Afghan Women Strong
Working with strategic partners and local stakeholders, Women for Afghan Women (WAW) provides humanitarian aid, logistics support, and protection and support services to vulnerable populations across Afghanistan, with a particular focus on Afghan women, children, and their families, in addition to internally displaced persons and refugee returnees.
After the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan in 2021, Women for Afghan Women (WAW) has realigned its resources and programming to serve and protect the people of Afghanistan in whatever manner possible, wherever possible under the current circumstances. Currently, the organization focuses on humanitarian aid and awareness-raising, counseling, and training about gender-based violence (GBV) among vulnerable populations, particularly women, children, and their families.
We continue in our commitment to working towards transforming prevalent norms of violence and oppression into norms that value peace, equality and dignity of life.
WAW’s Work in Afghanistan
WAW’s success in Afghanistan has been rooted in its grassroots approach in the development and implementation of its programs. The organization hires locally and uses its deep knowledge and understanding of local culture, traditions, customs, and challenges to inform its programming and services.
Before the fall of Afghanistan in August 2021, WAW operated 34 protection centers across 32 provinces, including family guidance centers, women’s protection centers (women’s shelters), and children’s support centers. After the fall of the country’s former government in August 2021, WAW and all other organizations operating protection centers, particularly for women, were forced to shutter these operations.
But, WAW will not give up. We are determined to remain in Afghanistan. Despite the challenges with the new regime, WAW continues to work in Afghanistan and has adapted its resources, staff, and programs there to the current, challenging conditions in the country, as best we can.
Due to security risks and to protect staff working on the ground, we are careful with what details we share about our operations in Afghanistan. If you have specific inquiries or questions about our programming that is not answered by the information provided on our website, please contact WAW directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Afghanistan Programs 2021-2023
CHILDREN’S SUPPORT CENTERS
(Badakhshan, Kandahar, and Balkh)
WAW’s first Children’s Support Center was established in Kabul in 2009 with three more CSCs were established between 2009 until August 2021. By 2021, 2,049 children from the ages of 5 to 18 years (961 girls and 1088 boys) of incarcerated parents had been transferred, with their parents’ consent, to WAW’s Children Support Centers from prisons across the country and lived under our care.
After the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021, WAW’s has been forced to reduce the scope of its CSC program to providing child protection centers only in the Badakhshan, Kandahar and Balkh provinces. Today, our three CSCs house close to 200 children. Theses CSCs still offer critical care and protections for some of Afghanistan’s most vulnerable children, and provides an opportunity to live in a nurturing environment and escape growing up in prison. To address the impact of the current humanitarian crisis on Afghan children, WAW’s CSCs have expanded its care to orphaned and abandoned children in Afghanistan.
COMMUNITY-BASED PROTECTION MONITORING
For the past six years and with our parter The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ), the Community-Based Protection Monitoring (CBPM) pursues common community-based protection goals for the benefit of internally displaced persons (IDPs), IDP returnees, refugee returnees (documented and undocumented), and 10% of their host communities.
The CBPM serves close to 250,000 beneficiaries every year, including:
- Addressing the protection risks and concerns and needs of IDPs and refugee returnees,
- Conducting CBPM baseline and follow-up activities across 18 Afghan provinces through Focus Group Discussions, Household, and Key informants interviews with an Age Gender Diversity approach, and
- Assessing and referring persons with special needs for assistance to UNHCR and other agencies.
PREVENTION AND RESPONSE TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDP) AND RETURNEE COMMUNITIES (PARGIRC)
(Balkh, Faryab, and Kunduz)
WAW’s Prevention and Response to GBV in IDP and Returnee Communities (PARGIRC) program is a partnership funded by the United Nations Trust Fund that works to ensure survivors of GBV and other high-risk women and girls, refugees, and internally displaced persons in Balkh, Faryab and Kunduz have better access to basic humanitarian services and protections. These provinces have the highest number of refugee returnees and IDPs, as well as survivors of GBV in Afghanistan.
PARGIRC services include but are not limited to:
- Medical services,
- Psychosocial counseling, and
- Economic empowerment.
Afghanistan Programs 2021-2023
In response to the growing economic and humanitarian emergency impacting Afghanistan after the Taliban take over in August 2021, Women for Afghan Women (WAW) launched a new Humanitarian Assistance Project (HAP).
