A number of welfare organizations are helping poor Afghan families by providing education, livelihoods assistance, and other basic needs on a regular basis. KHERULBASHER Welfare Social and Educational Community (KWSEC) is one of these organizations, founded in 2010 and funded by Afghan businessman Haji Mohammad Hasan Jalali.
According to Zeba Rashed, Women’s Affairs Officer at KWSEC, the community is registered with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and has helped 150 poor families since its establishment in Koti Sangi, Qali-e-Wahed, Darulaman, Doghabad, and Dasht-e-Barchi areas of Kabul city. “We are supporting poor and needy families and provide them with basic living needs. Also, we are educating them about sanitation issues, and providing training on tailoring and handicrafts skills,” she said.
KWSEC has set up criteria to identify and select the poorest families in need of assistance. “We really aim to support the poorest families. We visit these families and assess their living conditions to recognize the real poor and needy families. When they meet our requirements, then we start to support them,” said Rashed.
KWSEC has received limited support from domestic and international charity organizations. Officials at KWSEC say they only received US$10,000 from Maidan/Wardak Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for one welfare project for women in Jalraze District.
“We trained 150 women on sanitation issues, basic education and gardening skills in Jalraze District of Maidan/Wardak Province,” said Mrs. Rashed. “About 50 relatively literate women covered by our training program were introduced as community health workers to the society.”
Shela, 45, has received assistance from KWSEC for the past three years. She is a widow with four children. “I sew clothes, but this is not a sustainable activity. Sometimes, I earn 2,000 to 3,000 Afghanis in a month. Sometimes, nothing,” she says.
Shela is happy with the assistance she receives from KWSEC. She complains: “No welfare organization, except KWSEC, has helped me so far.” She asks all welfare organizations to support needy people.
Shafiqa Gul also receives aid from KWSEC. She has four children and her husband is disabled. She was unable to send her children to school, but KWSEC provides her children with stationary and other items so that they can continue going to school.
“Everyone thinks about his or her own interests here and no one remembers poor people. The government should help really poor people,” she said.
Shafiqa acknowledges that there are too many problems in overcoming poverty, and she asks for more people to get involved to combat these issues. “This is not a single hand activity and demands public efforts to be overcome,” she added.
Tens of domestic and international welfare organizations have been established since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Across the country, organizations like KWSEC are providing assistance to country’s poor.