Where to Donate for Afghanistan

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Nov 2008

I am just sick about how the Taliban is regaining control in Afghanistan and attacking women. I want to help somehow. I Googled the topic and hit a large number of organizations that are helping. How do I determine which one is the most effective with the lowest overhead so that any contribution I make will be most efficient? Are there any that accept handmade work, like blankets, hats? I guess this question applies to any cause. Any ideas? Help the women

Here is a direct method to help women in Afghanistan... www.womenforwomen.org/global-initiatives-helping-women/help-women-afghanistan.php

...and in many other war-torn countries: www.womenforwomen.org

Women for Women is a phenomenal organization that helps women rebuild their lives. You directly communicate with (if you want), and sponsor a particular woman or women.

I hope everyone will visit the site of this wonderful organization! Jessica

I am a hopeless knitter, but there are a number of people in my Quaker Meeting who contribute to Afghans for Afghans. You just knit hats or mittens, etc. and the group sends them to women and children in Afghanistan. I have quite a bit of confidence in Quakers in vetting these groups. Afghans for Afghans has a web presence, or you can e-mail me, and I can put you in touch with the woman in my Meeting who collects things and sends them on. Heather

I just read the book ''Three Cups of Tea'', and found the account of the Central Asia Institute's efforts to help women and girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan inspiring. https://www.ikat.org/

Also, I know this isn't specific to women, but a mom in my daughter's class works with an organization that supports orphans in Afghanistan. www.orphanproject.org

And I've also heard of ''Afghans for Afghans'', who are knitting their way towards world peace. www.afghansforafghans.org/ Jennifer

FINCA and IRC (International Rescue Committee) only have overhead fees of 5%-- that means 95% of what you donate goes to immediate program use. FINCA gives women mico-loans to start a small business. Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health have volunteers to keep expenses low. Read the book about Dr. Paul Farmer in Tracy Kidder's 2003 book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World and you will be moved. Judy

http://www.afghansforafghans.org/ afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan. amy

The best way to help any group of people is to support the women. In most cultures, women are the ones who feed the kids, support the family, and keep society running. Yet, most often, women are the ones with the fewest rights. A wonderful organization that I can't recommend highly enough is Women For Women International. They offer training and financial assistance to women in war-torn countries - helping them learn how to support their families and gain rights. All of their programs are run by women from those counties, not by outsiders. I have friends who have visited their programs and met the women in the programs, and they say what they have seen is extremely powerful. The best way to participate with Women for Women is through a sponsoship. You pay $27 a month and they match you with a sister in the country of your choice. Your financial support plays a big role, but equally important are the letters you write. My friends tell me that the women eagerly await the letters and carry them with them at all times. Women for Women is consistently praised for its effective use of funds and is always ranked as one of the most reputable charities. In Afghanistan, for example, your $27 is spent like this: $10 to the woman for cash in hand, $5 saved for her to use to get her business running, $7 for materials for her training, and the remaining $5 is administration costs. That is extremely low overhead for any charity. Check out their website for more info and a list of countries where they operate. womenforwomen.org

October 2001

I just read in the paper that 5 million (!) people may starve to death this winter. What can we do to help? Does anyone feel that any of these aids organizations are making a difference? I'd gladly send a check if I knew where to send it to.-- Roxane

Oxfam (originated in UK; branches in U.S. and elsewhere) is a well-respected organization, very experienced in getting material aid to people in need. I believe they have a program serving the Afghani refugee camps. (I know they have a website; think it's www.oxfam.org.) There's also Doctor Without Borders--www.doctorswithoutborders.org--who do excellent medical work for refugees and other victims of war. The American Friends Service Committee, the Quakers' social justice branch, www.afsc.org, are investigating setting up a program. They are also fine people who know their business: getting aid to people without incurring high administrative overhead. Lastly, check out the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, who've been around since 1977 trying to keep feminism alive in their country, god help them: www.rawa.org. I've e-mailed the Chronicle several times asking that they publish the addresses of organizations doing relief work with Afghani refugees (since they regularly print such information for 9/11 relief). Perhaps if others also made the same suggestion, the Chron would actually do so. Melanie

Many relief agencies have activities for Afghan Refugees. Catholic Relief Services (http://www.catholicrelief.org/ ) has a big program. They have very low administrative overhead. CARE (www.care.org) also is serving in this area. A lot of organizations are not willing to be in Afghanistan, but CARE is. Doctors without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/) is providing medical care there.

Dashka The Afghan Coalition of Fremont along with the Afghan Women International Organization and the Committee of American Friends are accepting donations on behalf of the Afghan refugees in Afghanistan. They are collecting blankets to send to the refugee camps around the borders of Afghanistan. You can drop off blankets or money November 10th and 11th (Saturday and Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centerville Junior High, 37720 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA. You can also donate to the Afghan Widow's Project, Bank of America: acc't # 17272-04856, which supports Afghan widows and their children. Checks can also be mailed to: Afghan Widows Project PO Box 637 Fremont, CA 94537-0637 For more information, you can call the Afghan Coalition at 510/574-2182. These are all wonderful grassroots groups -- no overhead, no fancy appeals, just volunteers who are working to stave off disaster in Afghanistan and the surrounding countries in whatever way they can. If you have any other questions about these groups, you're welcome to e-mail me.

last week people posted information on how to help Afghanistan, and wishes that the Chron would post some info. Here is what I saw posted in the Chron maybe that same day: RAWA, Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, created in 1997, recently-created web site: www.rawa.org Acting in Solidrity with Afghan People ( a group working with RAWA to reopen their hospital in Quetta, Pakistan): www.asap-net.org Amnesty International: www.amnesty.org