Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Waking up in Canada today and hearing our Federal election being called during a Pandemic; more Haitian lives were claimed in a major earthquake, and the Taliban takes over KABUL!
We made many steps going forward but then, unfortunately, many steps have now gone backward. I had so many great memories of our company being one of the first UNDP projects working in Afghanistan, leading the Afghan Women’s Business Exhibition & Conference in June 2003 (the war had ended just 3 months earlier). The great women who came with me (Anu Agarwal, Faye Beck, Emma Quin, and Jennifer MacMillan) were filled with hope in bringing our global trade program to the Afghan women (and their families). But yes, we had anxiety too – were Afghan women ready for the changes in product & business development? At our finale, our anxiety was over when hundreds of women came from every province in the country, and then a beautiful Afghan woman came up to the stage, taking the microphone and said, “With this hand, I will rock the cradle, and with this hand, I will rock the world. Thank you for bringing our garden back to us.”
Why am I sharing this now? Thanks to Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Seneca Women and her latest Seneca Post, on “How we can all save Afghan women’s lives”.
Afghan women and girls are facing perilous times, and we are running out of time to prevent the worst from happening. Every day, the Taliban is gaining ground, assassinating women leaders, attacking girls at school, and trying to reverse women’s rights in the process.
However, hope is not lost. If we act quickly and strategically, we can make a difference. Below are 3 ways you or your organization can help! These initiatives directly support at-risk Afghan women, and have been vetted and approved by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) (https://giwps.georgetown.edu/).
Provide support for humanitarian aid to internally displaced women and their families – through this GoFundMe campaign (https://gofund.me/ec414936)
Provide support for safe houses that are protecting women in Afghanistan that are targeted by the Taliban – through this GoFundMe campaign (https://gofund.me/423dddab)
Support humanitarian visas and immediate evacuation of high-risk Afghan women, or emergency humanitarian aid through wire transfers to GIWPS. Contact GIWPS Program Manager Allie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make a donation of $1000 USD or more.
Or support whichever organizations in your community are supporting women and girls in Afghanistan.
Share this post with your community. Together we can make a difference and help save the lives of Afghan women!
Barbara and the team at GroYourBiz