As a sponsor, I support one woman who is a war survivor through a one-year program where she learns how to rebuild her life and the lives of her family. My $27 a month provides her and her family with basic needs, such as food, clean water, safe shelter, and school supplies for her kids. It also goes toward rights awareness and job skills training for the woman so that she can (hopefully) support her family on her own after the program has ended.
I just completed my first one-year sponsorship of a woman in Afghanistan. (I’ll call her “A.”) A said that she mainly used her sponsorship funds for housing and food for her family. She is not currently working and says that the obstacles she faces in generating income are a lack of jobs available, her duties to care for her children, and her lack of education.
During the program, A learned carpet weaving. She found the manual training of the program to be most useful along with education on women and family. She said the program helped improve her economic situation and develop a support network and friendships.
After completing the program, A said that the following conditions had improved:
- Housing conditions
- Family’s general health
- Ability to get timely medical care
- Relationship with her husband
- Relationship with her family
- Economic situation
- Awareness of her rights
- Ability to make family decisions
- Ability to decide which children should go to school
- Ability to send children to school
She, unfortunately, still does not know how to read or write.
Ideally during the one year, the sponsor and recipient exchange letters or emails. Although I wrote A a handful of times, I did not receive a response from her. I would imagine the fact that she didn’t know how to read or write played a factor in the lack of correspondence. I would have loved to know how A was doing and what she was going through.
In any case, I’m thrilled to hear that the conditions have improved for her and her family. I wish A the best.
Now, I have a new “sister” in Afghanistan. My new sister (I’ll call her “N”) is 32 and has six children, four boys and two girls. Four of the children go to school. One boy doesn’t go because he isn’t old enough, and one girl doesn’t go, but it doesn’t say why.
N has no education and cannot read or write. The war has not separated her from her husband, so all eight of them are together. Their home does have electricity and public water. She is not working because she lacks education, and she says there are no jobs available.
She says the health of her family is “fair,” but that they cannot get timely medical care because they can’t afford it. During the sponsorship program, N is hoping to develop vocational skills, improve her economic situation, and become more active in her community.
I’m looking forward to helping N with her goals, and hopefully hearing from her.
Want to help change a woman’s life? Click here to learn more about the Women for Women International Sponsorship Program.
I accomplished my two most important things today:
- I helped Mr. Man with the wedding invitations.
- I worked on my Cat Fancy freelance article.