The project was designed based on an extensive, countrywide baseline survey that identified the most vulnerable beneficiaries across 16 provinces of the country. By 2022, WAW’s humanitarian assistance teams had covered 16 provinces in the country and distributed thousands of food and non-food aid packages to vulnerable beneficiaries and populations, including:
- WAW’s former clients and staff, who lost their jobs as a result of the shuttering of our family guidance and women’s protection centers by the de facto authorities and due to the withdrawal of support by many international donors from Afghanistan
- Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
- Families impacted by terrorist attacks
- Families living in extreme poverty, particularly women-led households and children
- Families impacted by natural disasters, including earthquakes and floods.
See our blog on WAW’s HAP Program: For Daily Bread
LOGISTIC TRANSPORTATION AND WAREHOUSE SERVICES
(Kabul, Mazar, Kandahar, and Herat)
The Logistic Transportation and Warehouse Services (LTS) project is conducted in partnership with UNHCR and aims to pursue common community-based protection goals that include:
- Creating an environment for the sustainable reintegration of IDPs and refugee returnees by strengthening essential services and facilities in Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARRs), while helping foster social cohesion.
- Reducing vulnerabilities, enhance protection, and reinforce the resilience of vulnerable populations and their host communities to cope with the current crisis, by providing logistical support to humanitarian distribution and transportation activities that include:
- Management of warehouses in four major Afghan cities,
- Humanitarian aid transportation fleet management and maintenance (in Kabul),
- Coordination and liaison activities for aid transportation fleets, and
- Information Communications Technology (ICT) management for incoming aid shipments and other logistical management in close coordination with UNHCR offices operating in every Afghan region.
Impact of Afghan programs
In 2022, WAW’s programs and support services impacted 1,397,624 individuals (676,525 women and girls and 721,099 men and boys) in Afghanistan. Of these beneficiaries:
- 73,886 individuals and children were supported through WAW’s Children’s Support Centers (CSC) and Humanitarian Assistance Project (HAP) and PARGIRC programs, and
- 1,323,738 were served by the Community-Based Protection Monitoring Program (CBPM).
In total, WAW’s programs and operations extend to all 34 provinces in Afghanistan and are currently staffed by 829 employees, 259 of whom are female staff, and 570 are male. The impact of WAW’s programs and services on beneficiaries in 2022 included:
- 94,863 individuals / 11,454 families, 1,422 returnees, and 27,427 host community members benefited from the Community-Based Protection Monitoring (CBPM) program. They also received UNHCR’s non-food item aid (1 blanket, 2 tarps, 3 jerry cans, 4 metal buckets, cooking pots, 6 cooking gas cylinders, 7 boxes of laundry soap, 8 bars of body soap, women’s underclothing and hygiene products).
- 1,355 clients, mostly survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), who were supported through the UN Trust Fund’s Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) project, and provided with medical, family psychological conciliation, education supplies, and vocational skills trainings in Balkh, Faryab and Kunduz. The beneficiaries of this project include:
- 815 GBV survivor women and girls received dignity kits.
- 426 GBV survivor children (girls and boys) received educational supplies and school uniforms.
- 914 GBV adult survivors received medical services.
- 114 GBV women survivors participated in vocational and life skills (needlework/embroidery) training.
- 80 group psychosocial counseling sessions were conducted for GBV victims/survivors.
- 3,035 individual psychosocial counseling sessions were provided to GBV victims/survivor
- 3,311 individuals (women and men) benefited from GBV and information dissemination sessions
- 6,346 individuals (women and men) from different communities (formal and non-formal) attended GBV and IDS public awareness raising sessions. And their mind positively changed toward respecting women’s rights.
- 6,527 individuals (women and men) were supported through the IDP psychosocial project.
- 402 individuals (women and men)were provided with referrals.
- 7,555 individuals or 1,511 families (with the average family size being 5 persons), which are victims of conflict and other terror attacks, benefited from emergency relief aids (cash & food items), through WAW’s humanitarian emergency relief projects.
- 203 children (girls and boys) were cared for through WAW CSCs programs.
- Five clinics & four schools were constructed in Kandahar and Kabul through our Technical Monitoring and Construction project in partnership with UNHCR.