Afghan Child Education and Care Organization

Kabul, Afghanistan

Nov 2, 2011
Outside Magazine
Afghan Child Education and Care Organization

Afghan Child Education and Care Organization    Photo: Courtesy of AFCECO

BY THE NUMBERS: More than 11 orphanages established in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2003
WHO'S IN CHARGE: Andeisha Farid, 28, a former war refugee from Afghanistan. Before launching AFCECO, Farid worked as a program manager for CharityHelp International’s child-sponsorship program.
WHAT IT DOES: AFCECO estimates that Afghanistan is home to roughly one million war orphans, many of whom are forced into child labor or a life of begging. Farid, who was educated by Afghan women in a Pakistan refugee camp during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, envisioned a new kind of orphanage, one that would operate with the blessing of home villages by keeping the kids connected to their heritage. After she started her first safe house for 20 kids in Islamabad in 2003, she teamed with CharityHelp International’s child-sponsorship program, which allowed her to expand. Now AFCECO’s three-story orphanages—built in places like Kabul and Islamabad—are oases of learning, where children take classes and participate in soccer, photography, drama, and martial arts. The orphanages harbor more than 600 children, some of whom get a chance to study abroad.
EXTRA CREDIT: Farid’s locally effective approach is also globally inspiring—as an example of the dividends that can accrue from a single salvaged life.
LOOKING AHEAD: AFCECO is raising money for a medical clinic in Kabul that would offer care to both orphans and orphanage employees, many of whom are war widows.