Following 12 years’ experience, we find that building a relationship with an organisation in Afghanistan, and especially the people running it, is the most effective way of getting funds to those in need.
Gawharshad private school is a fee-paying school whose headmaster and staff have volunteered and delivered several of our projects in recent years.
They delivered food parcels during the first part of the Covid epidemic. And they delivered packs of stoves and fuel to families headed by women during last winter, one round in Kabul and one in Bamyan province.
Last April, we funded 50 scholarships allowing girls from deprived backgrounds to attend the Gawharshad school. The headmaster, Mohammad Ibrahimi, sits on our selection committees for scholarships.
Few would argue that we, in Scotland, would have the best idea of where funds would do most good, those living in Kabul being much better placed.
So, in this partnership, projects are suggested by both parties. So far it’s worked well, and we monitor progress along the way. Negina who works for us in Kabul attends each distribution and follows up any issues as required, and sends us regular detailed reports.
One recent project, in October, saw packs of uniforms, satchels, books and stationery delivered to girls attending two government schools. £8,900 paid for 200 packs which most certainly made the day for these girls whose parents had been struggling to equip them with the basics needed for primary school. The books will be re-used next year when the girls move up a class.