Normally mid-winter would be a time we’d have little to say, with the children out of school and projects merely in the planning stage, but it appears given all we have to report this newsletter will be a lengthy affair. First, a report from Italy: the 12 children we sent to Milano have settled in and are making dramatic use of their winter break. As you know there is nothing like an immersion in another culture to develop language skills and build character. A world has opened up for these children, a world they will carry with them through their lives. Special thanks go out to all our Italian sponsors and friends who make this possible..


While the children are busy with their winter programs, back in AFCECO’s offices we are planning for the new school year that begins the end of March. We expect 2012 to be a crucial year of enhancing existing programs while strengthening our sustainability. Most exciting is that plans are in the works to establish an Activity Resource Center in Kabul large enough to serve 600 children. In tandem with this we would create smaller versions in our Jalalabad and Herat orphanages. We have received funding to continue our Leadership Academy, and will extend extracurricular programs such as soccer, karate, photography and ballet classes.


July was an intensive month for all the children due to their studying for and taking their school exams. Midterm exams finished on Monday July 25th and most of children are on holidays now for about two weeks.

New Mehan orphanage faced significant difficulties recently when the water pit in the orphanage dried out. The pit was 20 meters and we had to dig it down making it 50 meters long to make available water for the orphanage. We brought water from other places in a tank for almost a month. Fortunately after digging down the pit we have now sufficient water available.

June began with a celebration of World Children Day. We organized a small event at Mehan Orphanage in the afternoon. The children had lots of fun playing various games together and enjoying some refreshments.

We had two birthday celebrations this month. The first was Aazita’s on June 6th funded by her sponsor Terry Cardwell and the other birthday was Sunbol’s on June 29th funded by her sponsor James Herzog. Birthdays parties are special gifts to the children by their sponsors because many have never celebrated their birthdays. Some do not even know their exact birth dates. The AFCECO staff has tried to contact their families and relatives to find out their birth dates but we are not always successful. In both of the birthday parties we had a skype call with the sponsor which made the birthday extra special both for the child and the sponsor. Here is the album of the birthday pictures:

We are very excited and thrilled to report to you that we held an inaugural ceremony to officially announce the opening of the NewMehan Orphanage on April 2nd. In addition to dignity guests from embassies and international community, there were also guests from many organizations including faculty from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, as well as members of the community who over the years have participated in AFCECO programs, volunteers and journalists. Of course along with the well wishers many of the AFCECO staff and children themselves attended. AFCECO Management team, Manizha, Mahbooba and Pashtana addressed the crowd, giving their prospective of being the first children to have been raised in the orphanage program. The story of our two amazing children, Negina who is the first female conductor of Afghanistan and Madina, the first oboe player of Afghanistan were profiled. Founder of AFCECO, Andeisha Farid also addressed the crowed followed by Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, Diplomatic Representative Aga Khan Development Network, Afghanistan, Counselor Philip Lupul of the Canadian Embassy and Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, the founder and director of Afghanistan National Institute of Music. The ceremony ended with great performance by our music students.

AFCECO is an Afghan non-profit organization based in Kabul running orphanages and educational centers for Afghan orphans and street children.
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