inception of the Afghan Women’s Network in Islamabad to involvement in the founding of the Irfan Cultural Center created in order to represent, promote and protect the cultural identity of Afghans; and the creation of Roazana in Peshawar which was formed to look at legal issues for Afghan women.
In recent years AWEC has expanded its activities to include Peace-Building education in camps in Peshawar, Quetta and in parts of Kabul; capacity building for women-headed NGOs; a school for girls in Kabul to enable them to catch up on education missed during the Taliban years; and a small project focusing on one-off support and needs assessment for Widows in Kabul.
AWEC MILSTONE 1991-2010
1991: Establishment Women’s Education Center, opened in Islamabad (ongoing)
1993: Opening of High School in Islamabad – SWK High School (originally began as a primary school)
1994: AWEC played the role of intermediately organization for the establishment of Khursan Educational Center – for a bridging fund from Canada Fund and helping set educational material for a pioneering women center in Islamabad
1995: Afghan Women’s Network (AWN):AWEC was actively involved in the establishment of AWN which started initially with the idea of women’s participation in the peace process and improving women’s human rights status in Islamabad, through networking and support for each other. Networks of 72 NGOs and 3000 individual members now exists in Islamabad, Peshawar and Kabul
1996: 3-day Peace Education exhibition by school children from Islamabad, publication of booklet for peace, elimination of violent textbooks in school’s curriculum. Peace Education was a collective project with AWN, Islamabad that AWEC started in Dec ’96 by organizing the peace exhibition and peace education in schools in Islamabad.
1997: AWEC contributed support and the time of its manager to the establishment of the Irfan Cultural Center, created in the hope to represent, promote and protect the cultural identity of Afghans, especially young people who have been reared in foreign cultures in exile.
1998: Center for Street Children and Women opened in Peshawar (Ongoing)
Roazana: Formed in Peshawar to create a support system for the legal protection of women, and to potentially support women’s rights in the political process in the country.
1999 – 2002: Publishing youth and children’s magazine “Khusa-e-umaid”
2001: Afghan Relief project (short-term, but financial donations ongoing)
Diploma course in Basic Business Management for fresh school graduates in Islamabad (12 months, end December 2002)
Counselling at CSCW – Peshawar (ongoing)
Palwasha Hassan (Chair of the Board, AWEC) attended Women Waging Peace colloquium
2001 – 2002: School support project as CSCW – supporting twenty-seven Afghan community schools in Peshawar with mini-libraries, with support and co-ordination of ARIC/ACBAR and chairs and tables.
2002-2003: Community Intervention project with recent refugees in Basu and Bakhazai camps in Kurrum Agency (run by InterSOS). We trained and provided staff for the community building and psychosocial intervention
September – Establishment of office in Kabul (ongoing)
Rural school establishment is one of the recent activities AWEC has started in three villages on the outskirts of Kabul (not funded, but donations made to various schools in rural Kabul and Peshawar refugee camps)
Peace building education project – Peshawar, Quetta and Kabul (Nov 2002 – May 2003)
One-off support and needs assessment – Kabul (1 month)
2004: Afghanistan Primary Education Project (APEP) was the first national project which was rewarded to AWEC in Paktia & Kabul.
2005: AWEC became as one of the ISOs of counterpart International I-PACS
2006: That was 2006 when AWEC expanded its roots in Wardak province after a survey & need assessment & we were able to open our sub office and implement Elect project.
2008: This year can be called as AWEC golden period. AWEC started it is upside movements during the 2008 year. AWEC became as one of very attractive women organizations & were able to raise funds to more than 3 million dollars. We became as one of the national project (BESST) implementer in this year. This year AWEC was able to develop it is 3 years strategic plan 2009-2010). The beneficiaries reached to more then 19,000 (47 % women, 42 % men, 10% children). AWEC was selected to represent the statues of women regarding education in Beijing conferences through the membership of AWN.
2009: in 2009 AWEC still had the capacity to keep its image as the as strong as the previous years. Following its strategic plan AWEC opened its sub offices in Hirat & Ningarhar. AWEC became a member of CIDA imitative Committee in Afghanistan. AWEC was granted with another national project Equip. the funds of AWEC increased 50.16% compare to the last year.
- Increase social consciousness and support in social development by creating support networks and increase social work
- To work for social economy in rural community through the creating of community centers
- To increase self sufficiency in among women and children through income generating projects and skills development
- To improve the living condition of marginalized groups of women and street working children
- To improve the health and psycho-socio well being among women and children
- Being a practical advocate for women and grass roots
- Assist and improve women role in all infrastructure of the country
- Strengthening women’s life socially and raising their educational level, promoting their health in order to enable them to re discover their possibilities and gain faith in the future.
- Women empowerment
- Child protection
- Establishment of safe working environment for women & children without any discrimination & violence
- Financial sustainability of marginalized groups of women.
- Women political participation
AWEC AT NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
AWEC at national level focuses on policy advocacy, women empowerment and child protection while on international level it runs for advocacy, networking among women focused organizations peace movements & regionally & globally recognized as an advocacy organization for women rights & fund raising for AWEC sustainability.
National level involment:
- Active Membership in ACBAR
- Active Membership in CIDA initiative committee
- Active Membership in Education consortium
- Active Membership in CPAN network
- Active membership in Mediothic
- Membership in ACSONP peace network
- Shiat law
- Family law
- EVAW law
- Advocacy for women in decision -making positions
- Participation in National Peace jirga
- Advocacy for women participation in Jirga
- Participation in Kabul conference
International level involvement:
- Beijing plat for action
- security resolution 1325
- Afghanistan London conference
- Covenant on socio-economic & cultural rights ( ICESCR)
- Strategic plan
- Operational policy
- HR policy
- Gender policy
- Security policy
- Brochure/fact sheet
- AWEC website
- AWEC profile
- Counterpart International
- Creative Association
- Save the Children U.S
- Christian Aid
- Ministry of Education
AWEC’s beneficiaries are the women, men and children of both the rural and urban areas and Adolescents both boys and girls. We were able to reach total number of 204,160 individuals during 2009. Out of which 48% female, 50.9 % male & 0.9% children were benefited from 2009 projects.
AWEC manages 715 staff in 8 offices in Afghanistan, including Pakistan Islamabad.
Head Office Kabul:
House No. 1365,Samad Wakil street, Pol-e-Sorkh Kart-e- Char
Cell: +93 (0) 700 263 794
Ph: +92 (0) 512281143
Ph: +93 (0) 799 154 137
Ph: + 93 (0) 700 640 648
E- mail: Mazaar@awec.info
Ph: + 93 (0) 799 111 420
Ph: + 93 (0) 708 841 521