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Children Artworks

Matthias Art Class

Today AFCECO children receive professional instruction in drawing, watercolour, pastel and oil painting. This is one way the children gain marketable skills and also reclaim their heritage and culture. We dedicated this art studio to Prof Matthias Tomczak who has been supporting AFCECO since the beginning of our orphanages.


Music Recording Studio

We wish to set up a small in-home recording studio at the new home of Mehan Orphanage that besides being a rehearsal room for our music students it would help them record their music and broadcast over Internet. Nearly 30 girls and boys from our orphanage study music, both traditional central Asian and western orchestral instruments at Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Our female musicians are now members of Zohra Orchestra, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra. This orchestra has performed on world’s prestigious stages including World Economic Forum in Davos.


Hope Dance Studio

An archaic culture discourages girls from appearing in public, at AFCECO the girls break tradition and perform in front of large audiences; this nonviolent act strengthens every girl. Thanks to Kabul Dance Studio that offered free dance lessons to over 30 girls in 2010, which then encouraged us to establish our own dance studio in Mehan Orphanage. Since then, our youngest dance performers touched every single heart in the audience as they were performing in various events. They have learned to perform very complex traditional attan dance that enquires stamina and timing you’d expect from professional dance theater. Our dance team are stunningly beautiful, too, especially accentuated by their colorful and vibrant traditional Afghan dresses. We need to renew and upgrade most parts of the studio to meet all the requirements our girls need.


Girls Gym Club

One crucial element of AFCECO programs is to develop physical fitness and character building, team building skills in all its children, girls as much as boys. Because of security and cultural restrictions outside the orphanages, our girls have very few opportunities to build healthy bodies and develop such skills as only athletics can provide. We have a relatively big lawn at the new home of Mehan Orphanage which has enough space to build a basketball, badminton and volleyball courts. We required a fund to get the required equipment and sportswear for girls and also hire a martial art master to train them in karate and martial art.


Farhana Clinic

Farhana Clinic is a small clinic equipped with an ultrasound and a pharmacy. This clinic is dedicated to Farhana, our beloved student who died in her village while visiting her family. We heard she died of an illness, most probably because she had no access to health care at her home.

Doffie Library

Doffie Library

Doffie eLibrary is literally a digital library where we installed a data server connected to 12 computers with high speed Internet. There is also a working eStation that is used for eCoaching classes. This eLibrary is in honor of Doffie Rotter, whom our children call the “Mom” of AFCECO. Although she is not sponsoring any child now she still is loved and appreciated for everything she did to help and grow AFCECO. She founded AFCECO’s first library at Mehan in 2008 donating hundreds of books.

Ian Resource Center

Ian Resource Center

Ian Resource Center is a multi-purpose resource center for all classes. This Center is dedicated to Ian Pounds, an American teacher, author and musician who traveled to Afghanistan in 2008 with on-way ticket and spent five years living with Afghan children at one of AFCECO orphanages in Kabul. He lost a battle with ALS on July 31st, 2016 and left hundreds of his Afghan kids in shocking grief. He was 55.

Computer Lab

Dale Computer Lab

Dale Computer Lab has 20 computers with necessary software. This computer lab is dedicated to Professor Dale Larson, university lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan who funded this newly established computer lab.

A Day in the Life of the Orphanage

A day begins at 5:30 a.m. when the 60 or so children stir and the housemother heats water and the house father goes off to market. Nobody needs to badger or otherwise nag the children. They mostly monitor themselves, the older ones quickly educating the youngest. They somehow manage the bathroom rotation, get the house swept clean, make up their beds and rooms and dress into their school uniforms before tea and nan (bread), is served. One aspect of orphanage life must be emphasized – punitive punishment is never practiced, as it is against AFCECO policy. Discipline is maintained not by fear, but by common interest.

Public school schedules vary, so half the children leave in the morning and return by noon, while the other half leave after lunch, returning by four. This means the orphanage is rarely empty. Before going to school, each child’s shoes, fingernails and teeth are checked at the gate for cleanliness. If not, back inside they go. The schools are close by, and always the children walk together in fours and fives.

The rest of the day, whether mornings free or afternoons, is spent doing chores, studying in the library, attending programs at the New Learning Center, or engaging in extracurricular activities such as karate for girls, boxing for boys.

At 6:00 p.m. it is time to relax with a cup of tea and tell stories. Afghans are used to eating dinner at eight, so this twilight hour is free to absorb the day’s activities. After tea some children will watch television, others will play in the courtyard, while still others might visit one of the other orphanages. Everyone sooner or later takes a shift helping in the kitchen. Meals include meat three days a week, rice, beans and potatoes are the staple. Various squashes, spinach, eggplant and okra comprise the usual vegetable dish. Always there is seasonal fruit; watermelon, apples, peaches, plums, apricots, grapes, oranges and pomegranates are plentiful at various times of the year.

After dinner the children do homework to prepare for the next day. The smaller ones are asleep by 9:00 p.m. while the middle ones go to bed at ten and the older ones around eleven. It is an incredibly full life these children lead. Only on Friday does everyone get to catch a breath, the one day of the week that is unscheduled. The orphanage life is filled with a sense of purposefulness, that each day is a gift for growing, deepening bonds, and keeping the AFCECO dream alive. It is truly a laboratory in which democracy is realized and allowed to flourish, whereby staff and children alike begin to taste, on this island in the midst of the storm of war, true and lasting peace.

Inside the Orphanage

When we hear the word orphanage, for most of us cavernous halls with rows of straw mattresses come to mind, cold and embattled attendants who have grown indifferent to crying, and dirty fingernails, soiled sheets, and lice-ridden hair. Whenever anyone visits an AFCECO orphanage, the first thing they notice is how clean it is and how happy the children are.

The Story of Our Orphanages

The story of Parwarishga must begin with the modern history of Afghanistan. Nowhere, it seems has the poison of war come together with the poison of religious extremism
The Story of AFCECO
Natalie Carney, a multi-media broadcast journalist from Canada spent one month in Mehan Orphanage filming daily life of children.


How do you select children to live in the orphanage?
Through our countrywide network of friends, AFCECO now receives referrals almost daily. There are over a thousand children on the waiting list. If we opened ten more orphanages tomorrow, they would be fi lled in a week. The children come from the streets, from homes destroyed by war, they come from families too poor to feed them, and they come from abusive homes from which they have fl ed with their mothers. In all cases, we meet with family members face to face and discuss the long-term goals and benefi ts. Family members must agree and ascribe to all AFCECO policies, knowing that to give the world we offer takes time and commitment.
Why do you not allow children to be adopted? Are these children really orphans?
Isn’t it dangerous in Kabul and other cities? How do you keep the children safe?
What about families wanting girls back, presumably to sell them into marriage?
What happens when the children turn 18?
Where does the money go?
Do you ever lose children?
+93 70 233 6792

Contact us

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


+93 70 233 6792

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